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NASCAR Cup Series Standings Update – Chase Elliott Clinches Regular Season Championship in Penultimate Race at Watkins Glen

Following this past weekend’s Go Bowling at the Glen, there is just one more race remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season. The Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway will conclude the 26-race regular season. Saturday’s race will also solidify the field of 16 drivers who will partake in the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs. With four wins already in his pocket, Chase Elliott has known for weeks that he will be among those competing for the season championship this fall. Elliott may have been beaten by teammate Kyle Larson at Watkins Glen, but he did officially clinch the regular season points title and the top spot in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.

Below are the updated NASCAR Cup Series standings following the Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Discussion of several noteworthy developments after 25 races is also included.

Chase Elliott NASCAR Cup Series standings update Kyle Larson
Credit: Motorsport Images

NASCAR Cup Series Standings Update | After Race 25 at Watkins Glen

Refer to the table below for the updated NASCAR Cup Series points standings through 25 of 26 regular season races. The table also includes additional NASCAR Cup Series stats including Wins, Top-5 Finishes, Top-10 Finishes and Stage Wins. The table is sortable by driver and statistic for your viewing convenience.

Car NumberDriverProjected Playoff SeedStandings PointsWinsTop-5'sTop-10'sStage Wins
9Chase Elliott1922410175
5Kyle Larson2788210133
22Joey Logano376727124
1Ross Chastain4761210145
24William Byron56642453
12Ryan Blaney677908125
4Kevin Harvick769027130
11Denny Hamlin85912573
8Tyler Reddick960227102
20Christopher Bell1073317142
14Chase Briscoe115711344
18Kyle Busch1267916121
99Daniel Suarez1361416102
45Kurt Busch144851582
48Alex Bowman1561513101
2Austin Cindric165801471
19Martin Truex Jr.N/A75403117
43Erik JonesN/A5670290
10Aric AlmirolaN/A5600270
3Austin DillonN/A5240370
23Bubba WallaceN/A5190461
17Chris BuescherN/A5120280
31Justin HaleyN/A4800120
34Michael McDowellN/A43501100
47Ricky Stenhouse Jr.N/A4320150
41Cole CusterN/A4310020
6Brad KeselowskiN/A4110030
21Harrison BurtonN/A3950120
42Ty DillonN/A3770010
38Todd GillilandN/A3740110
7Corey LaJoieN/A3030110
51Cody WareN/A2010000

Chase Elliott Wraps Up Regular Season Points Championship at The Glen

It came as no surprise that Chase Elliott qualified on the pole for the Go Bowling at The Glen. As one of the best road course racers the sport of NASCAR has ever known, Elliott was a presumptive favorite to win. Unfortunately, despite being the top car in the field, that win eluded him. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all coming away from Watkins Glen is that the No. 9 car has not found victory lane in any of the five road races run this season.

Despite not taking home the trophy, Elliott did come away from Watkins Glen International as a big winner in the NASCAR standings. With his fourth-place finish, Elliott officially clinched the 2022 regular season championship. Seemingly all year long, he has been in the top spot in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. Case in point, clinching the regular season title at The Glen was merely a formality.

The fact that Elliott clinched the points championship with one entire race remaining before the playoffs provides a great deal of perspective on just how strong he has been all season. All year long, the Next Gen Car has bred increased parity in the NASCAR Cup Series. Even with the new car, Elliott has consistently been the class of the field. This has been especially true in the back half of the regular season.

Winning the regular season points championship does have positive implications for Elliott moving forward into the NASCAR Playoffs as well. The regular season champ receives 15 additional playoff points to their name. This bonus now has the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team set to start each round 17 full clear of all other championship competitors.

Kyle Larson Moves to Second in Playoff Standings with Win

For many, it was hard to believe that Kyle Larson had not won a race since the NASCAR Cup Series ran at Auto Club back in late February. After thoroughly dominating the series last year, Larson has been running strong again in 2022. However, he has not had nearly the same caliber of year as far as accumulating race wins.

An aggressive move on Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott on a late-race restart was the key moment in Larson’s long-awaited second win of the season at Watkins Glen. As far as the NASCAR standings are concerned, Larson was rewarded for his consistency throughout the season in a big way following his victory at The Glen. He is now tied with Elliott and Ross Chastain for the most top-5 finishes (10) this year.

The points Larson earned at WGI vaulted him up to second in the updated points standings. If the playoffs started today, he would be the 2-seed thanks to having accumulated 23 playoff points. Given that every position on track is worth one point, 23 points may not seem like much. However, it makes the margin for error that much greater for the No. 5 team compared to other playoff drivers. Perhaps his victory at The Glen will be the start of something bigger as Larson aims to defend his NASCAR Cup Series Championship from a year ago.

Ryan Blaney Maintains Lead Over Martin Truex Jr. for Final Playoff Spot as Threat of New Winner Looms

25 points are all that separates Ryan Blaney from Martin Truex Jr. in the battle for the final NASCAR Playoffs spot. With only one race left in the regular season, both drivers find themselves facing all kinds of pressure. While Blaney has a bit of wiggle room, Truex really has no margin for error remaining. Trouble is the regular season finale is set to be run at Daytona, one of the most unpredictable tracks on the circuit.

Based on history, Blaney has to be given the upper hand over Truex in this NASCAR standings battle. For starters, he is the defending winner of the Coke Zero Sugar 400. That isn’t the only strong performance Blaney has had recently at Daytona, however. Four of his last five starts at the track have seen him finish inside the top-6.

As for Truex, it’s well-documented that he has never won a superspeedway race. The veteran driver has only two finishes better than 13th in his last ten starts at Daytona International Speedway. That said, he can utilize the stages to try and gain ground on Blaney in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. While 25 points is a lot to overcome, the unpredictability of Daytona ensures that Truex is not in a must-win scenario to make the playoffs entering the race.

Of course, both drivers also have to worry about the threat of a new winner. If there’s any track capable of providing an upset, it’s Daytona. Several names currently below the cutline have won at The World Center of Racing in the past. Should there be a surprise winner on Saturday night, both Blaney and Truex will miss out on the chance to compete for a championship.

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