In a performance industry where the best drivers and automotive minds alike seek whatever advantage they can, the competitive balance of NASCAR can vary greatly from year to year. Some seasons are dominated by a single driver or a select group of drivers, while others feature a more level playing field and see the gates to Victory Lane swung wide open for any and all in the field.
In the NASCAR Cup Series, the 2021 regular season fell into the latter category. From the time the season began with an upset victory in the Daytona 500, the Cup Series has seen an exceptional level of parity, with a total of 16 different drivers having visited Victory Lane. No one has visited Victory Lane more often than Kyle Larson, who earned his ninth win of the season at Kansas Speedway to take the first two races in the Round of 8, and he's the only driver to clinch a spot in the Championship 4 with just one race left before the Championship Race.
The Round of 8 has jut one race left, at Martinsville after Larson's wins at Texas and Kansas, to determine the three other drivers who will join Larson and race for the championship in Phoenix on November 7.
All races can be streamed on fuboTV (try for free)
NASCAR Cup Series playoffs standings (Round of 8)
1. #5 - Kyle Larson (2 wins)
2. #9 - Chase Elliott (+34)
3. #11 - Denny Hamlin (+32)
4. #18 - Kyle Busch (+1)
5. #12 - Ryan Blaney (-1)
6. #19 - Martin Truex Jr. (-3)
7. #2 - Brad Keselowski (-6)
8. #22 - Joey Logano (-26)
NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Schedule
Round of 16
- Sunday, September 5: Cook-Out Southern 500 - Darlington Raceway - Winner: Denny Hamlin
- Saturday, September 11: Salute to American Heroes 400 - Richmond Raceway - Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
- Saturday, September 18: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol Motor Speedway - Winner: Kyle Larson
Round of 12
- Sunday, September 26: South Point 400 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway - Winner: Denny Hamlin
- Sunday, October 3: YellaWood 500 - Talladega Superspeedway - Winner: Bubba Wallace
- Sunday, October 10: Bank of America ROVAL 400 - Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval - Winner: Kyle Larson
Round of 8
- Sunday, October 17: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 - Texas Motor Speedway - Winner: Kyle Larson
- Sunday, October 24: Hollywood Casino 400 - Kansas Speedway - Winner: Kyle Larson
- Sunday, October 31: Xfinity 500 - Martinsville Speedway | 2 p.m. ET | TV: NBC
- Sunday, November 7: Season Finale 500 - Phoenix Raceway | 3 p.m. ET | TV: NBC