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Eleven NASCAR Cup Series locked into playoffs after The Glen

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Kyle Larson earned his fifth win of 2021 in Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen and was one of 11 drivers to clinch a NASCAR Cup Series playoff spot following the race.

Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Christopher Bell also clinched a playoff spot with one win or more this season.

Larson (five wins) and Bowman (three wins) have each earned career-high wins totals in 2021.

Christopher Bell earned his first playoff berth with a win at Daytona road course in February.

Bell finished seventh in Sunday’s race after being spun by Larson while racing for the lead.

Photo by Chris Salazar/TRE

On the other end, Kurt Busch will make his 15th career playoff appearance which is tied for the most appearances of any active NASCAR Cup Series driver.

Kevin Harvick, who has not secured a playoff spot yet, has also made 15 career playoff appearances, including 12 consecutive appearances from 2010 to 2020.

Photo by Chris Salazar/TRE


Harvick, Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin and Tyler Reddick hold the five remaining playoff spots.

Each driver can clinch a playoff spot by winning any of the remaining regular-season races at Indianapolis road course, Michigan and Daytona.

Photo by Chris Salazar/TRE

McDowell can also clinch a playoff spot at Indianapolis with a finish of 22nd or better.

McDowell, Hamlin and Almirola can each clinch a playoff spot if there is not a new winner at Indianapolis.

LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE – JULY 18: Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2021 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Almirola and Harvick can each clinch a playoff spot if there are no new winners at Indianapolis and Michigan.

Hamlin, the regular-season points leader, can clinch a playoff spot by holding on to the lead.

Reddick can also clinch a spot if there are no new winners at any of the next three races. He must also score more points than teammate Austin Dillon in the next three races.


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