The NASCAR Cup Series had an unprecedented 13 different drivers win at least one race this season.

With the “win and you’re in” format for the playoffs, that left little room for other drivers to earn their way into the first round of the playoffs set to begin September 4 at Darlington Raceway for theSouthern 500.

After leading in the point standings most of the season, Denny Hamlin clinched his spot on points at the end of the road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After the race at Michigan, Kevin Harvick secured himself a spot in the playoffs based on points.

And after a late race pile up in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway to end the regular season, Austin Dillon was knocked out of the race…and a chance at the playoffs that went to Richard Childress Racing team mate Tyler Reddick.

Leading the way with five race wins this season, Kyle a Larson has been named the regular season champion and earns an additional 15 bonus points going into the playoffs.

The remainder of the 16 playoff drivers are:

Ryan Blaney

Martin Truex Jr

Kyle Busch

Chase Elliott

Alex Bowman

William Byron

Joey Lugano

Brad Keselowski

Kurt Busch

Christopher Bell

Michael McDowell

and Aric Almirola

The 16 playoff drivers have had their point totals reset to 2,000 points plus any bonus points earned from stage and race wins. All playoffs points earned carry over to the next round as long as the driver moves on until the final race of the season when a champion is crowned.

Each round is three races with the four drivers having the lowest number of points being eliminated from the playoffs.

The NASCAR playoff system is unlike any other sport; all of the drivers continue to run in the races and compete for the wins not just the playoff drivers.

The “final four” are the top four drivers from the round of eight; those four drivers compete, along with the rest of the field, in the final race of the season at Phoenix Raceway and the driver who finishes in the highest position wins the championship. A driver does not have to be the race winner to be crowned the champion.