Even if there is a new winner this Saturday at Daytona, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski’s playoff hopes will be unaffected.
Both past NASCAR Cup Series champions needed a repeat winner or playoff-ineligible winner to lock into the playoffs Sunday at Watkins Glen.
With William Byron winning, they got it.
For Brad Keselowski, this is his first playoff berth since 2021 and his first as an owner-driver for RFK Racing.
“We’re really excited to get both RFK cars into the NASCAR Playoffs starting here in two weeks,” Keselowski said. “We’re in a great spot with the best yet to come. We have really strong momentum – and we can’t take that for granted – but we’re showing a lot of speed and clicking when it counts.”
Keselowski has earned the sixth-most points among the competition. He also has 5 Top-5 finishes and 10 Top-10s.
In the win column is a big “0”, calling Keselowski back to his last Cup Series win at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2021. At 77 races, he is on the longest winless streak of his career.
For Harvick, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver will be making his 17th appearance in the playoffs and 14th consecutive berth.
Harvick, who won twice last year, is entering Daytona with a 37-race winless streak. That dates back to Richmond Raceway last August.
“I wish we could have won a race before now,” said Harvick, who is 10th in points with 6 Top-5 finishes and 11 Top-10s.
“We’ve had our opportunities to win a few. We struggled on the road courses but, other than that, it’s been okay. We just need to get our cars running better to really do anything.”
Harvick finished 21st at Watkins Glen. Meanwhile, Keselowski finished 15th.
Heading into the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona this Saturday, Harvick and Keselowski are past winners of the race.
Harvick won in 2010, three years after becoming a Daytona 500 champion, while Keselowski won in 2016.
The 400-mile regular-season finale goes green just after 7 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.