All three of NASCAR’s prime divisions, together with the ARCA Menards Sequence, shall be in motion this weekend with the regular-season finale for the Cup Sequence within the highlight on Saturday evening.
After an aggressive schedule over the summer time months to make-up the missed races because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daytona Worldwide Speedway is about to assist decide the 16-driver Playoff subject.
Saturday evening’s Coke Zero 400 (MRN, 6 p.m. ET) will mark the primary time within the period of the Playoffs the place Daytona will host the 26th race of the season. Indianapolis Motor Speedway beforehand helped decide the post-season subject the final two seasons with Richmond Raceway internet hosting the figuring out race within the yr’s prior.
13 drivers are locked in with 10 primarily based on wins. That leaves three spots with Clint Bowyer (+57) needing simply three to clinch on factors. Matt DiBenedetto (+9) and William Byron (+4) at the moment are the ultimate two.
“I’m going to take a seat and hope and pray all week that we will simply come out of there clear and make the Playoffs,” DiBenedetto mentioned. “We shouldn’t be this near the bubble. It’s irritating.
“We must go to Daytona and do one of the best job we will. We have now actually good teammates, and the Fords are quick.”
Jimmie Johnson is at the moment on the skin trying in as he appears to make the Playoffs in his ultimate season as a full-time driver. He trails his teammate Byron by solely 4 factors for 16th.
“You recognize, on the finish of the day for the 24 automobile, I want them one of the best,” Johnson mentioned. “They’re my teammates. That automobile and that quantity, Chad Knaus, William Byron, they’re mates, they’re teammates, and now that I do know there’s a path in for each of us, perhaps I’ll cease considering so many dangerous ideas about these guys and perhaps we will each get in.”
Together with maintaining a tally of the factors one other factor that might shake up the Playoff standings is that if somebody might win that’s on the skin. Whereas Johnson is shut on factors, there are a selection of drivers on the skin deep in factors which have beforehand gained at Daytona – Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth. Jones gained the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in 2018 and goes to Daytona 50 factors behind Byron.
“We technically might level our means in however that may be a means lengthy shot,” Jones mentioned. “The mentality is that we’ve acquired to win the race.”
Pole sitter and regular-season champion Kevin Harvick is one among seven energetic winners of the Daytona summer time race.
Harvick is one among 4 drivers that completed within the prime 10 within the two races at Daytona and Talladega this season. Blaney, the winner at Talladega, Hamlin the Daytona 500 winner, and Chris Buescher are the others.
The race weekend at Daytona will kick off with Friday evening’s Xfinity Sequence Wawa 250 Powered By Coca-Cola (MRN, 7 p.m. ET).
JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson gained the season opener at Daytona and Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley, who gained final yr’s Coke Zero 400, took the victory at Talladega.
Michael Annett and Ross Chastain be a part of Gragson because the earlier Daytona winners within the subject.
“The final time we ran the oval at Daytona was among the best days of my racing profession,” mentioned Gragson, who’s at the moment third within the projected Playoff standings with 5 races left within the common season. “JR Motorsports has all the time been nice on superspeedways and I do know that’s not going to alter this weekend.”
Together with Daytona on Saturday evening, the Motor Racing Community can even be at World Extensive Expertise Raceway at Gateway for the ARCA Menards Sequence Dutch Boy 150 with the published beginning at 6 p.m. ET. It is going to be the primary of two races on the 1.25-mile monitor with the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Sequence competing on Sunday within the CarShield 200 introduced by CK Energy (11:30 a.m. ET).
Three races stay within the Gander Vehicles common season earlier than the Spherical of 10 for the Playoffs is about.
There are not any earlier winners within the subject and the race will mark the third and ultimate race within the Triple Truck Problem. Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith took dwelling the $50,000 bonus for profitable at Daytona (Highway Course) and Dover, respectively. If one among them can win on Sunday the $50,000 can be doubled for profitable two of the three races in this system.
With Smith scoring his second victory of the season final weekend, 5 drivers stay locked into the Playoffs on wins.
“I’m pumped to go to Gateway,” Smith mentioned. “It’s the place I made my first truck begin with Bono. We had a prime 5 then and the aim is to duplicate that this yr and compete for a win. We’ve acquired two wins, however nonetheless wish to attempt to capitalize on stage factors and go after one other win to assist our place as soon as playoffs begin. Capturing that further $100,000 within the final spherical of ‘the Journey’ to go together with our win from Dover can be fairly candy.”