It has been just two races so far, but NASCAR Cup Series racing is already back in its full element in 2021. After the first couple of rounds at Daytona, a familiar name in Denny Hamlin headlines the drivers’ standings.
Exceptional at achieving stage wins, the Joe Gibbs Racing No.11 has earned plenty of points by staying in line with the pack leader. Unfortunately, though, his efforts have not yielded a win so far, especially given he had the chance to complete a three-peat Daytona 500.
That said, he ranks 12 points clear of Team Penske’s Joey Logano, who has been performing consistently himself. The No.22 has suffered his own set of frustrations on the track, but owing to impressive stage and final finishes, he is right up there as well.
Considering the unpredictable nature of the stock car racing division, Elliott has done quite well to place fifth in the rankings. The Hendrick Motorsports No.9 achieved a stage win in the last race, adding onto his second from the Daytona 500.
First-time Cup Series race winners Christopher Bell and Michael McDowell also find themselves on the list following their exploits in the road course event and Daytona 500, respectively. Brad Keselowski rounds out the Top 10 after his own decent displays in both races.
Larson joined the Hendrick Motorsports setup this year, and he has done decently in his first two races. While 10th was a good start, some sheen was taken away when he wrecked into the tire barrier in a moment of eagerness.
Similarly, the 2019 Cup Series champion has not exactly had a glorious period of racing since winning the Busch Clash. Suffering damage in both races which led to decreased point finishes, he now sits 17th in the standings.
Therefore, while it is still premature to discuss title contenders, some frontrunners have already made their impact on the 2021 season. But expect a few more in the relatively lower places to get back up and make their presence felt.