Week 28 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Buescher wins Daytona, Wallace locks in, Byron holds P1

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readAug 27, 2023

26 August 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

DAYTONA BEACH, FL — With a huge push from teammate/owner Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher wins the regular season finale at Daytona and will enter the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs fresh off his 3rd win of 2023. A late crash sent the race into NASCAR Overtime where the RFK Fords would do battle with the Hendrick Chevrolets with Chase Elliott in P4 and teammate Alex Bowman on his rear bumper ready to push the 9 car to victory. They never got the chance.

Buescher nailed the restart with Keselowski pushing from behind — the two RFK Racing Ford Mustangs opened up a gap on the field and never looked back- leading the 2 Overtime laps and securing the victory.

Chris Buescher, driver of the №17 Fifth Third Bank Ford, crosses the finish line ahead of Brad Keselowski, driver of the №6 King’s Hawaiian Ford, to win the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. (Image Credit: Chris Graythen- Getty Images)

(Cup Series Playoffs 16 Driver Algorithm)

Willaim Byron’s 8th place finish at Daytona allows him to hold the top spot as we enter the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. However, Martin Truex Jr’s consistency throughout the season secured him the regular season championship (worth valuable Playoff points). Denny Hamlin’s rough night did not impact his P3 position, but with the win, Chris Buescher jumps up 3 spots to P4, Larson P5, Bell P6, Busch P7, Chastain P8, Keselowski jumps up to P9, and Ryan Blaney is P10.

Week 28 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings (Image Credit: Go Full Throttle Digital)

Another story line heading into the race was Bubba Wallace (23XI Racing — Toyota) and if he could hold onto the 16th and final Playoff spot- and he did with a 12th place finish. Wallace somehow avoided the “Big One” which included a number of his fellow Toyota drivers, and brought home the 23 car locked into the 16th and final spot of championship contenders.

Bubba Wallace, driver of the №23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota, exits his car after the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. (Image Credit: Alejandro Alvarez- NASCAR Studios)

Ryan Preece Crash

(AP) — NASCAR driver Ryan Preece, whose car rolled about a dozen times during a terrifying crash at Daytona International Speedway, was on his way home about 12 hours later after being discharged from a hospital Sunday.

Stewart-Haas Racing said Preece was headed back to North Carolina after getting clearance from doctors at Halifax Health Medical Center. The team earlier said Preece was “awake, alert and mobile” and “had been communicating with family and friends.”

Ryan Preece barrel rolls along the back stretch during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Don Howard)


Week 28 GFT Manufacturers Box Scores after the Coke Zero Sugas 400 at Daytona (Image Credit: Go Full Throttle Digital)

Chevrolet = 15
Toyota = 8
Ford = 8
Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams with 9 wins

Up Next:
Cook Out Southern 500 from Darlington (Sunday September 3, 6pm ET)

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association