With an abundance of late battles, drama and tempers flaring around every corner, Kyle Larson took advantage of a late dust-up between teammate Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick to overtake Harvick with three laps remaining and drive away to win the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 18.
Larson, who had clinched his spot to the Round of 12 in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs coming into the event, claimed his sixth victory of the season as he is one of 12 competitors who will continue to pursue the 2021 Cup title in the following Playoff round.
The starting lineup was based on a performance metric formula, weighing the driver’s and owner’s results from a previous Cup event, the owner points position and the fastest lap recorded from a previous Cup race. With that, Martin Truex Jr., winner of last weekend’s Playoff event at Richmond Raceway, started on pole position and was joined on the front row with teammate Denny Hamlin.
When the green flag waved and the race commenced, Truex flew away with the lead on the outside lane and proceeded to lead the first lap. Behind, Chase Elliott moved into second while Joey Logano battled Hamlin for third.
Through the first five laps of the event, Truex was out in front by a tenth of a second over Elliott while Hamlin, Logano and Christopher Bell were in the top five. Behind, Kyle Busch retained 10th ahead of Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola and William Byron.
A lap later, Elliott muscled his No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to the lead over Truex’s No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry.
By Lap 10, Elliott stretched ahead with the lead by half a second over Truex while Hamlin, Logano and Kyle Larson were in the top five. Brad Keselowski was in sixth followed by Kevin Harvick, Bell, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney. By then, all 16 Playoff competitors were in the top 20, with Kurt Busch mired in mid-pack.
Ten laps later, Elliott continued to lead by six-tenths of a second over runner-up Hamlin and by two seconds over third-place Logano. Larson and Keselowski were in fourth and fifth followed by Harvick while Truex fell back to seventh. Blaney, Kyle Busch and Bell were in the top 10 while Alex Bowman, teammate William Byron, Aric Almirola and Michael McDowell were in the top 15. Tyler Reddick and Kurt Busch were in 17th and 22nd.
Another 10 laps later, Elliott stabilized his advantage to four-tenths of a second over Hamlin while Larson trailed by nearly two seconds in third. Meanwhile, Logano fell back to sixth behind Harvick and Truex continued to fall back in 10th in between teammate Bell and Bowman.
When the competition caution flew on Lap 40, Elliott remained in the lead over Hamlin and Larson.
Under the competition caution, the leaders pitted and Elliott retained the lead ahead of Hamlin, Larson, Keselowski, Harvick and Truex.
When the race restarted on Lap 48, Elliott retained the lead following a strong start on the outside lane while teammate Larson also retained the runner-up spot ahead of Hamlin, Keselowski and Harvick. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch muscled his way to sixth followed by Ryan Blaney and the field.
Through the first 60 laps of the event, Elliott was leading by nearly half a second over Hamlin, who managed to overtake Larson earlier for the runner-up spot. Keselowski and Harvick were in the top five followed by Blaney, Byron, Kyle Busch, Truex and Bowman while Bell, Reddick, Aric Almirola, McDowell, Kurt Busch and Logano were in 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 21st and 23rd. Meanwhile, Austin Dillon was the highest non-title contender in 11th while Erik Jones was in 14th and rookie Chase Briscoe was in 16th. In addition, Ross Chastain, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt DiBenedetto were in the top 20 while Ryan Newman was in 22nd.
Fifteen laps later, Elliott continued to lead by two-tenths of a second over teammate Larson, who overtook Hamlin earlier and was slowly pursuing his Hendrick Motorsports’ teammate for the top spot.
Another nine laps later, Larson used the lapped car of David Starr to overtake teammate Elliott and take the lead. Shortly after, Hamlin moved his No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry into the runner-up spot. Behind, Keselowski retained fourth ahead of Harvick, Blaney, Byron, Kyle Busch, Truex and Austin Dillon.
On Lap 91, Hamlin emerged as the fourth different leader of the event after overtaking Larson.
At the Lap 100 mark, Hamlin was leading by three-tenths of a second over Larson while Elliott, Keselowski and Blaney were in the top five. Harvick was in sixth followed by Byron, Kyle Busch, Truex and Bell while Bowman, Almirola, Reddick, McDowell, Kurt Busch and Logano were in 12th, 13th, 14th, 18th, 21st and 22nd.
