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BRISTOL — Alex Bowman made a big jump and William Byron made the cut.

Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell did not.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday was the final NASCAR Cup Series playoff race with 16 drivers in the postseason chase.

Only 12 drivers remain in the NASCAR playoffs as the circuit heads to Las Vegas next weekend.

Byron made the field of 12, making the 12th spot by two points after finishing third in the race.

With the strong finish, Byron jumped from 15th to 12th in the points for the championship.

Bowman finished fifth in the race and jumped from a 12th-place tie with Kurt Busch to ninth in the points standings.

Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch had tough nights, but still managed to stay in the playoff field.

Bell dropped to 10th from eighth in the points after placing 29th. Kyle Busch finished 21th and dropped from 10th to 11th in the points.


Almirola, who experienced mechanical problems early in the race, finished 18th in the Bristol race and finished out of the playoff field by two points, along with Tyler Reddick, who also finished two points off the playoff cut.

Kurt Busch fell behind early and never could get in the spot he wanted.

He finished the night in 19th place and fell six points out of the top-12 playoff field.

McDowell — this year’s Daytona 500 winner — was out of contention early and finished 24th in the race, knocking him out of the playoff field.

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