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NASCAR playoff standings 2019: Updated points for Cup chase after AAA Texas 500 at Texas

Sporting News — (Arthur Weinstein)

Kevin Harvick won the race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday to clinch a spot in the Championship 4 as the playoff finale picture became much clearer.

Harvick led 119 of the 334 laps in the AAA Texas 500 to earn his fourth win of the year and the 49th of his career.

"Texas has always been so great to us," Harvick told NBCSN afterward.

Although anything can happen next weekend in the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix, the Championship 4 field for Homestead-Miami Speedway will include Harvick, by virtue of his Texas win, and Martin Truex Jr., last week's winner at Martinsville.

Kyle Busch holds a 22-point advantage on the cutoff, and Joey Logano (+20) also has a big cushion on Denny Hamlin, who sits fifth in the standings. Of course, a win by Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson or Chase Elliott at Phoenix could vault them into the Championship 4 field.

Harvick led a strong day for Stewart-Haas Racing, with Aric Almirola finishing second and Daniel Suarez placing third for a 1-2-3 finish.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, seeking his first win since June 2017, led 40 laps but saw his chances at a win vanish when he smacked the wall while running in the top five.

NASCAR playoff points standings 2019

Rank Driver Wins Points
No. 1Martin Truex Jr.74,133
Kevin Harvick44,113
Kyle Busch44,113
No. 4Joey Logano24,111
No. 5Denny Hamlin54,091
No. 6Ryan Blaney14,088
No. 7Kyle Larson14,088
No. 8Chase Elliott34,033
No. 9Brad Keselowski32,265
No. 10William Byron02,247
No. 11Clint Bowyer02,225
No. 12Alex Bowman12,215
No. 13Aric Almirola02,204
No. 14Kurt Busch12,204
No. 15Ryan Newman02,193
No. 16Erik Jones12,127
No. 17Daniel Suarez0801
No. 18Jimmie Johnson0784
No. 19Paul Menard0732
No. 20Chris Buescher0687
No. 21Matt DiBenedetto0658
No. 22Austin Dillon0657
No. 23Ricky Stenhouse Jr.0643
No. 24Ty Dillon0583
No. 25Daniel Hemric0489
No. 26Ryan Preece0484
No. 27Bubba Wallace0472
No. 28Michael McDowell0467
No. 29Corey LaJoie0393
No. 30David Ragan0377
No. 31Matt Tifft0352
No. 32Reed Sorenson0116
No. 33Quin Houff077
No. 34Jamie McMurray019
No. 35Austin Theriault017
No. 36Andy Seuss09
No. 37Blake Jones06
No. 38Stanton Barrett02

How the NASCAR playoffs work:

Sixteen NASCAR drivers qualified for the playoffs. Four were eliminated in the Sept. 29 race at Charlotte. Four more were eliminated in the Oct. 20 race at Kansas, and four more will fall out at Phoenix on Nov. 10, leaving the final four drivers to compete straight up for for the NASCAR Cup title Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the first of the four playoff drivers to cross the finish line is crowned the champion.

How drivers earn points:

– Win Stage 1 or Stage 2 in a race: 1 playoff point (point awarded per stage win)
– Win a race: 5 playoff points
– Win the regular-season championship: 15 playoff points

Second place in the final regular-season standings earns 10 playoff points, third place receives eight points, and the points awarded decline to one point for 10th (4th = 7 points, 5th = 6 points, etc.).

Championship-contending drivers can accumulate additional playoff points throughout the playoffs via stage and race wins and may use all the playoff points they earn, from both the regular season and the playoffs, to advance all the way up to the Championship 4.

Playoff points are added to a championship-contending driver’s reset points total at the start of every round of the playoffs until they are eliminated from championship contention.

At Homestead-Miami, playoff points are off the table, and the Championship 4 drivers enter the “winner-take-all” race tied in the standings. 

Cup playoff information provided by NASCAR.