Five laps later, Hamlin, the leader, nearly got turned by Cole Custer while trying to lap him, rookie Anthony Alfredo and a bevy of competitors. Despite the contact, Hamlin continued to lead by a decent margin over Larson and Elliott.
By Lap 120, the battle for the lead ignited between Hamlin and Larson, both of whom were trapped behind Logano and Bubba Wallace as both were trying to remain on the lead lap. Two laps later, Larson took the lead. Another lap later, however, Hamlin returned the favor and overtook Larson while also lapping Wallace.
Following his late battle with Larson amid lapped traffic, Hamlin was able to retain the top spot and claim the first stage victory on Lap 125, thus claiming his ninth stage victory of the season. Larson ended up in second followed by Elliott, Keselowski, Blaney, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Bell, Truex and Byron. By then, 22 competitors were scored on the lead lap as Kurt Busch and Logano were spared from being lapped while Wallace received the free pass. On the other hand, names like Ryan Newman, Cole Custer, Daniel Suarez, Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece and Corey LaJoie were lapped.
Under the stage break, the leaders made the turn to pit road and Larson emerged as the leader followed by Elliott, Keselowski, Hamlin, Harvick and Blaney. Following the pit stops, however, Elliott was penalized for speeding on pit road.
The second stage started on Lap 135 and Larson rocketed away with a strong start followed by Keselowski while Hamlin spun the tires on the inside lane, though he settled in third ahead of Harvick, Bell, Blaney and Kyle Busch.
On Lap 138, the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang piloted by Brad Keselowski moved into the lead beneath Larson’s No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. At the same time, Hamlin overtook Larson for second while Harvick and Blaney kept Larson in their sights.
Seven laps later, Hamlin reassumed the lead while Larson challenged Keselowski for the runner-up spot. Behind, Blaney moved his No. 12 Menards Ford Mustang up to fourth and closed in on the three leaders while Harvick, sporting the Subway Restaurants colors on his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, was in fifth ahead of Kyle Busch.
By Lap 150, Hamlin extended his advantage to a second over Larson while Keselowski, Blaney and Harvick were in the top five. Kyle Busch, Bell, Byron, Almirola and Reddick were in the top 10 while Larson was mired in 21st behind Kurt Busch. Logano, meanwhile, was in 18th.
On Lap 167, the caution flew when Newman made contact with Cole Custer in the outside wall in Turn 4 and proceeded to smack the outside wall in Turn 2, collecting Custer again. Behind, Suarez was hit by Wallace while he checked up to avoid the incident while Chris Buescher barely avoided the carnage.
Under caution, the leaders returned to pit road and Larson returned to the lead followed by Hamlin, Keselowski, Harvick, Blaney and Kyle Busch. During the pit stops, Almirola, who had reported smoke earlier, returned to his pit stall after being told that fluid was discovered inside the left-front tire. His pit crew then popped the hood up and diagnosed the issue before sending him back on the track in 28th place, the final car on the lead lap. Shortly after, Almirola pitted again for mechanical repairs as fuel from his car was reported on the track.
On Lap 181, the race restarted under green. At the start, Larson retained the lead on the outside lane while Hamlin moved up to second and Harvick battled Keselowski for third. Behind, Blaney and Kyle Busch battled for fifth ahead of Reddick and Bell.
By Lap 190, Larson was leading by half a second over Hamlin while Blaney, Harvick and Keselowski were in the top five. Kyle Busch retained sixth ahead of Reddick, Bell, Logano and Elliott. Meanwhile, Byron was in 11th, Truex was in 15th, McDowell and Kurt Busch were in 17th and 18th behind Bowman and Almirola, following his fluid and mechanical issue, was in 24th, still on the lead lap but now below the top-12 cutline to the Playoffs.
Through the first 200 laps of the event, Larson continued to lead by eight-tenths of a second over Hamlin while Blaney, Harvick and Keselowski remained in the top five. By then, Elliott was up in eighth in between Bell and Byron while Logano battled Erik Jones for 11th.
On Lap 220, the caution flew when rookie Anthony Alfredo got sideways in Turn 3 with help from Corey LaJoie and made contact with the outside wall in Turn 4, where his No. 38 Dude Wipes Ford Mustang was hit by an oncoming BJ McLeod and Justin Haley. The incident was enough for NASCAR to red-flag the event.
When the red flag was lifted, some led by Blaney pitted while the rest led by Larson remained on the track.
