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Why hasn’t Kevin Harvick clinched a playoff spot despite his victory at Michigan?

NASCAR veteran Kevin Harvick claimed victory at Michigan International Speedway, but he hasn’t locked in a spot at the Cup Series playoffs just yet.

NASCAR star Kevin Harvick claimed a victory at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to get him a spot at the Cup Series playoffs.
Sean GardnerAFP

Kevin Harvick finally managed a victory after a two-year, 65-race losing streak. He prevailed at the Michigan international Speedway on Sunday, on the sixth race he has won in the Irish Hills throughout his career.

Despite the much-needed win, the 46-year-old hasn’t officially made to the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, although he is now in a good position to do so. His victory made him the 15th driver to have won one of the year’s 23 races.

As there are still three contests to go in the regular season, there could be as many as three different new victors, which would bring up the number of winning drivers to 18 as they head into the playoffs. As there are only 16 playoff slots, there are one or two players who could possibly be bumped off.

How the drivers make the playoffs

In the event that there is a total of more than 16 race winners, the regular season champion and drivers who have won more than one race automatically move on to the postseason. The remaining spots will be given to the single-race winners with the largest number of points.

Having only won one race, Harvick’s place in the playoffs hasn’t been locked in yet. There are eight other single-race winners at this point, against whom he will be jockeying for postseason position.

With 180 points still up for grabs in the remaining three races, it is still statistically possible for Harvick to be booted out of the playoffs, but since he is ranked ninth in the points standings, this scenario is still quite improbable.

The NASCAR Cup Series will continue this weekend at Richmond Raceway in Virginia.


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