The 16th of 36 races on the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series schedule and the first of three road course races on the schedule has been completed. That race, the Toyota/Save Mart 350, was completed last Sunday, and it was won by Furniture Row Racingâ€™s Martin Truex Jr.
Truex Jr. entered the 110-lap Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the 10-turn, 1.990-mile (3.203-kilometer) Sonoma Raceway road course in Sonoma, Raceway as one of the six Cup Series drivers who had won at least one of the first 15 races of the season. He was one of the four drivers who had won more than one of those 15 races.
Truex Jr. ended the race having earned his third victory of the season in his #78 Toyota. In doing so, he became the third driver to win at least three races so far this season. Stewart-Haas Racingâ€™s Kevin Harvick has earned five victories in his #4 Ford and Joe Gibbs Racingâ€™s Kyle Busch has earned five victories in his #18 Toyota in 2018 in 2018.
Thanks to Truex Jr.â€™s victory at Sonoma, wins are now guaranteed to automatically qualify drivers for the playoffs barring post-race penalties. There are only six playoff spots that have been clinched so far this season thanks to the fact that only six drivers have won at least one race in 2018, and there are 10 races left in the regular season.
Even if 10 different drivers win the next 10 races, all 10 of those drivers are guaranteed to qualify for the playoffs, thus filling up the 16-driver playoff field.
How did the action from Sonoma Raceway affect the NASCAR Cup Series Driver Power Rankings? Here are the formulated NASCAR Cup Series Driver Power Rankings and the non-formulated NASCAR Cup Series Driver Power Rankings following the first road course race of the 2018 season.
To see how the formulated NASCAR Cup Series Driver Power Rankings are calculated, clickÂ here.