On Lap 232, the race restarted under green. At the start, Larson fended off Keselowski to remain as the leader while Hamlin battled Keselowski for the runner-up spot. Behind, Elliott was in fourth ahead of Kyle Busch and Bubba Wallace while Byron battled Harvick for seventh.
A few laps later, Byron, a competitor trying to remain in the Playoffs, engaged in a battle with Kyle Busch for sixth place while Wallace and Elliott moved up to fourth and fifth.
With less than 10 laps remaining in the second stage, Larson continued to lead by a narrow margin over Hamlin and Keselowski while teammates Elliott and Byron were scored in the top five ahead of Harvick, Wallace and the field. Soon after, Alfredo scrapped the outside wall, but managed to pit without drawing a caution.
When the second stage concluded on Lap 250, the halfway mark, Larson captured his 14th stage victory of the season. Hamlin and Keselowski settled in second and third followed by Byron, who managed to overtake teammate Elliott. Harvick settled in sixth ahead of Blaney, Bell, Reddick and Kyle Busch. By then, Logano, Blaney and Harvick secured their spots for the Round of 12 in the Playoffs.
Under the stage break, some led by Larson pitted while the rest led by Harvick and Blaney remained on the track. During the pit stops, Reddick, a Playoff competitor, pitted a second time to have a lug nut on the right rear of his car tightened.
With 241 laps remaining, the final stage commenced. At the start, Harvick took off with the lead on the outside lane followed by Blaney, who battled Bell as Truex joined the battle. Behind, the field fanned out to three lanes as Hamlin and Larson, both racing on fresh tires, bolted their way back to the front.
Six laps later, Blaney emerged as the new leader of the event. Behind, Hamlin was battling Almirola for fifth while Larson was in eighth behind Logano. Elliott was in 10th ahead of Chase Briscoe while Byron was in 12th ahead of Wallace and Keselowski.
With 220 laps remaining, Blaney was leading by half a second over Harvick while Bell, Hamlin and Larson were in the top five. Almirola was riding strong in sixth followed by Logano, Elliott, Byron and Truex while Bowman was in 11th ahead of Kyle Busch, and Keselowski. Meanwhile, Kurt Busch was mired in 22nd, McDowell was in 25th and Reddick was back in 26th.
Down to the final 200 laps of the event and while the leaders were mired behind lapped traffic, Blaney retained the lead over Harvick by a narrow margin. Bell was in third followed by Hamlin and Larson while Almirola, Logano, Elliott, Byron and Bowman were in the top 10. By then, McDowell, who was in 26th, was trying to remain on the lead lap.
Eight laps later, Harvick made his way into the lead over Blaney. By then, Bell, Larson and Hamlin were slowly catching the two leaders. Meanwhile, Elliott and Byron remained in seventh and eighth behind Almirola while Logano battled with Bowman, Kyle Busch and Keselowski for ninth place. By then, McDowell was lapped.
With 175 laps remaining, Harvick continued to lead by eight-tenths of a second over Larson while Blaney, Bell and Hamlin were in the top five ahead of Elliott, Byron, Bowman, Almirola and Kyle Busch.
Twelve laps later, Larson returned to the lead after overtaking Harvick. He then went to work to lap Playoff contender Kurt Busch, though Busch refused to give in. As Busch remained on the lead lap, Harvick closed back in on Larson’s rear bumper while Hamlin attempted to catch the two leaders.
Another eight laps later, Larson succeeded in lapping Kurt Busch as he went to work to lap Tyler Reddick, another Playoff contender.
With 150 laps remaining, Larson’s advantage was nearly a second over Harvick while Hamlin, Blaney and Bell were in the top five. By then, Larson lapped Austin Dillon as Dillon’s teammate, Reddick, was next on his radar.
Thirteen laps remaining, the caution returned for Quin Houff, who spun and wrecked in Turn 4 after cutting a left-rear tire. By then, Playoff contenders McDowell, Kurt Busch and Reddick were lapped while Larson was still leading ahead of Harvick.
Under caution, the leaders pitted and Larson retained the lead ahead of Hamlin, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Blaney and Elliott.
With 130 laps remaining, the race restarted under green. At the start, Larson powered away with another strong start on the outside lane while Hamlin overtook Harvick for second. With the field shuffling and fanning out to three lanes behind, Kyle Busch battled Blaney for fourth ahead of Elliott, Byron was in eighth behind Bowman and Almirola was shuffled out of the top 10. By then, Bubba Wallace and Matt DiBenedetto, two non-Playoff contenders, were in ninth and 10th ahead of Truex.
