NCS: What to watch for in today’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway

Regular Season Finale: 25 racing events so far this year has produced 15 different winners in the series with the 26th and final event in regular season Chase Elliott has already clinched the regular season championship. Meanwhile, Kurt Busch who won previously this season is now out of the playoffs after suffering a concussion that’s kept him out of the car for several weeks and the team deciding it best to allow further recovery when they announced on Thursday that Kurt would miss the beginning of the playoffs and they would rescind their playoff eligibility waiver. Ty Gibbs will once again be in the seat this weekend at Daytona and next weekend at Darlington.

With Kurt now out this leaves open two spots that Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney had been going for prior when there once but one spot left. Both Blaney and Truex will need help and possibly a win to solidify their spot. Blaney for his part is the defending race winners coming into Daytona this weekend with his Team Penske teammate winning the season opener at Daytona. This is the third year in which Daytona has marked the regular season finale with Richmond and Indianapolis previously serving as the finish.

Clinch information provided by NASCAR Statistics:

Already Clinched

The following 14 drivers have clinched a spot in the 16-driver postseason field: Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs this weekend at Daytona, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ryan Blaney or Martin Truex Jr.

  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch regardless of finish
  • Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch regardless of finish

If there is a new winner from Erik Jones or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the second winless driver in the standings.

  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 31 points
  • Martin Truex Jr.: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone:

  • Ryan Blaney (Average finish at Daytona 18.3)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (21.9)
  • Erik Jones (22.0)
  • Aric Almirola (20.1)
  • Austin Dillon (15.4)
  • Bubba Wallace (12.5)
  • Chris Buescher (22.0)
  • Justin Haley (10.7)
  • Michael McDowell (19.7)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (20.0)
  • Cole Custer (24.4)
  • Brad Keselowski (22.6)
  • Harrison Burton (39.0)
  • Ty Dillon (19.7)
  • Todd Gilliland (33.0)