The season points schedule ended where it began… At Daytona. Tensions ran high as some drivers were looking to validate their points with a win, some had to have a win to make a playoff run and others wanted the win in their corner to add weight to grabbing a seat in the coming season.

Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick would have liked that win as icing on their playoff points clinch. Late race wrecks put an end to Matt DiBenedetto’s chase for a win as his #21 and the #9 of Chase Elliott tangled with blocking and ran up into the wall which set off a bit of a tumble while Ryan Blaney grabbed the front and ran with it to the end. Blaney put a 3rd win in his regular season column and Tyler Reddick made it to the playoffs on points.

However… Consider one year ago. Throw 2020 NASCAR in a bucket and make predictions on what 2021 would bring. If someone had put the following on a list it would have read as parody…

  • Kyle Larson will come back in 2021 after the 2020 suspension for a virtual racing vocal mishap and be the 2021 regular season champion.
  • Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick will have zero wins in regular season racing.
  • Michael McDowell will make the championship playoffs by winning the Daytona 500.
  • Basketball star Michael Jordan will join with Denny Hamlin and field a race team.

All of it is true and happening and is a part of what makes racing so interesting.

For 2021, the playoff series begins. Ten races now remain to determine the NASCAR Cup Champion. The Xfinity series is still chasing points and the post season championship races will begin at Las Vegas. The Camping World Trucks are one race in to their post season with Sheldon Creed grabbing the first playoff win at Gateway ( Madison, Illinois ).