After all that, Cup Series playoffs took care of itself in a weird and wild way

The last few years the question has came up more and more, what happens if we get more than 16 different winners during the 26 race NASCAR Cup Series regular season. Last year we had 7 different winners in the 1st 7 races to the 2021 season including 10 in the first 11 and 11 in the opening 14 races. We never got to 16 winners during the regular season however.

This year started the exact same way. We had 7 different winners in the first 7 races again. We also had 12 winners in the opening 16 races at that. With several big named stars having not win a race at that point, the question kept creeping up, is this the year? Is this the season to where we get 17 or more winners in the opening 26 races to the season?

The volume grew louder and louder as we reached August. Entering the month, we had 14 different winners already and still had 4 races remaining in the regular season. Then Kevin Harvick made it No. 15 at Michigan.

Brad Keselowski had yet to win. Neither had Ryan Blaney or Martin Truex Jr. Neither had Aric Almirola. It reached a crescendo to the loudest depths that we’d have ever heard before. However, it all ended up taking care of itself though.

Kurt Busch took himself out of the postseason on Thursday by giving his medical waiver back. He doesn’t feel ready to return yet to the seat of his No. 45 Toyota and as a result, he’s stepping aside from championship eligibility.

In turn, it leaves 2 wildcard spots open for the taking meaning that the scenario won’t happen again this year.

Also, if you look at the points standings now too, the entire top 16 in points take up the top 16 playoff spots. That too has taken care of itself.

For a while you’d see Busch, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and a few others below that top 16 in driver points which shook this entire thing up. Now, it’s all worked itself out with the top 16 in regular season points entering Daytona, holding onto the 16 playoff spots.

Granted, it could have some chaos if someone below the cutline wins, and they certainly can, but it’s 1 spot not several.

After a wild year, it’s funny how things work out and this year ended up like all the others.

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