2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400: NASCAR CUP Picks, Predictions, Odds, Longshots
Photo by Daytona Beach News-Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK
2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400
Saturday August 28 , 2021 7:00pm
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The NASCAR Cup Series will head to Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night under the lights to end the regular season in the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Daytona is the famous 2.5-mile tri-oval Super Speedway with 31 degrees of banking in the turns and 160 laps will make up the 400-mile advertised distance on Saturday night. With 15 drivers on the outside of the playoffs looking in, Daytona provides the best opportunity for a win and in situation.
Here are 5 drivers to consider for Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday night.
Denny Hamlin +750- Denny will share the 2nd row with teammate Kyle Busch and will start from the 3rd spot for Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. Denny does not have a victory here on the 2021 Cup Series circuit but is locked in to the 2021 Playoffs on points and Daytona is the perfect place for Denny to be in contention. With 3 Daytona 500 victories and top 5 finishes at Daytona in 4 of the last 5 Cup Series races at Daytona, Denny is a great favorite.
Austin Dillon +1500- Austin will roll off from the 27th position on Saturday night at Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Austin doesn’t have to win to get in the 2021 Playoffs in the Cup Series and can clinch a spot with 31 total points on Saturday night. 31 points is at least a 7th place or so finish if Dillon doesn’t lead any laps. Expect Dillon to fall to the back for stage 1 and 2 on Saturday night and then make way to the front in the final stage to avoid the big wreck. Dillon finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 and 8th at Talladega earlier in the Cup Series season and win secures the playoff spot, solid pick.
Matt DiBenedetto +2200- Matt fires off from the 9th starting spot on Saturday night for the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Matt will have to win on Saturday night at Daytona to clinch a spot in the 2021 Playoffs. With 2022 uncertain for Matty D. with no ride, Saturday night’s race is the last opportunity for Matt to run for a championship. DiBenedetto finished 5th at Talladega in April and had the Penske team on his side. Look for Matt to have a shot at the win and give the Wood Brothers team Cup Series win 100.
Tyler Reddick +3000- Reddick will take the green flag from the 17th starting spot for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday Night. Reddick is within the cut line of the 2021 Cup Series Playoff heading into Saturday’s race ahead of teammate Austin Dillon and Matt DiBenedetto. Reddick finished 7th at Talladega back in April in the Cup Series. Reddick and teammate Austin Dillon should fall to the back for stage 1 and 2 and make way to the front in the final stage to avoid trouble. Just like teammate Dillon, a top 8 finish is a must in order to make the 2021 Playoffs. Expect the Childress team to be leading late in the race.
Cole Custer +4000- Custer comes into Sunday’s race starting from the 25th position and is my long shot play of the week. Custer must win Saturday night’s race to secure a place in the 2021 Cup Series Playoffs. With and 11th place finish in the 2021 Daytona 500 and a 10th place finish at Talladega in April, the Superspeedways have been kind to Custer in 2021. Teammates Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola have already secured spots in 2021 Cup Series Playoffs so expect the Stewart-Haas team to move Custer out front. The Stewart-Haas cars typically ride around in the back for stage 1 and 2 and make the moves to the front late in the race. Sprinkle a little action here on Custer.