Aric Almirola punches playoff ticket with win at New Hampshire

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NASCAR 18 July, 2021 - 07:25pm 2 views

What channel is the Nascar race on Sunday?

The channel for Sunday's Cup Series race, the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, is NBCSN. The NBC family of networks is airing the remaining Cup Series races in 2021, and NBCSN is showing Sunday's race. Sporting NewsWhat channel is NASCAR on today? TV schedule, start time for New Hampshire race

Does New Hampshire Motor Speedway have lights?

The other concern with the amount of drying time is that New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one of the NASCAR tracks that does not have lights. Heavy.comRain Brings Out Red Flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

NASCAR: How Denny Hamlin could still miss the playoffs

Beyond the Flag 18 July, 2021 - 02:30am

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

After Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch secured his first win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season at Atlanta Motor Speedway last Sunday afternoon, the list of different winners through the first 21 races of the 26-race regular season sits at 12.

Busch became the first new winner since Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott won the inaugural race at Circuit of the Americas back in May.

Meanwhile, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin has yet to find victory lane this season, despite the fact that he has sat atop the point standings for 20 consecutive races. The only race after which he did not lead the standings was the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway back in mid-February.

Hamlin has been listed at the top of the playoff picture for the last 20 races because of the fact that the 16 playoff spots go to the regular season points champion, regardless of whether or not this driver has a won any races, and then the 15 drivers who rank highest in wins. If needed, the tiebreaker among the single-race winners is points.

But if Hamlin were to lose his lead in the point standings, a lead that has shrunk to just 10 points over Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson after it had been over 100 points, he would currently slot in to 13th in the playoff picture behind the 12 winners.

Hamlin isn’t really at risk of finishing the season as anything worse than the top winless driver. He sits 210 points ahead of the next winless driver, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick.

So for Hamlin to miss the playoffs, he would need to lose that lead over Larson, and four new winners would still need to emerge.

Harvick won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2016, 2018 and 2019, and the last season during which he did not win at Michigan International Speedway was 2017, as he has now won four of the last five races there.

Don’t forget that there are still two road course races on the schedule as well, one at Watkins Glen International and one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, a first for the Cup Series.

It’s going to be tough to beat Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott on the road courses, and this could play to Hamlin’s benefit. He is 2-0 in his last two races at Watkins Glen International and 3-0 in his last three starts in inaugural road course events, but as we saw at the Daytona International Speedway road course in February, one caution flag period at the wrong has the potential to really shake things up.

Stewart-Haas Racing rookie Chase Briscoe, the winner of the inaugural Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, finished in sixth place in both the inaugural race at Circuit of the Americas and the inaugural race at Road America, and Ross Chastain finished those two races in fourth and seventh, respectively. He also finished in seventh at Sonoma Raceway.

So don’t rule out somebody like Briscoe or Chastain pulling off an upset at one of the remaining two circuits with both left and right turns.

And of course, there’s the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway. If you’re on the playoff bubble, you almost have to assume that somebody from outside the top 16 is going to win to lock in. There are at least seven or eight legitimate contenders to win that race who aren’t inside that top 16.

Wouldn’t it be quite something if Bubba Wallace, driving for the Hamlin co-owned 23XI Racing, knocked his team owner out of the playoffs by securing his first win in that race?

Tune in to NBC Sports Network at 3:00 p.m. ET this afternoon for the live broadcast of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway. WynnBET lists Hamlin as the co-favorite with Larson at +450 for this race.

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