Meet the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers

CLOSEAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideWelcome to another edition of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.Sixteen drivers have earned the right to compete for the championship that will be decided on Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.The playoffs consist of 10 races, with the first nine broken into three legs with three races apiece. Four drivers will be eliminated after the third, sixth and ninth races, leaving a final four to race for the title at Homestead.The 16-driver field includes six former champions, and each of the three manufacturers are well represented, with seven Ford drivers, five Chevrolet drivers and four Toyota drivers.Among the teams, Joe Gibbs Racing has the most drivers in the playoffs as all four earned berths into the field after combining for 13 wins in 26 regular-season races.Let’s meet the 16 drivers in the playoffs:1. Kyle BuschBorn: May 2, 1985, in Las VegasTeam: Joe Gibbs Racing. Car: No. 18 Toyota.Points entering playoffs: 2,045Championship: 2015 Career Cup wins: 55 (tied for ninth all time)2019 stats: 4 wins, 13 top-five finishes, 21 top-10sNotable: The regular-season champion, Busch has won on every active track in the series except the Charlotte Motor Speedway “roval,” which will host the third race of the playoffs and the first elimination race. He has six wins at Richmond Raceway (second race), his most at any playoff track.2. Denny HamlinBorn: Nov. 18, 1980, in Tampa, FloridaTeam: Joe Gibbs Racing. Car: No. 11 Toyota.Points entering playoffs: 2,030Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 352019 stats: 4 wins, 13 top-fives, 17 top-10sNotable: Hamlin was the series runner-up in 2010 and finished third twice, in 2006 and 2014. He has won at seven of the 10 playoff tracks during his career, including five victories at Martinsville Speedway, which will host the seventh race of the playoffs.3. Martin Truex Jr.Born: June 29, 1980, in Mayetta, New JerseyTeam: Joe Gibbs Racing. Car: No. 19 Toyota.Points entering playoffs: 2,029Championship: 2017Career Cup wins: 232019 stats: 4 wins, 10 top-fives, 15 top-10sNotable: Truex won four of the 10 playoff races in 2017 en route to his first title. His best playoff track — with three wins — is Dover International Speedway, one of his hometown tracks. Dover hosts the fourth race of the playoffs.4. Kevin HarvickBorn: Dec. 8, 1975, in Bakersfield, CaliforniaTeam: Stewart-Haas Racing. Car: No. 4 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,028Championship: 2014Career Cup wins: 48 (tied for 15th all time)2019 stats: 3 wins, 9 top-fives, 17 top-10sNotable: Harvick has finished in the top three of the final standings in eight of the past 10 years. He has won at least once on every playoff track (except the Charlotte “roval”) but has been absolutely dominant at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, scoring nine wins — most among any driver in NASCAR history. Phoenix hosts the penultimate race of the playoffs.5. Joey LoganoBorn: May 24, 1990, in Middletown, ConnecticutTeam: Team Penske. Car: No. 22 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,028Championship: 2018Career Cup wins: 232019 stats: 2 wins, 10 top-fives, 15 top-10sNotable: Logano won two playoff races last year, including the season finale at Homestead, en route to his first title. His best playoff track is Talladega Superspeedway, where he has won three times. Talladega will host the fifth playoff race.6. Brad KeselowskiBorn: Feb. 12, 1984, in Rochester Hills, Michigan Team: Team Penske. Car: No. 2 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,024Championship: 2012Career Cup wins: 302019 stats: 3 wins, 9 top-fives, 14 top-10sNotable: Keselowski is a master at Talladega with five career wins, including playoff wins in 2014 and 2017. He opened last year’s postseason with a victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he has three career wins and which will again host the first race of the playoffs.7. Chase ElliottBorn: Nov. 28, 1995, in Dawsonville, GeorgiaTeam: Hendrick Motorsports. Car: No. 9 Chevrolet.Points entering playoffs: 2,018Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 52019 stats: 2 wins, 8 top-fives, 11 top-10sNotable: Elliott has made the playoffs every year since he became a full-time Cup driver in 2016, with a best finish of fifth in the 2017 final standings. Elliott has won on three of the 10 playoff tracks, including the playoff races at Dover and Kansas Speedway last season. Kansas hosts the sixth playoff race.8. Kurt BuschBorn: Aug. 4, 1978, in Las VegasTeam: Chip Ganassi Racing. Car: No. 1 Chevrolet.Points entering playoffs: 2,011Championship: 2004Career Cup wins: 312019 stats: 1 win, 5 