Fifteen laps later, Larson was leading by three-tenths of a second over Hamlin while Harvick, Elliott and Blaney were in the top five. Teammates Bowman and Byron battled for seventh behind Kyle Busch while Wallace and DiBenedetto were in the top 10.
A few laps later, the caution returned for another incident involving Quin Houff, who cut the left-front tire this time. The incident was enough to terminate the remainder of his night race.
Under caution, some led by Blaney pitted while the rest led by Larson remained on the track.
With 104 laps remaining, the race restarted. At the start, Larson retained the lead entering the first turn while Hamlin issued a challenge on Harvick for the runner-up spot.
Then, with 101 laps remaining, Hamlin, who challenged Larson for the lead, made contact with Larson in Turn 4, which resulted with Hamlin going dead straight into the outside wall in Turn 1 with a flat right-front tire and drew the caution.
Down to the final 93 laps of the event, the race restarted. At the start, Larson cleared teammate Elliott with a push from Harvick to retain the lead. While teammates Larson and Elliott battled for the lead, Kyle Busch used the high lane to move up to fourth in between Harvick and Bowman. Meanwhile, Erik Jones was up in eighth behind Truex and Byron while DiBenedetto and Wallace continued to run in the top 10.
Six laps later, Elliott returned to the lead after overtaking teammate Larson on the inside lane.
With 75 laps remaining, Elliott was leading by four-tenths of a second over teammate Larson while Harvick, Kyle Busch and Byron were in the top five. By then, Byron was scored a single point outside of the top-12 cutline behind Almirola, who was in 17th in between Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick, who also remained in the hunt for a transfer spot.
Under the final 60 laps of the event, the battle for the lead intensified as Harvick challenged Elliott for the top spot. By then, Byron overtook Kyle Busch for fourth and was scored a single point inside the top-12 cutline over Almirola, who was back in 18th.
Down to the final 50 laps of the event, Elliott was still leading by two-tenths of a second over Harvick while Larson trailed by nearly six-tenths of a second. Byron, currently scored inside the top-12 cutline, was in fourth in front of Blaney, Kyle Busch, Bowman, Bell, Keselowski and Erik Jones. Truex and Logano were in 11th and 12th while Reddick was in 16th, Hamlin was in 18th ahead of Almirola and Kurt Busch was in 22nd.
Nearing the final 40 laps of the event, Kyle Busch pitted under green after suffering a flat tire. By the time he returned to the track, he was two laps behind and was placed on the verge of missing the top-12 cutline.
With 35 laps remaining, Harvick used several lapped cars, including Kyle Busch, to take the lead following several attempts to intimidate Elliott. Shortly after, Elliott, who was hit by Harvick after Harvick got loose, cut a left-front tire and pitted under green.
Not long after, Bell, who was having a strong run in the making, pitted under green after cutting a tire and damaging the right-front side of his car. The incident also placed Bell in jeopardy of not advancing in the Playoffs.
Back on track, Harvick continued to lead by a narrow margin over Larson, who continued to close in for the top spot. Meanwhile, Byron was up in third followed by Blaney and Bowman. Reddick was in 13th, Almirola was in 17th behind Wallace and Ross Chastain, Kurt Busch was in 19th and Kyle Busch was in 21st.
Down to the final 10 laps of the event, Harvick remained as the leader by nearly a second over Larson while teammate Byron was in third.
Then in the closing laps, Larson started to close back in on Harvick, who was being mired and slowed behind the lapped car of Elliott. Earlier, Elliott, who had returned to the track, ran into the side of Harvick to express his displeasure for the contact that cut Elliott’s tire and knocked him out of contention for the win. Now, Harvick, who had an advantage of more than a second over Larson near the final 10 laps, was losing ground behind Elliott as Larson closed in.
After trying to establish a run on Harvick during the previous laps, Larson seized an opportunity through the backstretch with four laps remaining as he went below Harvick and pulled off a daring, sliding move in front of Harvick entering Turn 4 to take the lead. Harvick then tried to crossover, which nearly turned Larson, but Larson withstood his ground and assumed command of the race with three laps remaining.
With Larson out in front, Byron joined the battle as he went to work on Harvick for second.
