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Ryan Blaney makes a move in projected NASCAR playoff lead after FireKeepers Casino 400

There is one race left in the NASCAR regular season. We break down the standings following Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400

Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Cardell Cabinetry Ford, celebrates in the Ruoff Mortgage victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 22, 2021 in Brooklyn, Michigan. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

NASCAR wrapped up its Michigan weekend on Sunday and is headed to Daytona this coming weekend for the final race of the Cup Series regular season. Ryan Blaney won the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, securing the closest win in Michigan International Speedway history. William Byron, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Blaney’s win helped him make the biggest move this week in the Cup Series playoff standings. His position in the top 16 was secure, but this moves him into a projected tie for fifth place. There are no changes in the 16 drivers projected to earn spots in the playoff that opens in two weeks at Darlington.

Kyle Larson remains securely in first place, which is no surprise given his series-leading five race wins and 12 stage wins. He’s on a roll this season and seems a strong bet to win the season-ending points championship.

Here’s what the top 16 looks like with current projected playoff points:

  1. Kyle Larson: 2052
  2. Martin Truex, Jr: 2025
  3. Kyle Busch: 2023
  4. Chase Elliott: 2018
  5. Ryan Blaney: 2018
  6. Alex Bowman: 2015
  7. William Byron: 2015
  8. Denny Hamlin: 2015
  9. Joey Logano: 2012
  10. Brad Keselowski: 2008
  11. Kurt Busch: 2008
  12. Christopher Bell: 2005
  13. Michael Mcdowell: 2005
  14. Aric Almirola: 2005
  15. Tyler Reddick: 2003
  16. Kevin Harvick: 2002

Outside looking in: Austin Dillon, Matt DiBenedetto, Chris Buescher, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ross Chastain