Clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, USA, PRN)

This weekend’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will bring the first round of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs to a close and four drivers will be eliminated from the postseason bringing the 16-driver field to 12. With just one driver locked-in and moving on, that leaves 11 positions still up for grabs this weekend.

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 12-driver field of the next round: Christopher Bell.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 13th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Christopher Bell, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain or Daniel Suarez.

  • William Byron: Would clinch with 6 points
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 6 points
  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 13 points (14 if Daniel Suarez Wins)
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 18 points
  • Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 23 points (24 if Daniel Suarez Wins)
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 27 points
  • Ross Chastain: Would clinch with 28 points
  • Daniel Suarez: Would clinch with 48 points
  • Tyler Reddick: Would clinch with 51 points (52 if Daniel Suarez Wins)
  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 52 points
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 53 points (54 if Daniel Suarez Wins)
  • Austin Dillon: Would clinch with 54 points (55 if Daniel Suarez Wins)
  • Chase Briscoe: Could only clinch with help
  • Kevin Harvick: Could only clinch with help

The following drivers could clinch on points with a win by Tyler Reddick or Austin Cindric:

  • William Byron: Would clinch with 7 points
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 7 points
  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 15 points
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 19 points
  • Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 27 points
  • Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 28 points
  • Ross Chastain: Would clinch with 29 points
  • Daniel Suarez: Would clinch with 49 points
  • Tyler Reddick: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 55 points
  • Austin Dillon: Would clinch with 55 points
  • Chase Briscoe: Could only clinch with help
  • Kevin Harvick: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Kyle Busch or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 12th winless driver in the standings.

  • William Byron: Would clinch with 8 points
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 8 points
  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 16 points
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 28 points
  • Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 29 points
  • Ross Chastain: Would clinch with 30 points
  • Daniel Suarez: Would clinch with 50 points
  • Tyler Reddick: Would clinch with 54 points
  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 54 points
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 55 points
  • Austin Dillon: Would clinch with 55 points
  • Chase Briscoe: Could only clinch with help
  • Kevin Harvick: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick.

Can’t Eliminate This: Previous drivers that have raced their way into the Round of 12

Since the introduction of the ‘elimination-style’ format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, several drivers have raced their way into the Round of 12 in the third and final cutoff race of the Round of 16.

2014: Heading to Dover Motor Speedway (the third race of the Playoffs) in 2014, Denny Hamlin was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings and six points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. Hamlin finished 12th at Dover and advanced on points, knocking A.J. Allmendinger (23rd-place finish at Dover) out of the Playoffs.

2015: Heading to Dover Motor Speedway (the third race of the Playoffs) in 2015, Kevin Harvick was ranked 15th in the Playoff standings, 23 points back from the Round of 12 cutoff and Kyle Busch was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings just one point behind the Round of 12 cutoff. Kevin Harvick won the race at Dover and automatically advanced to the next round. Kyle Busch finished second at Dover and advanced on points to the Round of 12 knocking Jamie McMurray (fourth-place finish at Dover) and Jimmie Johnson (41st-place finish due to mechanical issues at Dover) out of the Playoffs.

2016: Heading to Dover Motor Speedway (the third race of the Playoffs) in 2016, Austin Dillon was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings just five points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. Kyle Larson was ranked 12th in the Playoff standings coming into Dover. Dillon finished eighth at Dover and advanced on points knocking Kyle Larson (25th-place finish at Dover) out of the Playoffs.

2017: The four drivers below the Round of 12 cutline heading into the third race of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Dover Motor Speedway – Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch – all failed to advance to the Round of 12 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Dover race.

2018: Heading to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL (the third race of the Playoffs) in 2018, Clint Bowyer was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings and four points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. Bowyer finished third at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and advanced on points knocking Austin Dillon (39th-place finish at the Charlotte ROVAL due to an incident) out of the Playoffs.

2019: Heading to the Charlotte ROVAL (the third race of the Playoffs) in 2019, Clint Bowyer was ranked 14th in the Playoff standings, four points back from the Round of 12 cutoff and Alex Bowman was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings just two points behind the Round of 12 cutoff. Bowyer finished fourth and Alex Bowman finished second at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Both drivers advanced on points to the Round of 12 knocking Kyle Larson (13th-place finish at Charlotte) and Aric Almirola (14th-place finish at Charlotte) out of the Playoffs.

2020: The four drivers below the Round of 12 cutline heading into the third race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway – William Byron (-3), Cole Custer (-8), Matt DiBenedetto (-25) and Ryan Blaney (-27) – all failed to advance to the Round of 12 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Bristol race.

2021: Heading into Bristol Motor Speedway (the third race of the Playoffs) in 2021, Aric Almirola was ranked 11th in the Playoff outlook, up three points on the Round of 12 cutline. Kurt Busch was ranked in the 12th and final position to advance on points to the Round of 12, and he was tied with 13th place Alex Bowman; followed by Tyler Reddick in 14th (-5 points), William Byron in 15th (-18) and Michael McDowell in 16th (-38). Byron finished third and Bowman finished fourth at Bristol, and both drivers advanced on points to the Round of 12 knocking Aric Almirola (18th-place finish), Kurt Busch (19th-place finish) out of the Playoffs. Reddick (12th-place finish) and McDowell (24th-place finish) also failed to advance to the next round.

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