Only three races remain in the regular season of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series, and the margin for error is getting ever thinner for playoff hopefuls who haven’t won a race yet this season.

That’s true even for Denny Hamlin, who despite having no wins to his name this season entered last week’s race at Watkins Glen International as the outright regular-season points leader, guaranteeing him a spot in the postseason. Kyle Larson, with five wins on the season, tied him with 917 points after winning the 2021 Go Bowling at the Glen. Fifteen playoff points are on the line between the two in the last three races of the year.

As it stands now, Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick are the last three drivers into the 16-man playoff, none of whom has a win on the season. A first-time winner in any of the three remaining regular-season races — barring the three previously mentioned — would knock out Reddick, then Harvick, then Hamlin (assuming he does not retain the points lead). Austin Dillon isn’t too far behind Reddick, either.

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It’ll be a fascinating sprint to the finish line over the last three weeks of the regular season. With that, Sporting News is tracking live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Follow below for complete results from the 82-lap, 200-mile Verizon 200 at The Brickyard.

NASCAR at Indianapolis live updates, highlights from The Brickyard

(All times Eastern)

2:06 p.m.: Uh-oh. Keselowski hits the wall. Elliott is now the leader. Shortly after, Joey Logano spun out and lost considerable positioning as well.

2:02 p.m.: Kurt Busch enters pit road to get four fresh tires after taking a flat to his front right tire. That’ll cost hiim some position.

2:01 p.m.: Christopher Bell and Matt DiBenedetto are battling and end up in the grass. Again, no caution.

1:59 p.m.: Now Elliott is in the lead. Looks like there will be several lead changes with big battles allover the field.

1:57 p.m.: Byron lost six places after taking the turn too fast and going off the track. He’s still in the top 10, at No. 8.

1:55 p.m.: Keselowski’s back in front, with Byron, Elliott, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson behind him in the top five.

1:42 p.m.: Caution 1 (Lap 15). Reddick gets the stage win — just his second of the season — and some much-needed points. Your top 10:

  1. Tyler Reddick
  2. Michael McDowell
  3. Austin Dillon
  4. Erik Jones
  5. Ryan Preece
  6. Brad Keselowski
  7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  8. Justin Haley
  9. Chase Briscoe
  10. Chase Elliott

1:41 p.m.: Reddick overtakes McDowell on Lap 14 and needs to hold him off to get the stage win. (Remember, McDowell started the season with a win in Daytona).

1:40 p.m.: Now McDowell and Reddick are jockeying for the lead; Reddick needs those points.

1:39 p.m.: Lots of people pitting under green, including each of the top six drivers. Only two laps remaining in the stage.

1:32 p.m.: And now Aric Almirola’s on pit row; looks like he suffered some damage to the front right of his vehicle after contact with Corey LaJoie. He’s getting new tires.

1:30 p.m.: Uh-oh. Austin Cindric lost traction on a turn and spun out (no caution). Looks like his rear wheels locked up. Either way that’s considerable position lost for him.

1:25 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. has pitted with what’s being described on the NBC telecast as a front-right tire rub.

1:23 p.m.: Chase Briscoe overtakes William Byron — who had the poll — for the lead on Lap 3.

1:19 p.m.: And there’s the green flag! Here comes the field, two by two, down the stretch.

1:06 p.m.: The most famous words in NASCAR:

12:54 p.m.: Reminder that today’s race has stage ends on Laps 15, 35 and 82.

12:38 p.m.: Hamlin will likely root for Chase Elliott in the last road course of the season:

12:36 p.m.: The tension is palpable.

NASCAR start time today

  • Time: 1 p.m. ET (TV time)
  • TV channel: NBC (TSN 3, 5 in Canada)
  • Live stream: | fuboTV (7-day free trial)

The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile road course is scheduled to drop at 1:13 p.m. ET.

Weather conditions should be ideal. The National Weather Service’s forecast for Sunday afternoon at the track calls for sunny skies and a high temperature near 80 degrees.

NASCAR starting lineup at Indianapolis

Here is the complete starting lineup for NASCAR’s race at Indianapolis, the Verizon 200 at The Brickyard.

Start pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
2 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
3 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
4 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Daniel Suarez 99 TrackHouse Racing
6 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
8 AJ Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
9 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
10 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
11 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
12 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
13 Austin Cindric 33 Team Penske
14 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
15 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
16 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
17 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
18 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
19 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
20 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
21 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
23 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
24 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
25 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
26 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
27 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
28 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
29 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
30 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
31 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
32 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
33 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
34 James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing
35 Andy Lally 78 Live Fast Motorsports
36 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
37 Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
38 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
39 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
40 Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management

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