After already amassing more playoff points than any other driver in the regular season by virtue of leading the NASCAR Cup Series in race wins and stage wins, Kyle Larson added yet another 15 playoff points to his tally as a result of capturing the regular season championship last weekend at Daytona. So, Larson begins the playoffs not only as the No. 1 seed in the 16-driver field but also holding a semi-comfortable 28-point lead over Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney who are tied for second in the standings.
More importantly, though, Larson begins the playoffs with a 47-point buffer on the driver who, as the standings are now, would be the first of four to be eliminated after three races. Larson’s 52 playoff points, which are transferable from one round to the next, are bound to come in handy — especially if he has a really bad race during one of the rounds. The only round to which the playoff points won’t transfer, of course, is the season finale at Phoenix Raceway where four drivers will arrive with equal points and race straight up for the title.
In the meantime, though, Larson is certainly thankful to have such a healthy cushion, which is a true testament to the success enjoyed by the Hendrick Motorsports driver and his No. 5 team during the 26-race regular season when they went to Victory Lane a series-high five times, recorded 14 top-five finishes, posted 18 top-10 finishes, and led 1,566 laps.