top-fives, 14 top-10sNotable: Busch was the first driver to win a championship in the playoff era, although the format was much different in 2004. He has now made the playoffs under five team owners (Jack Roush, Roger Penske, Barney Visser, Gene Haas/Tony Stewart and Chip Ganassi). Busch has won twice each at two playoff tracks: Richmond and Martinsville.9. Alex BowmanBorn: April 25, 1993, in Tucson, ArizonaTeam: Hendrick Motorsports. Car: No. 88 Chevrolet.Points entering playoffs: 2,005Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 12019 stats: 1 win, 4 top-fives, 7 top-10sNotable: Bowman broke through with his first Cup win in the 134th race of his career at Chicagoland Speedway on June 30. During a three-race swing in late April to mid-May, he finished runner-up in three consecutive races, all at playoff tracks — Talladega, Dover and Kansas.10. Erik JonesBorn: May 30, 1996, in Byron, MichiganTeam: Joe Gibbs Racing. Car: No. 20 Toyota.Points entering playoffs: 2,005Championships: NoneCareer Cup wins: 22019 stats: 1 win, 9 top-fives, 13 top-10sNotable: Jones qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive year after his rookie season in 2017 and will be aiming to advance beyond the first round for the first time. His two best playoff tracks are Texas Motor Speedway (eighth playoff race), where he has earned three top-fives, and Kansas, where he has scored two.11. Kyle LarsonBorn: July 31, 1992, in Elk Grove, CaliforniaTeam: Chip Ganassi Racing. Car: No. 42 Chevrolet.Points entering playoffs: 2,005Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 52019 stats: 0 wins, 6 top-fives, 12 top-10sNotable: Larson earned a berth in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year and is hoping to improve upon his career-best eighth-place finish in the final standings, accomplished in 2017. Larson has a win at one playoff track — Richmond — but his best playoff track might be Dover, where he has five top-five finishes.12. Ryan BlaneyBorn: Dec. 31, 1993, in Hartford Township, OhioTeam: Team Penske. Car: No. 12 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,004Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 22019 stats: 0 wins, 7 top-fives, 12 top-10sNotable: Blaney was the first driver to win a race on the “roval” — the part road course, part oval at Charlotte — in September 2018. Blaney has also found success on other playoff tracks, with three top-fives at Kansas and two apiece at Texas, Las Vegas and Martinsville.13. William ByronBorn: Nov. 29, 1997, in Charlotte, North Carolina Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Car: No. 24 Chevrolet.Points entering playoffs: 2,001Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 02019 stats: 0 wins, 3 top-fives, 9 top-10sNotable: In his second season in the Cup Series, Byron more than doubled his top-10 finishes from his rookie campaign. Making his playoff debut, the 21-year-old is essentially a wild card on any track, but he has scored top-10 results at Dover, Texas and Phoenix.14. Aric AlmirolaBorn: March 14, 1984, in Fort Walton Beach, FloridaTeam: Stewart-Haas Racing. Car: No. 10 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,001Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 22019 stats: 0 wins, 1 top-five, 10 top-10sNotable: Both of Almirola’s Cup wins have come on restrictor-plate tracks — in the Daytona International Speedway summer race in 2014 and last year’s playoff race at Talladega, where he has finished in the top five three times. He has also recorded two top-five results apiece at Dover, Richmond and Phoenix.15. Clint BowyerBorn: May 30, 1979, in Emporia, KansasTeam: Stewart-Haas Racing. Car: No. 14 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,000Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 102019 stats: 0 wins, 6 top-five, 12 top-10sNotable: Bowyer was the series runner-up in 2012 and finished third in the final standings in 2007. Bowyer has scored wins at three of the 10 playoff tracks, including two apiece at Richmond and Talladega. He’s also run strongly at Martinsville, where he has a victory and six top-five finishes.16. Ryan NewmanBorn: Dec. 8, 1977, in South Bend, IndianaTeam: Roush Fenway Racing. Car: No. 6 Ford.Points entering playoffs: 2,000Championship: NoneCareer Cup wins: 182019 stats: 0 wins, 1 top-five, 9 top-10s.Notable: Newman will be trying to channel 2014, when he rode his winless season and playoff berth all the way to championship race, finishing runner-up to Harvick. Newman has wins at six of the 10 playoff tracks, including three at Dover in the early-to-mid-2000s as a driver for Roger Penske. Newman’s most recent win in the Cup Series came at Phoenix in 2017.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide

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