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Chris Buescher falls to final Cup playoff spot after Alex Bowman wins at Chicago

CHICAGO — Alex Bowman’s victory in Sunday’s Chicago Street Race dropped Chris Buescher to the final playoff spot with six races left in the regular season.

“We didn’t need another (new) winner,” Buescher told NBC Sports after finishing 20th. “But it’s not going to change how we approach our weeks. We’re going to the next handful of racetracks with the same mindset, the same way to figure out how to try to win another one of these things.

“It will make the points thing harder if it comes down to that, but it absolutely will not affect how we go about the next few weeks.”

MORE: Cup driver points after Chicago

Bowman became the 12th different winner this season, leaving four spots via points.

Those four drivers in a playoff spot who have yet to win this season are Martin Truex Jr. (601 points), Ty Gibbs (560), Ross Chastain (529) and Buescher (521).

Buescher won at Richmond, Michigan and Daytona last season. All three are among the final six races in the regular season.

Buescher is in this place after losing to Kyle Larson by a NASCAR-record .001 seconds at Kansas in May. Buescher was leading with 10 laps left Darlington the following week when contact from Tyler Reddick sent Buescher’s car into the wall and a 30th-place finish.

Buescher leaves Chicago with a 45-point lead on Bubba Wallace, the first driver outside a playoff spot. Should a driver outside a playoff spot win, then Buescher could be outside a playoff spot.