NASCAR championship race: Updated Cup points standings, drivers, schedule

NASCAR’s Championship 4 field will be set following Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at the Phoenix International Speedway, but the points standings entering the weekend were far from decided, especially following the controversial penalty that cost Kevin Harvick his automatic bid.

Seven drivers, including Harvick, have a shot at the final three spots at next weekend’s Monster Energy Cup Series championship race in Miami.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know as NASCAR enters the home stretch of its 2018 season.

Which drivers have clinched a championship berth?

Joey Logano became the first driver to secure his spot in the championship round. The No. 22 driver scored a controversial win at the Round of 8 opener at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 29 after holding off a late charge from Martin Truex Jr., who was none too pleased about the  Logano wouldn’t win the Championship. 

On Nov. 4, Kevin Harvick led for 177 of the 337 laps at the AAA Texas 500 and pulled off the overtime victory. But Harvick was stripped of his automatic Championship 4 berth and docked 40 points after it was revealed the No. 4 car failed inspection following the race, leaving three spots in NASCAR’s final four up for grabs ar the the Can-Am 500 on Nov. 11. The Championship 4 race will take place at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18.

2018 NASCAR playoff points standings

1. Joey Logano* (4,119 points)

2. Kyle Busch (4,128)

3. Martin Truex Jr. (4,125)

4. Kevin Harvick (4,103)

5. Kurt Busch -3 (4,100)

6. Chase Elliot -17 (4,086)

7. Eric Almirola -35 (4,068)

8. Clint Bowyer -51 (4,052)

*Clinched automatic berth in Championship 4

(Updated Nov. 10)

2018 NASCAR championship race rules

There will be stage racing at Homestead on Nov. 18. Points will not be awarded to drivers finishing in the top 10 of each stage; the highest-placing Championship 4 driver at the end of the 400-mile race will be crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion.

2018 NASCAR playoff TV schedule 

Sunday, Nov. 11 — Semifinals at Phoenix International Raceway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Sunday, Nov. 18 — Championship 4 at Homestead -Miami Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)