Cup playoff clinch scenarios for Michigan

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Denny Hamlin’s hard luck at Indianapolis Motor Speedway continued last Sunday on the road course, but he still became the latest driver to clinch a Cup Series playoff berth.

With a 293-point cushion over the cut line, Hamlin is locked in as the 14th playoff driver with two races left in the regular season.

The penultimate race before the playoffs comes this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Kevin Harvick (15th in playoff standings, +95) has won the last three races at Michigan, including a doubleheader sweep last year.

Like Hamlin, Harvick has been unable to carry over his stellar performance from 2020. But he still has an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth on points this weekend.

Behind Harvick are Richard Childress Racing teammates Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon on opposite sides of the cut line.

Reddick won both stages Sunday at Indy, then salvaged a 21st-place finish after taking heavy damage in a crash during the first overtime. That same incident eliminated Dillon from the race.

It added up to a 28-point lead for Reddick over Dillon coming out. But as their head-to-head continues, RCR’s nightmare scenario is still in play – an upset winner at either Michigan or the regular season finale at Daytona that could knock both drivers out of the post-season.

Cup playoff clinch scenarios for Michigan

Already Clinched (14 drivers)

Can clinch via points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 3rd winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from Denny Hamlin.

  • Kevin Harvick: Would clinch with 44 points

Can clinch via win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone:

Can clinch Regular Season Championship

  • Kyle Larson can only clinch with help. He will need to be at least 61 points ahead of second place in the standings entering the regular season finale at Daytona (Aug. 28).

Read More About NASCAR

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Cup playoff clinch scenarios for Michigan originally appeared on NBCSports.com