When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Larson was out in front by four-tenths of a second over Harvick and Byron. By then, Elliott yielded to teammate Larson. With time running out for Harvick, who was again held up by Elliott, Larson thundered his way to the victory at Bristol for the first time in his career.
With his sixth checkered flag of the season, first at Bristol and his 12th NASCAR Cup Series career win, Larson took another step closer in contending for his first Cup championship. In addition, he achieved the 275th NASCAR Cup win for Hendrick Motorsports.
“That was an awesome race!” Larson said on the frontstretch on NBCSN. “It was so cool to be able to race there for the win. Obviously, Harvick and Chase got together and Chase was upset and kind of held him up. It got Harvick having to move around and use his tires up off the bottom. I started to get some dives-in working off of [Turns] 1 and 2 and just got a big run, decided to pull the trigger, slide him and squeeze him a little bit. Then he had me jacked up through the frontstretch. It was wild. Had my hands full. Thanks to Valvoline and everybody who helps on this Hendrick Motorsports car. So cool. I love this place. This is, by far, my favorite track and this is why. You guys [fans] are amazing, loud. We feel the energy while we’re out there racing…I look forward to the rest of the year.”
While Larson celebrated on the frontstretch, tempers flared on pit road as Harvick and Elliott, both of whom pulled up together on pit road, climbed out of their cars and engaged in a heated face-to-face conversation. With NASCAR officials and crew members surrounding both competitors, the conversation turned heated as both competitors had to be separated by the officials and crew members, with Harvick tossing his glove towards Elliott and slamming his helmet on top of his own car.
“I told [Elliott] it was kind of a chicken [expletive] move that he did there at the end,” Harvick, who received a chorus of boos from the crowd, said. “We’re racing for the frickin win at Bristol. We’re three wide in the middle and he throws a temper tantrum, like I was just trying to get the lead and race him hard. Then he pulls up in front of me and just sits there until I lose the whole lead, so I just hate it for our Subway Ford Mustang team to be able to lose a race like that. I watched him let [Byron] go by and then anytime you run into him, it’s a problem. [The fans] can boo all they want. I don’t care…I’m ready to rip somebody’s freaking head off.”
“Well, it’s something [Harvick] does all the time,” Elliott said. “He runs into your left side constantly at other tracks. Sometimes it does cut down your left side, other times it doesn’t. Did it to me in Darlington a few weeks ago because he was tired of racing me. Whether he did it on purpose doesn’t matter. At some point, you have to draw a line. I don’t care who he is or how long he’s been doing it. I’m going to stand up for myself and my team and we’re going down the road…I’m happy for Team Hendrick. Wish I could have got our Hooters Chevrolet in Victory Lane. But we’ll try again next week.”
The heated conversation between both competitors continued as Harvick and Elliott went inside Elliott’s hauler to further review and discuss the incident in private.
Meanwhile, Byron’s third-place result was enough for him to clinch the 12th and final transfer spot to the Round of 12 by two points over both Tyler Reddick and Aric Almirola, both of whom were eliminated from the Playoffs.
“Honestly, I don’t think I breathed for 100 laps,” Byron said. “It was, honestly, just trying to go as hard as you could. I had the best seat in the house for the leaders getting together. I was just trying to make as much speed as I could and felt like that was what our car had. We’re just trying to hold off [Blaney]. Just driving it as hard as you can. That’s a pretty awesome moment that we could pull through, being 18 points out coming into this race and finish third and advance is pretty amazing…I feel like we just had to get through this round. We had a really unfortunate start to it and made up for it tonight. Thanks to AXALTA, Chevrolet, Mr. Hendrick, everybody back at the shop. It’s pretty awesome.”
“Frustrating,” Almirola said. “Disappointed to have [our Playoff run] end like that just because we battled so much adversity throughout the night and got ourselves in position to where we’re running top 10 and doing what we needed to do. That caution came out there at the end where we had 18 laps on our tires. We stayed out and for whatever reason, when we re-fired on those tires, the car was on top of the race track, scathing, wouldn’t turn, didn’t have any side bite and just struggling. I don’t know. That’s not the way we wanted it to end, but we’ll keep going and battle it out the rest of the Playoffs and see if we can finish inside the top 10 in points.”
