The NASCAR Cup Series' trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway comes in the middle of the "Silly Season" drama for next year's seats.
Brad Keselowski and Matt DiBenedetto will move on from their current rides in 2022. Keselowski is expected to sign a deal with Roush Yates Racing from Penske Racing, while DiBenedetto does not have a car yet for next year.
That news came a few weeks after Chip Ganassi Racing was bought out by Trackhouse Racing. That sale left either Kurt Busch or Ross Chastain out of a ride for 2022.
DiBenedetto and Chastain reside on the wrong side of the playoff bubble going into Sunday. A win would cure some of the issues both racers are going through.
Busch is coming off a victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway that secured his position in the 16-man playoff field.
Twelve drivers have locked in playoff spots through victories, while Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick are certainties to qualify on points.
That leaves drivers, like DiBenedetto and Chastain, to look for wins to avoid being on the outside looking in at the end of August.
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Denny Hamlin (+475; bet $100 to win $475)
Martin Truex Jr. (+500)
Kyle Larson (+550)
Brad Keselowski (+650)
Kyle Busch (+650)
Chase Elliott (+800)
Joey Logano (+1000)
William Byron (+1500)
Kevin Harvick (+1500)
Alex Bowman (+1600)
Ryan Blaney (+1800)
Christopher Bell (+2000)
There will be a handful of different motivators for drivers across the grid on Sunday.
Plenty of focus will be on DiBenedetto to turn in a strong run to bolster his case to find a seat for 2022.
The good news for the current No. 21 car driver is he finished sixth at New Hampshire in 2020 in a race won by Keselowski.
DiBenedetto comes into New Hampshire with 425 points, which is 138 points off Tyler Reddick's total on the bubble.
Winning one of the last five regular-season races is the easiest way for DiBenedetto, or any driver under the projected bubble, to enter the postseason field.
Chris Buescher is 96 points back of Reddick, DiBenedetto is 138 off the pace and Chastain is seven points back of the No. 21 car.
DiBenedetto appears to have the best chance of the three to steal a win at New Hampshire since the Penske-powered cars finished first, third and sixth there last year. DiBenedetto drives for Wood Brothers Racing, who have an alliance with Penske.
Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick could solidify their positions in the playoff grid if either of them come out on top on Sunday.
Hamlin is the pre-race favorite, which is a title that has been hard to snag away from the Hendrick Motorsports cars in 2021.
Prior to Busch's win at Atlanta, Hendrick cars won seven of eight Cup Series points races dating back to the middle of May.
Chase Elliott was the only Hendrick driver to finish inside the top 10 at New Hampshire in 2020 with a ninth-place finish.
Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. took second and third, respectively, behind Keselowski.
Truex starts on the front row alongside Kyle Busch. Elliott and Kurt Busch follow on the grid in the second row.
Starting position mattered a bit in last year's New Hampshire race, as the top five finishers came from the first 11 positions on the grid.
Harvick could be the best betting play since he owns three victories at the track since 2016 and landed inside the top five in 2020.
The No. 4 car driver will have to do some work to get to the front from his 12th starting spot, but his comfort level on the track may help him finally reach the winner's circle for the first time in 2021.
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