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NASCAR clinching scenarios for all three national series at Martinsville Speedway

Kyle Larson is the only driver who is locked into the 2021 Championship 4 Round at Phoenix Raceway in any of NASCAR's top three divisions. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson is the only driver who is locked into the 2021 Championship 4 Round at Phoenix Raceway in any of NASCAR's top three divisions. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Ted Fleming
EXPERT

Who could have predicted that NASCAR’s penultimate weekend would have played out this way? There is so much on the line for title hopefuls that next week’s Championship 4 Round in the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series could be anticlimactic in the grand scheme of things.

After the Round of 8 began with 24 eligible drivers, only Kyle Larson has locked in off back-to-back wins in the opening two events of the premier series. The rest will battle around Martinsville Speedway, a tight, 0.526-mile paperclip-shaped oval in a race that will make or break their season.


Breakdown of clinching scenarios in all three divisions, according to NASCAR

NASCAR Cup Series (Sunday, 2:00 p.m. ET, NBC)

(Note: Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano automatically lock in with a victory.)

Can clinch via points:

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin or Kyle Busch.

• Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 20 points, 22 points if Kyle Busch wins.

• Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 23 points, 24 points if Kyle Busch wins.

Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 54 points.

• Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 55 points, would need help if Kyle Busch wins.

• Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 55 points, would need help if Kyle Busch wins.

• Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano: Could only clinch with help.

If there is a new winner from Ryan Blaney or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings.

• Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 22 points.

• Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 25 points.

• Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski: Could only clinch with help.


NASCAR Xfinity Series (Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)

The Round of 8 ends Saturday at @MartinsvilleSwy. See the starting lineup below! 👇🔗 : nas.cr/310YoiB https://t.co/lTTOWWGnqq

(Note: AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones automatically lock in with a victory.)

Can Clinch Via Points:

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fifth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier or Daniel Hemric.

• Austin Cindric: Would clinch with nine points.

• AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with nine points.

• Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 47 points.

• Daniel Hemric: Would clinch with 49 points.

• Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton: Could only clinch with help.

If there is a new winner from Justin Haley or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings.

• Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 15 points.

• AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with 15 points.

• Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 53 points.

• Daniel Hemric: Would clinch with 55 points.

• Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton: Could only clinch with help.


NASCAR Truck Series (Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)

Who can perform under pressure? @StewartFriesen (2019) and @sheldoncreed (2020) have 𝙬𝙤𝙣 their way into the #Championship4 before. Will either do it again or will any of the other six drivers find Victory Lane? https://t.co/hGtdDQygBM

(Note: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar, and Zane Smith automatically lock in with a victory.)

Can Clinch Via Points:

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fifth winless driver in the standings. The same points requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton or Sheldon Creed.

• John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 20 points

• Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 21 points

• Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 46 points

• Sheldon Creed: Would clinch with 51 points

• Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Can only clinch with help.

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings.

• John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 25 points

• Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 26 points

• Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 51 points

• Sheldon Creed: Could only clinch with help

• Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Can clinch only with help.


Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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