Heading into the regular season finale at Phoenix, there are tight points battles for several tiers of the playoff bracket.
Bentley Glaser holds a 12 point advantage over Adam Matz for the regular season championship. Jesse Bunnell trails by 23 points, and would need several bounces to go his way to have a shot. The regular season champion is awarded a free pass that can be preserved into the semifinals, which can prove especially valuable.
A Top 3 points finish is also valuable, as it awards a free pass that can be preserved into the second round. Matz holds an 18 point buffer over the cut line and likely is safe, barring disaster. Bunnell can only afford to give up seven points to Tyler Saville and Michael Trevarthen in order to maintain his Top 3 position in points.
A Top 8 points finish guaranteed a spot in the second round, and the competition is fierce for spots in that group. Saville and Trevarthen have nearly clinched a Top 8 finish. Duane Hunt (+8), Johnny Avila (+3) and Hunter Waters (+2) are currently in the final three slots. David Camarra (-2) and Jeff Yenisch (-6) have realistic shots to climb into the Top 8 with a strong showing at Phoenix.
The fight to round out the 16-driver grid is a little more complicated. Camarra, Jeff Yenisch and Steve Yenisch are basically assured playoff berths. Further down the list, Patrick Desaulnier (+15), Mark Jenkins (+13) and Ray Polking (+10) are relatively safe with a Top 15 finish at Phoenix.
The final two spots are currently occupied by Ricki Williams and Charlie Woods, who are both 5 points above the cut line. At 5 points back, Todd Cray is the only driver realistically within striking distance on points.
While out of the running on points, several drivers are eligible to steal a spot in the playoffs by winning at Phoenix. Those include Calum McNicol, Blaine Adams, Brett Adams, Jason Mullis, Jeff Hollingsworth, Darryn Clement, Levi Poland and Kyle Bromir.