“Unfortunately, we certainly gave up more than two spots over the course this first round,” Reddick added. “Darlington or getting stuck down a lap at Richmond. Not just one key opportunity, but there was a number that was the difference. One situation, the situation tonight doesn’t really stick out as the one that makes it sting. It was just unfortunate that, getting in the Playoffs, we don’t have the pace that we had to just point our way into the Playoff leaderboard. To miss it by two [points]…Had the races that we did, it kind of adds up and for us to miss it by two and run the way we did, it isn’t a surprise. It stings, but we still get to go race the last six, seven races that we have on the schedule. Good tracks for us…Everything else on the race track will be the same, so we’ll go make the most out of those races.”
Despite their late on-track incidents, teammates Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell, both of whom finished 21st and 29th, managed to transfer to the Round of 12 in the Playoffs along with Alex Bowman, who achieved a strong fifth-place result.
“That was disappointing,” Bell said. “Overall, we still accomplished what we wanted to accomplish today. We were on our way to a nice finish and then, the flat tire really cost a lot of panic. Thankfully, we did our job. Got some stage points, performed well at Richmond last week, gave us a little bit of a buffer, and moving on…Take some momentum and move on to Vegas.”
“We just weren’t very good at being able to make up time on the leaders there,” Busch said. “[I] Was only going to be about fifth quick. We fought hard there all day long and had a flat there at the end and got way behind. I guess we made it [into the Round of 12], so that’s all that matters.”
“It was an interesting night, for sure,” Bowman said. “We were pretty awful to start the race and [crew chief] Greg [Ives] threw everything, including his laptop at it. I just started really at the race track and took a lot of adjusting on [the car] to get where we needed it. Obviously, it was really fast there at the end. Just proud of everybody on this No. 48 team for not giving up. My mistake at Darlington kind of put us in this box. Us and [Byron]. Really glad that [Byron] made it because I feel like, if they wouldn’t have, that would’ve been on me too. Just appreciative to make it through to this next round. Good track’s coming up for us this round. Just got to go do my job, not make any more mistakes and have a good rest of the Playoffs.”
Blaney finished fourth on the track while Keselowski, Truex, Erik Jones, Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto completed the top-10 results.
There were 23 lead changes for seven different leaders. The race featured eight cautions for 71 laps.
Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch and William Byron have transferred to the Round of 12 in the Playoffs. Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell have been eliminated from title contention.
1. Kyle Larson, 175 laps led, Stage 2 winner
2. Kevin Harvick, 71 laps led
3. William Byron
4. Ryan Blaney, 45 laps led
5. Alex Bowman
6. Brad Keselowski, 10 laps led
7. Martin Truex Jr., five laps led
8. Erik Jones
9. Denny Hamlin, 65 laps led, Stage 1 winner
10. Matt DiBenedetto
11. Joey Logano
12. Tyler Reddick
13. Chase Briscoe
14. Ross Chastain
15. Austin Dillon
16. Bubba Wallace
17. Ryan Preece
18. Aric Almirola
19. Kurt Busch
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., one lap down
21. Kyle Busch, one lap down
22. Daniel Suarez, two laps down
23. Chris Buescher, two laps down
24. Michael McDowell, two laps down
25. Chase Elliott, three laps down, 129 laps led
26. Corey LaJoie, three laps down
27. JJ Yeley, five laps down
28. Cole Custer, six laps down
29. Christopher Bell, seven laps down
30. Garrett Smithley, 13 laps down
31. Josh Bilicki, 18 laps down
32. David Starr, 18 laps down
33. James Davison, 26 laps down
34. Quin Houff – OUT, Accident
35. Anthony Alfredo – OUT, Accident
36. Justin Haley – OUT, Accident
37. BJ McLeod – OUT, Accident
38. Ryan Newman – OUT, Dvp
Bold indicates Playoff contenders.
1. Kyle Larson – Advanced
2. Denny Hamlin – Advanced
3. Martin Truex Jr. – Advanced
4. Ryan Blaney – Advanced
5. Kevin Harvick – Advanced
6. Joey Logano – Advanced
7. Chase Elliott – Advanced
8. Brad Keselowski – Advanced
9. Alex Bowman – Advanced
10. Christopher Bell – Advanced
11. Kyle Busch – Advanced
12. William Byron – Advanced
13. Tyler Reddick – Eliminated
14. Aric Almirola – Eliminated
15. Kurt Busch – Eliminated
16. Michael McDowell – Eliminated
The Round of 12 in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will commence next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the South Point 400. The event will occur on Sunday, September 26, at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.