The NASCAR Cup Series closes its 2021 regular season Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.
The 16th and final Cup playoff spot will be decided. Tyler Reddick holds the spot by 25 points over Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon. They are the only drivers who can clinch that playoff spot on points.
Reddick and Dillon also are among 15 drivers who can clinch the final playoff spot with a win.
Kyle Larson, who starts on pole Saturday, is in position to win the regular season championship. Larson has a 28-point lead over Denny Hamlin.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver can clinch the title by earning 32 points in Saturday’s race. Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, still has a chance to clinch as well but needs help.
Details for Saturday’s Daytona Cup race:
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 7:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 7:45 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at noon … Drivers report to pre-race at 6:45 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 6:50 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Chaplain Juleun Johnson, AdventHealth, at 7:25 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Kelly Kwiatek at 7:26 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 160 laps (400 miles) on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 20
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 50. Stage 2 ends at Lap 100.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 6 p.m., leading into race coverage on NBC at 7 p.m. … Post-race coverage follows on NBCSN at 11 p.m. … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 6 p.m. on mrn.com and will be simulcast on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
FORECAST: Weather Underground’s forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 82 degrees, and a 24% chance of rain around the start of the race.
TO THE REAR: Kyle Larson (multiple inspection failures), Michael McDowell and Anthony Alfredo (rule violation), Corey LaJoie, Kaz Grala and Joey Gase (multiple inspection failures).
STARTING LINEUP: Daytona Cup starting lineup
LAST YEAR: William Byron earned his first career Cup win in last summer’s race at Daytona to secure a playoff spot. Matt DiBenedetto earned the final playoff spot on points with a 12th-place finish.
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