SONOMA, CALI. — After earning stage points and a top-10 finish at Sonoma, the playoff bubble is now in focus for A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell.
Entering Sonoma, McDowell and Allmendinger chased Daniel Suarez, who held the final playoff spot by six points over Alex Bowman. However, after Sonoma, Bowman now has the spot by three over Suarez.
Regardless, McDowell and Allmendinger scored the fourth and fifth-most points of any driver Sunday. They outscored Suarez by 24 and 23 points, respectively – and Bowman by 15 and 14 points respectively.
Allmendinger and McDowell finished sixth and seventh overall.
McDowell finished fifth and eighth in the stages. Before Sonoma, he was 20th in points, -35 points to a playoff spot. Afterward, he’s 19th, -14 to a playoff spot.
In stage one, Allmendinger finished fourth and earned seven points. Before Sonoma, he was 24th, -53 to a playoff spot. Afterward, he’s 20th, -33 to a spot.
Sunday also marked McDowell’s third top-10 finish of the season and Allmendinger’s second top-10 of the season.
McDowell finished ninth at Gateway last week and sixth at Richmond in April. Meanwhile, Allmendinger’s last top-10 was a sixth-place finish in the February 19 Daytona 500.
PLAYOFF BUBBLE WITH 10 RACES LEFT
IN (13th-16th): Chris Buescher (+102 points), Brad Keselowski (+96), Bubba Wallace (+26), Alex Bowman 331 points (+3)
OUT (17th-28th): Daniel Suarez 328 points (-3), Ty Gibbs (-11), Michael McDowell (-14), A.J. Allmendinger (-33), Austin Cindric (-39), Corey LaJoie (-40), Justin Haley (-47), Todd Gilliland (-52), Ryan Preece (-62), Aric Almirola (-71), Chase Elliott (-84), Austin Dillon (-108)