Heading into the final race of the 2021 regular season for the NASCAR Cup Series, the Playoffs standings show all but one spot clinched.
The 16th and final driver to clinch a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will do so Saturday night in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Daytona International Speedway.
RELATED: NASCAR Playoffs clinching scenarios
With a series-high five victories and 12 stage wins thus far in 2021, Kyle Larson leads the NASCAR Playoffs standings over Denny Hamlin in second place, Kyle Busch in third, William Byron in fourth and defending champion Chase Elliott in fifth entering Daytona.
On the other end of the grid is Tyler Reddick, who enters Saturday night with a 25-point edge over his Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon for the 16th and final NASCAR Playoffs spot.
Either driver would clinch with a win. But if Daytona produces a repeat winner on the season — or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs — Reddick would need at least 31 points to clinch his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Dillon, on the other hand, would need help to clinch.
Below are the complete NASCAR Playoffs standings ahead of the regular-season finale, including the list of drivers who have already clinched spots.
NASCAR Playoffs standings
Below are the NASCAR Playoffs standings heading into the Cup Series’ regular-season finale at Daytona.
Note: The drivers locked in are listed first.
|Season standings rank||Driver||Season points||Cutoff||Wins bonus||Stage wins||Regular-season bonus||Playoffs reset||Projected Playoffs Points|
|1.||Kyle Larson||1004||Locked In||25||12||15||2000||2,052|
|2.||Denny Hamlin||976||Locked In||0||5||10||2000||2,015|
|3.||Kyle Busch||838||Locked In||10||5||8||2000||2,023|
|4.||William Byron||833||Locked In||5||3||7||2000||2,015|
|5.||Chase Elliott||820||Locked In||10||2||6||2000||2,018|
|6.||Martin Truex Jr.||789||Locked In||15||5||5||2000||2,025|
|7.||Ryan Blaney||787||Locked In||10||4||4||2000||2,018|
|8.||Joey Logano||772||Locked In||5||4||3||2000||2,012|
|9.||Kevin Harvick||756||Locked In||0||0||2||2000||2,002|
|10.||Brad Keselowski||729||Locked In||5||2||1||2000||2,008|
|12.||Alex Bowman||674||Locked In||15||0||0||2000||2,015|
|14.||Kurt Busch||643||Locked In||5||3||0||2000||2,008|
|15.||Christopher Bell||595||Locked In||5||0||0||2000||2,005|
|19.||Michael McDowell||497||Locked In||5||0||0||2000||2,005|
|23.||Aric Almirola||436||Locked In||5||0||0||2000||2,005|
|18.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||504||-173||0||0||0|
Who has clinched a spot in Cup Series Playoffs?
Below is the list of 15 drivers who have already clinched spots in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
All but two have clinched with race victories; Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have clinched on points.
|Projected playoff points rank
(among those locked in)
|1||Kyle Larson||Win (5)|
|2||Martin Truex Jr.||Win (3)|
|3||Kyle Busch||Win (2)|
|4||Chase Elliott||Win (2)|
|5||Ryan Blaney||Win (2)|
|6||Alex Bowman||Win (3)|
|7||William Byron||Win (1)|
|9||Joey Logano||Win (1)|
|10||Brad Keselowski||Win (1)|
|11||Kurt Busch||Win (1)|
|12||Christopher Bell||Win (1)|
|13||Michael McDowell||Win (1)|
|14||Aric Almirola||Win (1)|
Clinch scenarios for regular-season finale at Daytona
NASCAR Cup Series races at Daytona are known for their unpredictability, so the 15 drivers who could clinch the 16th and final NASCAR Playoffs spot with a win will be hoping to do just that Saturday.
The following are the drivers who would clinch a NASCAR Playoffs spot with a win in the regular-season finale at Dayona.
- 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
Reddick and Dillon are the only two drivers who can clinch the last NASCAR Playoffs spot without a win at Daytona.
If a repeat race winner (or a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs) takes the checkered flag Saturday night, Reddick or Dillon could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings.
In that case, Reddick would clinch with 31 points earned at Daytona. Dillon could only clinch with help.
The same point requirements would hold true if a new win were to come from Hamlin or Harvick.