NASCAR has a new points leader to start the playoffs

While Martin Truex Jr. won the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship, William Byron has the same number of points heading into the playoffs.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. secured the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship during Saturday night’s regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway.

Entering the Coke Zero Sugar 400, only teammate Denny Hamlin mathematically had a shot to pass him for the lead of the point standings.

However, the driver of the No. 19 Toyota enters the four-round, 10-race postseason sharing the lead of the standings with another driver: Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron.

Both drivers are set to enter the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with 36 playoff points, meaning their starting point totals for the round of 16 are 2,036.

Truex earned 21 playoff points during the regular season, including five for each of his three race wins and one for each of his six stage wins, while Byron earned 33, including five for each of his series-high five race wins and one for each of his series-high eight stage wins.

Truex collected an additional 15 for winning the regular season championship, while Byron collected an additional eight for finishing in third place. However, Byron lost five playoff points for a penalty that he and the No. 24 team were issued after the April race at Richmond Raceway due to a greenhouse violation.

In fact, that penalty really cost him seven playoff points, not just five, since it also carried a 60-point deduction. Byron missing these 60 points in the final regular season standings was the reason why he finished in third place instead of second.

But despite entering the playoffs with 36 playoff points instead of the 43 that he might have earned on the race track itself, Byron still finds himself tied for the lead with Truex heading into the round of 16. The driver who entered the season with just four total wins in five seasons looks to be one of the title favorites.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, which is offering fans $200 for signing up and betting $5, Truex is still listed as the favorite.

Odds and promotion availability subject to change. Lock in your $200 before it’s too late!

The playoffs are scheduled to get underway at Darlington Raceway this Sunday, September 3. The Cook Out Southern 500 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET. Take advantage of FuboTV’s free trial offer and don’t miss it!

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