Points after Cup race at Richmond: Denny Hamlin in danger zone

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RICHMOND, Va. — Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer will need to race their way into the next round of the playoffs in the most unpredictable race of the season.

Those four drivers are outside the top 12 in the standings after Saturday night’s race at Richmond Raceway heading into the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course race next Sunday.

Ryan Blaney is clinging to the final provisional spot at 12th in the standings, four points ahead of Bowyer. Hamlin is 29 points behind Blaney in 16th and virtually needs a win to advance.

Three drivers have clinched berths: Richmond winner Kyle Busch, Las Vegas winner Brad Keselowski and points leader Martin Truex Jr. (who will advance on points). Third-ranked Kevin Harvick, who is 56 points ahead of the cut line, is virtually safe.

Click here for the points standings after the second playoff race of 2018.