NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400: How, When to Watch the Final Race of Regular Season

by Thad Mitchell

The NASCAR Cup Series regular season will wrap up its 2021 regular season tonight with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona National Speedway.

There is a limited amount of drama going into tonight’s race with all but one playoff spot locked up. Still, if NASCAR fans want to watch the final race of the Cup Series season, it will be on NBC at 7 p.m. ET. Though there isn’t much at stake in the race compared to what comes next, it should still be an exciting and fun event to watch. NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick needs at least 31 points tonight to secure the 16th playoff spot. Fellow driver Austin Dillon is also making a push for the final spot but he will need assistance to make it to the postseason.

Tyler Reddick has a 25-point lead over Austin Dillon but that isn’t an insurmountable amount. Both NASCAR drivers will be aiming for a big win tonight, as a victory would put them square in the playoff hunt. Making the race even more intriguing is the fact that Reddick and Dillon are teammates. Both drivers compete for the Richard Childers Racing team. The irony isn’t lost on either driver, but tonight’s race is about winning and making the NASCAR playoffs.

“Anything I do to help him hurts me,” Reddick says in a recent media session. “Anything he does to help me hurts him. So, we really can’t work together at all, unfortunately. “

The veteran NASCAR driver knows the competition will be intense in tonight’s big race. While he and Dillon may be teammates and even friends, both men know what is at stake. It will be every driver for themself at tonight’s Coke Zero Sugar 400.

“He feels the exact same way about that,” Reddick continues. “But for him to do everything for his team to get into the playoffs, he can’t be helping the 8 and I can’t be helping the 3. It’s kind of a weird spot.”

NASCAR: Every Man for Himself on Saturday

Both drivers deeply covet the playoff spot and are hopeful that Richard Childers racing will be well-represented in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason.

“But, for sure, I know where he stands because I’m the same way,” Reddick says. “We want an RCR car to be in the playoffs this year. It’s just a difficult place to be in because we’re obviously not going to go out there and screw each other over because neither one of us will make the playoffs potentially if someone new wins. It’s just a very complex situation.”

Kyle Larson enters tonight’s race at Daytona International Speedway as the top NASCAR driver in terms of points. Not far behind is Denny Hamlin who is just 28 points behind and has arguably been the most consistent driver through the 2021 season. Can Hamlin close the gap on Larson and take the Cup Series regular season championship?

Tune in to NBC tonight at 7 p.m. ET to find out.