The NASCAR Cup Series travels down to Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night for the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Fifteen drivers are vying for one final spot in the Cup Series playoffs, which will be decided in Saturday’s race.
Teammates Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon are the only two drivers who can race into the playoffs on points. Reddick has a 25-point advantage over Dillon going into Saturday.
The following drivers must win the race to clinch a playoff spot:Â Matt DiBenedetto,Â Chris Buescher,Â Ricky Stenhouse Jr.,Â Ross Chastain,Â Bubba Wallace,Â Chase Briscoe,Â Erik Jones,Â Daniel Suarez,Â Ryan Newman,Â Ryan Preece,Â Cole Custer,Â Anthony Alfredo, andÂ Corey LaJoie.
Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin are also fighting for the regular-season points title. Larson leads by 28 points; however, Hamlin still has a chance to make up ground as he’s excellent at driving at Daytona. The winner of the regular season gets an additional 15 playoff points.
Saturday’s race is expected to last 160 laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway with stage breaks at laps 50 and 100. Horsepower has been reduced to 450hp from 510hp for the race in an attempt to slow the cars down 7-10mph. Speeds should top off around 190-192mph. The wicker on the rear spoiler has also been removed for safety.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and William Byron will start on the front row of the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Ryan Blaney, last week’s winner, starts 6th.
The entire starting lineup is below:
|Starting Position||Driver||Car Number||Team|
|7||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Gibbs|
|9||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers|
|12||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty|
|13||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway|
|17||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress|
|18||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row|
|21||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty|
|23||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway|
|24||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty|
|27||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress|
|30||BJ McLeod||78||Live fast|
|31||Cody Ware||51||Rick Ware|
|32||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row|
|34||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware|
|36||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware|
|37||Joey Gase||15||Rick Ware|
|39||Landon Cassill||96||Gaunt Brothers|