Drivers who will race for 2023 Cup championship

After 26 races, culminating in Saturday night’s regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are officially set, with 16 drivers seeking to claim the championship trophy and etch their name in racing history.

The playoffs consist of 10 races, beginning with next weekend’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and concluding with the championship race at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5. The first nine races are broken up into three rounds with three races apiece. Four drivers will be eliminated after the third, sixth and ninth races, leaving a final four to battle for the championship.

While six former champions will contend for another title, the biggest shocker is who won’t be among them – 2020 champion and NASCAR’s most popular driver, Chase Elliott, who missed seven races this season and went winless in the other 19.

Joey Logano (22), leading the field at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 6, 2022, won his second NASCAR Cup Series championship last year.

Who are the playoff drivers and how were the points set?

Here are the 16 playoff drivers, re-seeded after the first 26 races to include playoff points earned for race and stage wins plus bonus points for finishing in the top 10 of the regular-season standings.

Points were reset to 2,000 apiece for each playof driver before bonus points were added. Five playoff points were awarded for each regular-season win and one point each for winning a stage. The regular-season champion earned a 15-point bonus, the runner-up 10, the third-place driver eight, the fourth-place driver seven down to one point for 10th place.

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