Gallery: The battle to make the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs

Nick DeGroot

15th: Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing +8pts

15th: Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing +8pts <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
15th: Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing +8pts Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

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Clint Bowyer is in the best position of any of the 'bubble' drivers, but it is by no means a comfortable one. He sits just eight points above the cut and considering 10 points can be made up in a single stage alone, he is in no way safe. In 13 starts at IMS, Bowyer has never won but he did finish fifth last year after leading 37 laps.

16th: Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing --

16th: Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing -- <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
16th: Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing -- Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Bowyer's SHR teammate Daniel Suarez currently holds the final spot in the playoffs, but he is tied for that position with Ryan Newman. Suarez would win the tiebreaker between the two drivers (based on a driver's best season race results).

17th: Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing --

17th: Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing -- <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
17th: Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing -- Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Newman, a former Brickyard 400 winner himself, is tied with Suarez for the final position inside the playoffs. The two drivers aren't seeing eye-to-eye entering this race. After getting spun by Suarez at Darlington, Newman hinted at possible retaliation. "What goes around comes around," he said.

18th: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports -18pts

18th: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports -18pts <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
18th: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports -18pts Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to make the playoffs every single year since its introduction in 2004. He is a 7x champion, a 4x winner of the Brickyard 400, but has struggled mightily over the past two years. He has gone winless since June, 2017 at Dover and is on his second crew chief this season.

19th: Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing - Must win

19th: Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
19th: Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing - Must win Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Paul Menard has just one career win and it came right here at Indianapolis. If he wants to be part of the 2019 playoffs, he'll have to do it again as 69 points below the cut line makes it impossible for him to point his way in. Every driver behind him in the standings is in the same must-win scenario. Menard will start Sunday's race from the outside of the front row.

20th: Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing - Must win

20th: Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images</span>
20th: Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing - Must win Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images

Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images

21st: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing - Must win

21st: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
21st: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing - Must win Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

22nd: Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing - Must win

22nd: Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images</span>
22nd: Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing - Must win Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images

Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images

23rd: Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing - Must win

23rd: Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
23rd: Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing - Must win Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

24th: Ty Dillon, Germain Racing - Must win

24th: Ty Dillon, Germain Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
24th: Ty Dillon, Germain Racing - Must win Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

25th: Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing - Must win

25th: Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
25th: Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing - Must win Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

26th: Ryan Preece, JTG Daugherty Racing - Must win

26th: Ryan Preece, JTG Daugherty Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
26th: Ryan Preece, JTG Daugherty Racing - Must win Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

27th: Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports - Must win

27th: Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports - Must win <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
27th: Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports - Must win Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

28th: Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports - Must win

28th: Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports - Must win <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
28th: Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports - Must win Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

29th: Corey LaJoie, Go FAS Racing - Must win

29th: Corey LaJoie, Go FAS Racing - Must win <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
29th: Corey LaJoie, Go FAS Racing - Must win Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

30th: David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports - Must win

30th: David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports - Must win <span class="copyright">Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images</span>
30th: David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports - Must win Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

31st: Matt Tifft, Front Row Motorsports - Must win

31st: Matt Tifft, Front Row Motorsports - Must win <span class="copyright">Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images</span>
31st: Matt Tifft, Front Row Motorsports - Must win Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

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