The Cup Series regular season ends with a Saturday night showdown at NASCAR’s mecca — Daytona International Speedway.
Always a must-see race because A) it’s Daytona, B) there’s a tendency for surprise winners, and C) there’s the potential for crazy crashes, this year’s race will also determine the final two playoff spots as well as the points each of the 16 drivers will participate in the 10-race postseason.
Yes, there are now two playoff spots available after Kurt Busch, who had earned a spot at Kansas Speedway on May 15, retired with a lingering head injury that caused him to miss several races.
Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. they are the top two winless drivers in the standings and are well positioned to clinch the final playoff spots unless another winless driver makes a spectacular run to the checkered flag. Blaney won this race a year ago, but other recent winners include Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2017), Erik Jones (2018), Justin Haley (2019) and William Byron (2020). Of those four, only Byron is currently a playoff lock.
So who will be celebrating on Saturday night? Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
UP FOR HARPS: Daytona will determine NASCAR’s final two playoff spots
KURT BUSCH: Withdraws from the playoffs, opening up an additional postseason spot
OPINION: Busch’s honesty about his head injury is an example for drivers to follow
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What time does the NASCAR Cup race at Daytona start?
The Coke Zero Sugar 400 starts at 7 p.m. ET in Daytona Beach, Florida.
What TV channel is the Daytona Cup race on?
NBC is televising the Coke Zero Sugar 400 nationally, but some markets may carry the game on an alternate channel or start in progress due to preseason NFL games. The Peacock will also broadcast the match live in these markets.
Will there be a live coverage of the Cup race at Daytona?
The Coke Zero Sugar 400 can be streamed live on the NBC Sports website (for those with a cable/satellite provider) and the NBC Sports app. The match can also be streamed on FuboTV as well as other options.
How many laps is the Cup race at Daytona?
The Coke Zero Sugar 400 is 160 laps around the 2.5-mile oval for a total of 400 miles. The race will have three sections (laps per stage) — Stage 1: 35 laps, Stage 2: 60 laps, Stage 3: 65 laps.
Who won the most recent Cup races at Daytona?
Austin Sidric led 21 laps, including the final eight, before beating Bubba Wallace by a scant 0.036 seconds in the 2022 Daytona 500 in February for his first Cup Series victory. And a year ago, Ryan Blaney led seven laps and retook the lead on an overtime restart before another caution ended the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400 after the white flag flew, making Blaney the winner and Wallace the secondly.
What is the range for Coke Zero Sugar 400?
(Car number in parentheses)
1. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
2. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
3. (22) Joey Logano, Ford
4. (99) Daniel Suárez, Chevrolet
5. (20) Christopher Bell, Toyota
6. (8) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet
7. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford
8. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford
9. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford
10. (48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
11. (43) Erik Jones, Chevrolet
12. (1) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
13. (19) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota
14. (2) Austin Cindric, Ford
15. (41) Cole Custer, Ford
16. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford
17. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet
18. (31) Justin Haley, Chevrolet
19. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota
20. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chevrolet
21. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
22. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota
23. (45) Ty Gibbs, Toyota
24. (6) Brad Keselowski, Ford
25. (42) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet
26. (14) Chase Briscoe, Ford
27. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford
28. (16) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet
29. (21) Harrison Burton, Ford
30. (23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota
31. (7) Corey Lajoie, Chevrolet
32. (38) Todd Gilliland, Ford
33. (51) Cody Ware, Ford
34. (15) David Ragan, Ford
35. (77) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet
36. (78) BJ McLeod, Ford
37. (62) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet
This article originally appeared in USA TODAY: NASCAR race today: Start time, live stream, TV, Daytona lineup