The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series is off to an explosive start with unexpected race results and big crashes that put some of the biggest names in the sport out of the race.

After four races – three points races – during Speedweek at Daytona International Speedway Austin Dillon sits at the top of the leaderboard in the 2021 points standings with 58 points.

Dillon finished the Daytona 500 in third place missing the big last lap crash that left cars and tempers in flames.  Dillon also won his Duel race.

Despite sweeping both stages in his bid for the 500 three-peat win, Denny Hamlin finds himself in second place with 52 points.

Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell not only won his first Cup Series race; he finds himself in the top five of the point standings in fifth place.

Bubba Wallace with his new team in the 23 car lands a spot in the top 10 in eighth place after making history as the first African-American driver to lead in the 500.

The top 16 drivers – number of drivers that will make the playoffs at the end of the regular season – in the Cup Series point standings:
Austin Dillon
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Michael McDowell
Ryan Preece
Kyle Larson
Bubba Wallace
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell
Ross Chastain
Corey LaJoie
Kyle Busch
Jamie McMurray
Cole Custer
Brad Keselowski

Drivers earn points for the top 10 positions at the end of a stage and finishing positions in the race with the winner earning 40 points; each successive position earns points in descending order.  Drivers also earn extra playoff points for stage wins.