NASCAR: 3 drivers most likely to climb into the playoff picture

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Reddick, NASCAR
Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Drivers most likely to enter the playoff picture: #3 – Tyler Reddick

There are plenty of drivers who could have been placed here, but with 2020 playoff drivers Aric Almirola and Matt DiBenedetto struggling and sitting all the way down in 28th and 30th place in the point standings, respectively, we have to go with Tyler Reddick, who, if not for Cole Custer’s win last season, would have been the runaway Rookie of the Year Award winner.

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Reddick hasn’t had a great start to the 2021 season, with just one finish of higher than 22nd place, and he sits down in 23rd in the standings. Yet just like he did for much of last season, he appears to be right on the verge of finding victory lane for the first time.

He came close multiple times in his rookie year last year and very well could have made the playoffs on points anyway, and he has already come close once this season with a second place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which easily could have been a victory had the race lasted for a few more laps and/or had he gotten a better final restart.

Fortunately, he didn’t think the white flag was the checkered flag this time around.

Even with his struggles outside of Homestead-Miami Speedway this season, he is only 29 points behind the cut line, and teammate Austin Dillon has shown decent pace with two 12th place finishes in a row at the 1.5-mile ovals as well. He has what it takes.

A bit more consistency for Reddick will do him wonders in terms of his point total, and it will only add to his likelihood of finding victory lane sometime over the course of the regular season’s final 22 races.

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The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is scheduled to continue at Phoenix Raceway this afternoon with the fifth race on the schedule, the Instacart 500. This race is set to be broadcast live beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.