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Three more NASCAR Cup Series drivers lock into playoffs at Indianapolis

Credit: INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – AUGUST 15: William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Three drivers locked into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs following Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin and Michael McDowell locked in after A.J. Allmendinger, who is ineligible for the playoffs, won Sunday.

Almirola won at New Hampshire and McDowell won the Daytona 500, which locked each of them into the playoffs.

Hamlin locked into the playoffs on points. He is 198 points ahead of Kevin Harvick, who is the next highest winless driver in the points.

Harvick, who currently holds the 15th playoff spot, is 95 points ahead of Austin Dillon.

Harvick can lock into the playoffs at Michigan if there is a repeat or non-playoff-eligible winner.

Photo by Chris Salazar/TRE

Tyler Reddick, who holds the 16th and final playoff spot, is 28 points ahead of Dillon.

Reddick must win a race or not have a repeat winner in the next two races, in order to lock into the playoffs.

Photo by Chris Madrid/TRE

The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is the August 22 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. ET; TV: NBCSN, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

In 2020, the track hosted an August 8-9 doubleheader weekend. Kevin Harvick is the defending NASCAR Cup Series winner at the track.

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – AUGUST 09: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Apple Ford, crosses the finish line over Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, to win the NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 09, 2020 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


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