There have been 152 points-paying NASCAR Cup races at Daytona International Speedway, but the next one has the potential to be the most exciting. Superspeedway racing tends to lead to surprising winners, big crashes, and edge-of-your-seat drama. As if 37 cars doing battle inches apart at more than 200 mph wasn't enough, there is an extra incentive next weekend. One final Playoff spot remains up for grabs, and drivers will be risking it all to claim it.

With 15 drivers locked into the Playoffs, the potential is there for more than a dozen drivers to shock the motorsports world. Should a repeat winner find victory lane on Saturday night, the final spot would come down to points. Bubba Wallace currently holds the 16th spot based on points, with a 32-point edge over rookie Ty Gibbs. There is no shortage of contenders, leading off with the 2020 Cup series champion.

Chase Elliott may be the sport's most popular driver, but he is under the most pressure heading to Daytona. The Hendrick Motorsports ace is down to his last shot, as his runner-up finish at Indy was followed by a disappointing end at Watkins Glen, when his team made an error on the pit stand. The No. 9 car was running inside the top-ten when he ran out of fuel. The odds are stacked against him, but he knows what he has to do. All of the drivers below the cut line are in the same boat.

Qualifying is not as important at a place like Daytona, and the numbers back that up. The pole sitter has not won in the last 15 races there, and only once (2015) in the last 25 races. Winners in that time span have come from the starting positions of 32nd, 42nd, 29th, 34th, 21st, 21st, and 31st earlier this year when Ricky Stenhouse Jr won the Daytona 500. Nerves will be at an all-time high, both in the driver’s seat and on pit road.

Race weekend schedule (Eastern Standard Time)

Friday August 25

5:05 pm - Qualifying

Saturday August 26

7:00 pm - Race