NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Points Standings and Clinching Scenarios Heading Into the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway

With just one race remaining in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, 15 drivers have clinched their spot in the postseason as Kevin Harvick worked his way into the 16-driver field this past Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. With just one spot remaining, 15 drivers can nab it with a victory this Saturday at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, two of whom can also earn the spot via points. And let’s not forget about the two-man race for the regular-season title.

Here’s a quick look at the points standings heading into the season finale and all the playoff scenarios that could play out at Daytona this weekend.

The NASCAR Cup Series points standings heading into the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway

Here’s how the points standings look heading into the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Those in bold have won at least one race this season, and those with an asterisk have already qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

  1. *Kyle Larson: 1,004
  2. *Denny Hamlin: 976
  3. *Kyle Busch: 838
  4. *William Byron: 833
  5. *Chase Elliott: 820
  6. *Martin Truex Jr.: 789
  7. *Ryan Blaney: 787
  8. *Joey Logano: 772
  9. *Kevin Harvick: 756
  10. *Brad Keselowski: 729
  11. Tyler Reddick: 677
  12. *Alex Bowman: 674
  13. Austin Dillon: 652
  14. *Kurt Busch: 643
  15. *Christopher Bell: 595
  16. Matt DiBenedetto: 557
  17. Chris Buescher: 542
  18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 504
  19. *Michael McDowell: 497
  20. Ross Chastain: 492
  21. Bubba Wallace: 482
  22. Chase Briscoe: 450
  23. *Aric Almirola: 436
  24. Erik Jones: 427
  25. Daniel Suarez: 423
  26. Ryan Newman: 406
  27. Ryan Preece: 398
  28. Cole Custer: 382
  29. Corey LaJoie: 307
  30. Anthony Alfredo: 237
  31. Josh Bilicki: 136
  32. Quin Houff: 123
  33. James Davison: 109
  34. Jamie McMurray: 30
  35. Scott Heckert: 20
  36. Mike Marlar: 6
  37. Chris Windom: 4
  38. David Ragan: 4
  39. R.C. Enerson: 3
  40. Shane Golobic: 1
  41. Ryan Eversley: 1
  42. Derrike Cope: 1

NASCAR Cup Series playoffs clinching scenarios at Daytona International Speedway

Denny Hamlin wins the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway
Denny Hamlin wins the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway | Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Here’s a quick look at the NASCAR Cup Series playoff-clinching scenarios that could play out at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Drivers who would clinch with a victory
  • Tyler Reddick
  • Austin Dillon
  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Chris Buescher
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Ross Chastain
  • Bubba Wallace
  • Chase Briscoe
  • Erik Jones
  • Daniel Suarez
  • Ryan Newman
  • Ryan Preece
  • Cole Custer
  • Anthony Alfredo
  • Corey LaJoie
Drivers who can clinch via points

If the Coke Zero Sugar 400 has a repeat winner or is won by a driver who can’t advance to the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Tyler Reddick or Austin Dillon could clinch the final spot by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings. Reddick would clinch with 31 points, while Dillon would need help. The same holds true if Denny Hamlin or Kevin Harvick wins at Daytona, as both have already clinched a spot in the playoffs on points.

Only Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin can win the regular season title at the Coke Zero Sugar 400

As the two have been at the top of the NASCAR Cup Series standings pretty much all season long, it’s quite fitting that only Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin can clinch the regular-season title at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Currently 28 points ahead in the standings, Larson would clinch with 32 points while Hamlin would need some help.

The regular-season finale begins this Saturday, August 28, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and will air on NBC and the NBC Sports app.

Stats courtesy of NASCAR.com

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