This is the final week before the start of NASCAR’s playoffs and while every driver on the track will want to get a win and an automatic bid into the postseason, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman will be the two to keep an eye on.
As of right now Bowman and Johnson are the last two drivers in, but if a driver without a win this season were to take home the victory Sunday, that would mean one of the two drivers would be going home.
If either driver were to win they would join Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano as the drivers with automatic bids to the playoffs due to victories.
Everyone after Bowman in the standings would have to win to get in. No driver past them can earn their way to the playoffs without a victory. Johnson will not know what he will have to do to fend off Bowman and be automatically safe until after the second stage.
The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard can be seen at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.
Here’s the weekend schedule:
NASCAR at Indianapolis 2018: TV channel and streaming info
Note: All times are ET.
FRIDAY, Sept. 7
1:05-1:55 p.m.: Xfinity Series first practice, NBC Sports App
3:05-3:55 p.m.: Xfinity Series final practice, NBC Sports App
SATURDAY, Sept. 8
10:30-11:20 a.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
11:45 a.m.: NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
1:30-2:20 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
3 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity Series Lilly Diabetes 250 (100 laps, 250 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App
6:15 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Busch Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
SUNDAY, Sept. 9
2 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard (160 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings
Driver Points Behind Leader (Playoff Points)
1. Kyle Busch, N/A (35)
2. Kevin Harvick, -39 (40)
3. Martin Truex, Jr. -155 (27)
4. Kurt Busch, -203 (7)
5. Joey Logano, -220 (8)
6. Brad Keselowski, -253 (9)
7. Kyle Larson, -255 (2)
8. Clint Bowyer, -261 (10)
9. Ryan Blaney, -283 (5)
10. Denny Hamlin, -300 (2)
11. Chase Elliott, -301 (8)
12. Aric Almirola, -357 (1)
13. Erik Jones, -359 (5)
14. Jimmie Johnson, -433 (0)
15. Alex Bowman, -452 (0)
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., -520 (2)
17. Ryan Newman, -535 (0)
18. Austin Dillon, -542 (5)
19. Paul Menard, -545 (1)
20. Daniel Suarez, -551 (0)
21. Jamie McMurray, -574 (0)
22. William Byron, -594 (0)
23. Chris Buescher, -634 (0)
24. AJ Allmendinger, -647 (1)
25. David Ragan, -670 (0)
26. Michael McDowell, -677 (0)
27. Kasey Kahne, -680 (0)
28. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., -681 (0)
29. Ty Dillon, -712 (0)
30. Matt DiBenedetto, -771 (0)
Which Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are racing at Indianapolis?
There are 41 Cup drivers entered in Sunday’s race. Here is the list of participating Cup drivers in alphabetical order by first name:
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.