What Does Justin Haley's Win at Daytona Mean for the Playoffs? - Predictions and Odds

What Does Justin Haley’s Win at Daytona Mean for the Playoffs?

There was a general feeling that the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series had been too predictable.

It wasn’t too far off the mark, as this year’s championship has lacked in variety.

Last season had 11 different race winners over the course of the year.

Until Chicago, 2019 had featured only six winners.

The unpredictability factor had disappeared, as no drivers outside the top 7 in points had won races.

Chicago and Daytona, however, provided the shakeup this season needed.

Alex Bowman scored his first career victory at Chicago.

The following weekend at Daytona, Justin Haley produced an absolute shocker.

The Xfinity Series regular won the red-flagged round in only his second-ever Cup Series start.

Since Haley doesn’t even score points for the Cup Series championship, he naturally won’t be eligible for the playoffs.

His win, however, made the message quite clear for the top 16 in the points standings.

The threat of an underdog is always around.

At any moment, one of the drivers in the bubble could get bumped out by an unexpected winner.

How to Watch

What: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH

When: Sunday, July 21st at 3:00 PM EST

How: NBC Sports (TV) | Performance Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App

How the Underdogs Have Shaped Up the Postseason Field

NASCAR introduced the playoff format in 2014, replacing the previous Chase.

That year, two drivers first-time winners provided upsets and made their way into the postseason.

Aric Almirola won a rain-shortened race at Daytona, while A.J. Allmendinger scored a road course victory at Watkins Glen.

Neither made it past the first round, with Almirola finishing last among the playoff contenders in 16th.

That year saw a record number of four drivers outside the top 16 make their way into the postseason.

Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, and Paul Menard got bumped out of the bubble.

The following year was marked by an interesting storyline.

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch suffered a broken leg while racing in the Xfinity Series opener at Daytona.

The Joe Gibbs driver was then forced to sit out the first 11 races.

Busch won in his fourth start after coming back but had to race into the top 30 to qualify.

He ultimately achieved the feat, bumping Almirola out of the top 16.

While far from being an underdog, Busch would make good use of the new format.

With the playing field getting reset during the postseason, he advanced through all three rounds.

Then, in one of the most controversial episodes in recent NASCAR history, the Joe Gibbs driver won the 2015 championship.

In other words, Busch took the trophy despite missing nearly a third of the schedule.

In 2016, two drivers outside the top 16 advanced to the postseason by winning races.

One of them was Tony Stewart, the three-time champion missing eight races at the start of that season.

Stewart went on to score what turned out to be his final career victory at Sonoma, securing his spot.

Chris Buescher

The other driver was a proper underdog, as Chris Buescher scored what remains as his only Cup Series win.

The reigning Xfinity Series champion back then, Buescher won a dramatic race at Pocono.

He had stayed out as rain began to fall but nearly ran out of fuel as NASCAR delayed the red flag.

Buescher hung on to win, and then fought his way into the top 30 to advance.

That year, Hendrick’s Kasey Kahne turned out to be the big name bumped out of the field.

Joey Logano

In 2017, it was Team Penske’s Joey Logano who found himself outside the top 16.

Logano had scored a win at Richmond but failed the post-race inspection.

The Team Penske driver did not manage to score a second victory and ultimately got bumped out by two-time winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

While Haley’s win does not present an immediate threat, it better turn on the warning sign for drivers sitting just inside the bubble.

2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Championship Odds

If you are in New Jersey, visit 888Sport to bet on the Cup Series Championship Winner. Here are the latest odds. Good luck!

Driver Winner (1-3) Link
Busch, Kyle +250 -167 Bet Now
Truex Jr. Martin +400 +100 Bet Now
Harvick, Kevin +600 +150 Bet Now
Keselowski, Brad +750 +185 Bet Now
Eliott, Chase +800 +200 Bet Now
Logano, Joey +800 +200 Bet Now
Hamlin, Denny +1400 +350 Bet Now
Johnson, Jimmie +1500 +375 Bet Now
Larson, Kyle +1800 +450 Bet Now
Bowman, Alex +2000 +500 Bet Now
Busch, Kurt +2000 +500 Bet Now
Blaney, Ryan +2500 +600 Bet Now
Bowyer, Clint +2500 +600 Bet Now
Jones, Erik +3300 +800 Bet Now
Almirola, Aric +4000 +1000 Bet Now
Byron, William +6000 +1500 Bet Now
Dillon, Austin +10000 +2500 Bet Now

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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