CJ holds a 145 point lead over Eric as the regular season comes to an end last weekend in Daytona. Greg got his second straight win with Ryan Blaney but remains 495 points back still with 10 races remaining. That was his ninth win compared to 11 for CJ and only five for Eric. So, how is Eric staying up there you may wonder?
Well, 3 of the top 7 drivers in the overall points scored are on his team with Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and William Byron. Joey Logano is even ninth. The thing is, they’ve been consistently in the top five but they’ve lacked victories with having just four combined wins between them.
CJ had Kyle Larson who’s helped him carry a nice lead in the standings, but that’s his only driver in the top seven.
Greg has 3 in the top five but they’ve been wildly inconsistent this season.
Daytona was Daytona but now we head to Darlington to kick off the playoffs.
5 of CJ’s drivers are in the postseason with Eric producing 6 and Greg 4. The only championship eligible driver we don’t own is Michael McDowell who none of us expect to make it out of the opening round.
Greg’s team is heating up and scored 135 points in Daytona, but even with the new points format for the playoffs, does he have enough to catch CJ?
Eric was 5 points shy of the win in Daytona (130 points) and has Elliott, Hamlin and Logano who are all more than capable of a deep run. After all, they took 3 of the 4 championship four spots a year ago.
CJ has the overall favorite in Larson and Truex who is more than capable of a title. Bell is a sleeper while Harvick needs to get going.
Truex and Larson finished 1-2 back in May at Darlington while Harvick won this race last year so CJ should get off to a good start. Eric’s drivers will likely be hot on the trail while CJ needs to hope Blaney and Busch keep their hot streaks going and Bowman and Keselowski can turn things around.
1 TEAM CJR – 4,325 points (11 wins)
K Larson… 1420 (6 wins)
M Truex Jr… 700 (3 wins)
K Harvick… 625
C Bell… 485 (1 win)
Kurt B… 460 (1 win)
A Dillon… 420
R Stenhouse Jr… 65
Waived Drivers… (150)
2 TEAM ES – 4,180 points (5 wins)
C Elliott… 1005 (2 wins)
D Hamlin… 730
W Byron… 700 (1 win)
J Logano… 650 (1 win)
A Almirola… 345 (1 win)
T Reddick… 340
D Wallace Jr… 305
Waived Drivers… (105)
3 TEAM GDP – 3,830 points (9 wins)
Kyle B… 825 (2 wins)
R Blaney… 785 (3 wins)
A Bowman… 730 (3 wins)
B Keselowski… 595 (1 win)
C Buescher… 295
M DiBenedetto.… 270
R Chastain.… 75
Waived Drivers… (255)
7/12 (After Race 20/Atlanta)
Team GDP claims M DiBenedetto (190 points) for D Suarez (105 points).
6/22 (After Race 18/Nashville)
Team GDP claims R Chastain for M DiBenedetto (190 points).
6/22 (After Race 18/Nashville)
Team CJR claims R Stenhouse Jr. for C Briscoe (150 points).
5/3 (After Race 11/Kansas)
Team GDP claims D Suarez for R Stenhouse Jr. (80 points).
4/13 (After Race 8/Martinsville)
Team ES claims T Reddick for R Chastain (105 points).
3/22 (After Race 6/Atlanta)
Team GDP claims M DiBenedetto for E Jones (50 points).
3/15 (After Race 5/Phoenix)
Team GDP claims R Stenhouse Jr. for M McDowell (15 points).
3/1 (After Race 3/Homestead-Miami)
Team GDP claims M McDowellfor M DiBenedetto (5 points).
Weekly Race Points Standings
Week 26 Daytona
1 Greg 135
2 Eric 130
3 CJ 50
Overall Driver Standings (Top 10)
1 K Larson… 1420 (CJ)
2 C Elliott… 1005 (Eric)
3 Kyle B… 825 (Greg)
4 R Blaney… 785 (Greg)
5 A Bowman… 730 (Greg)
5 D Hamlin… 730 (Eric)
7 W Byron… 700 (Eric)
7 M Truex Jr… 700 (CJ)
9 J Logano… 650 (Eric)
10 K Harvick… 625 (CJ)