This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
We return to racing under the lights this week. The NASCAR Cup Series travels back to where the season started this weekend at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero Sugar 400. The second Daytona race of the season has historically been held July 4th week every year. However, last season's schedule shakeup has moved this thrilling night race to the final race of NASCAR's regular season. This event will be the cut race to the playoffs, NASCAR's Chase for the Cup. The added urgency to improve one's playoff position or to make it into the field will ratchet the pressure up to 11 on a 10-scale.
Unlike the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Cup Series races under the lights for this dramatic and entertaining racing event. This will be the third superspeedway race of the 2021 season, so we should now begin to see some trends forming on these larger ovals. With the same aero-rules package being used for the second time this season at Daytona, we hope to see some the same racing that made the Daytona 500 a competitive and exciting affair. If the drivers can duplicate the action we saw in June at Talladega, we should be in for a thrilling ride this Saturday night.
The 500-mile race at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season featured 35 lead changes among 17 different drivers for a very thrilling event. The Daytona 500 only offered 22 lead changes, so we will see if more lead swaps will happen this weekend