NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Points Standings and Clinching Scenarios Heading Into the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway

With just two races remaining in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, 14 drivers have clinched their spot in the postseason as Denny Hamlin, Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell, and Aric Almirola worked their way into the 16-driver field this past Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With just two spots remaining, several drivers have a chance to get into the playoffs this Sunday at the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

One of those drivers is Kevin Harvick, who currently sits in ninth place in the standings but has yet to clinch a spot in the Cup Series playoffs. Luckily for him, there are a couple of different scenarios in which he’ll earn a spot in the final 16 and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s won the last three races on Michigan’s two-mile track and four of the last five.

Here’s a quick look at the points standings heading into the Firekeepers Casino 400 and all the NASCAR playoff-clinching scenarios that could play out at Michigan International Speedway this Sunday.

The NASCAR Cup Series points standings heading into the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway

Here’s how the points standings look heading into the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan 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: 953
  2. *Denny Hamlin: 911
  3. *Kyle Busch: 796
  4. *William Byron: 790:
  5. *Chase Elliott: 774
  6. *Joey Logano: 763
  7. *Martin Truex Jr.: 762
  8. *Ryan Blaney: 747
  9. Kevin Harvick: 733
  10. *Brad Keselowski: 696
  11. Tyler Reddick: 666
  12. *Alex Bowman: 653
  13. Austin Dillon: 638
  14. *Kurt Busch: 607
  15. *Christopher Bell: 562
  16. Matt DiBenedetto: 521
  17. Chris Buescher: 520
  18. Ross Chastain: 490
  19. *Michael McDowell: 480
  20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 479
  21. Bubba Wallace: 464
  22. Chase Briscoe: 424
  23. *Aric Almirola: 416
  24. Daniel Suarez: 408
  25. Erik Jones: 408
  26. Ryan Newman: 393
  27. Ryan Preece: 382
  28. Cole Custer: 368
  29. Corey LaJoie: 307
  30. Anthony Alfredo: 234
  31. Josh Bilicki: 130
  32. Quin Houff: 116
  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 Michigan International Speedway

Kevin Harvick crosses the finish line at Michigan International Speedway to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Firekeepers Casino 400
Kevin Harvick crosses the finish line at Michigan International Speedway to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Firekeepers Casino 400 | Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Here’s a quick look at the NASCAR Cup Series playoff-clinching scenarios that could play out at the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

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

If the Firekeepers Casino 400 is won by a repeat winner OR by a driver who has no chance of advancing to the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Kevin Harvick would clinch a spot by being 56 points ahead of the third winless driver in the points standings. If Denny Hamlin wins the race, Harvick would clinch with 44 points.

Kyle Larson can clinch the regular season championship at the Firekeepers Casino 400

While obviously already in the playoffs, Kyle Larson can clinch the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship on Sunday but he will need a little help. Currently 22 points ahead in the standings, Larson will need to be 61 points clear of second place entering next week’s season regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway.

The Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway takes this place this Sunday, August 22, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern and will air on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.

Stats courtesy of NASCAR.com

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