Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing Team, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
As the halfway mark of the regular season approaches, several of last year’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers are at risk of missing the postseason.
We are two races away from the halfway mark of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, and eight drivers have already found victory lane to vault themselves into the playoff picture, with three securing postseason spots by winning more than once.
But just 12 of the 16 provisional playoff spots currently belong to drivers who were in last year’s postseason, with the other four occupied by past playoff drivers who missed out last year.
While it’s far too early to write anybody off, here are five of last year’s playoff drivers who are definitely at risk of seeing their championship chances end immediately after the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway in August.
NASCAR playoff drivers in trouble: No. 1 – Chase Briscoe
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe is the only driver on this list who is actually in a playoff position as things stand right now, but it will be hard for him to remain there unless the No. 14 Ford can find victory lane at some point in the near future.
He sits in the 16th and final spot, 19 points above the playoff cut line, following a recent stretch of three straight top five finishes. But as we saw last year, Briscoe is very much a hold and cold driver.
At one point, he went 15 straight races without a top 12 finish, but he made it to the playoffs thanks to his early win at Phoenix Raceway. Then out of nowhere, he managed to make a deep playoff run with six top 10 finishes in a seven-race span.
Aside from Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing’s struggles have continued in 2023, and Briscoe will need to find some consistency to secure a second straight playoff berth.