Tonight marks the end of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series regular season. The final race, the Coke Zero Sugar 400, will take place at Daytona International Speedway, and all the playoff spots have been clinched except for one. Fans will be able to watch the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on NBC at 7 p.m. ET.
Tyler Reddick currently holds the 16th and final spot in the playoffs but only has a 25-point lead over Austin Dillon. According to NASCAR.com, Reddick needs at least 31 points to clinch the spot while Dillon would need some help. Either driver would clinch if they win the race on Saturday night. The interesting about this battle is Reddick and Dillon are teammates as both compete for Richard Childress Racing.
One spot remains.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 28, 2021
“Anything I do to help him, hurts me. Anything he does to help me, hurts him. So, we really can’t work together at all, unfortunately,” Reddick said this week. “At the end of the day, I still want an RCR car to be in the playoffs over anybody else, obviously. And he feels the exact same way about that. But for him to do everything for his team to get into the playoffs, he can’t be helping the 8 and I can’t be helping the 3. It’s kind of a weird spot.
“But, for sure, I know where he stands because I’m the same way. We want an RCR car to be in the playoffs this year. It’s just a difficult place to be in because we’re obviously not going to go out there and screw each other over because neither one of us will make the playoffs potentially if someone new wins. It’s just a very complex situation.”
Another interesting battle is who will win the Cup Series Regular Season Championship? Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin have been the top two drivers virtually all summer. Larson leads Hamlin by 28 points, but Hamlin has been one of the more consistent drivers all year and is looking for his first Cup Series race victory in 2021.
“With a playoff spot still available, I’m sure it’s going to be intense.,” Larson said. “(Second place in standings) Denny (Hamlin) runs well at Daytona, so I am glad we have a bit of a cushion in the points. But that lead can be gone in an instant, so I hope to avoid all the craziness and have a good solid finish.”