And then there were four.
The NASCAR Cup Series has reached the final stage of the season, with the Championship 4 set to kick off on Sunday at the Phoenix Raceway.
The four remaining are Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin. Larson and Elliott are in the best position as they start in the No. 1 and 2 spots in the lineup, while Hamlin is at sixth and Truex begins in 12th. Of the drivers, Elliott and Truex are the only two looking to make it multiple titles. Elliott won last year, while Truex won back in 2017.
After reaching this point, each driver is now in the same position. All have 5,000 points, and the driver with the best finish on Sunday will be crowned the champion. There are no stage points, so this will be based purely on the outcome of the race.
Sporting News is tracking live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s 2021 championship race on Sunday. Follow below for complete results for the winner-take-all Championship 4 finale at Phoenix.
NASCAR championship live updates, highlights from 2021 race at Phoenix
Live updates will begin with the NASCAR championship race broadcast at 3 p.m. ET.
NASCAR start time today
- Time: 3 p.m. ET (TV time)
- TV channel: NBC (TSN5 in Canada)
- Live stream: NBC Sports.com | NBC Sports App | Peacock Premium | fuboTV (7-day free trial)
- Radio: MRN
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Phoenix Raceway’s 1-mile track is scheduled to drop at 3:34 p.m. EST Sunday (1:34 p.m. MST). The track has lights, so the race can finish after sunset, which is set for 5:37 p.m. MST on Sunday.
Weather does not figure to be the cause of a delay. The National Weather Serivce’s forecast for Avondale, Ariz., where Phoenix Raceway is located, is for sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s. Winds will be calm to light.
PHOENIX LINEUP: Starting order, pole with qualifying
How does the NASCAR championship race work?
Each driver in the Championship 4 will begin the race with 5,000 points. The driver with the most points at the end of the race will be the Cup Series champion. There is one major difference between the first 35 races of the season and the championship race: Stage points will not be awarded to the Championship 4 drivers. That means the playoff drivers’ official finishing positions alone will determine who wins the championship. The best finisher among the four will be awarded the title.
NASCAR starting lineup at Pheonix
Here is the complete starting lineup for Sunday’s Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway. Thirty-nine cars were entered for the race, one fewer than the number for a full field. Championship 4 drivers are denoted by a “P” next to their names.
|Start pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||P-Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2||P-Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|5||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|6||P-Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|8||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|9||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|10||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|11||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|12||P-Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|13||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|14||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|15||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|16||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|17||Daniel Suarez||99||TrackHouse Racing|
|18||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|19||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|20||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|21||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|22||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|23||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|24||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|25||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|26||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|27||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|28||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|29||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|30||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|31||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|32||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|33||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|34||Joey Gase||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|36||David Starr||15||Motorsports Business Management|
|37||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|38||Garrett Smithley||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|39||Timmy Hill||66||Motorsports Business Management|