NASCAR at Bristol live updates, results, highlights from 2021 Bass Pro Shops Night Race

By | September 18, 2021

Three drivers are already locked in for the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12. Nine more spots are still left up for grabs heading into the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Those three are the winners of the first two playoff races — Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. — and the regular-season winner — Kyle Larson — who clinched on points at Richmond Raceway last Saturday.

Several drivers are in a pretty good position. Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick all need fewer than 30 points to move on. Chase Elliott and Christopher Bell are both within 40. And if any driver wins who has not already clinched a spot, they’re automatically in.

No active driver has won at Bristol more than Kyle Busch with his three wins. 

Sporting News is tracking live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s playoff race at Bristol. Follow for complete results from the 2021 Bass Pro Shops Night Race.

MORE: Watch today’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

NASCAR at Bristol live updates, highlights from Bass Pro Shops Night Race

10:24 p.m.: Another driver has clinched his spot in the Round of 12.

10:19 p.m.: Houff hits the wall to bring the caution back out. His front right tire looks busted.

10:18 p.m.: Hamlin is riding high as he continues to push Larson for first. Harvick is running third a second behind the leader.

10:15 p.m.: The green flag is back out.

10:14 p.m.: With 130 laps to go, Byron, Kurt Busch, Reddick and McDowell are the four currently out of the playoff picture.

10:11 p.m.: Larson, Hamlin, Harvick and Kyle Busch are the first four off of pit road.

10:09 p.m.: Quin Houff has lost his left rear tire, bringing out the caution flag.

10:04 p.m.: Austin Dillon is now in position for the free pass, taking it away from Kurt Busch. 

10:01 p.m.: Harvick gets caught behind David Starr, allowing Larson to move up and take the lead.

9:59 p.m.: Tyler Reddick is about to be put down a lap. That would make things challenging for him as he’s hoping to move on to the next round.

9:55 p.m.: Larson has now moved into third, passing Bell with 183 laps to go.

9:53 p.m.: Harvick finally takes the lead as he passes Blaney from the inside. He’s out in front with 192 laps remaining.

9:50 p.m.: Harvick cuts down low and tries to pin Blaney behind traffic, but Blaney is able to escape with the lead and stay in front.

9:50 p.m.: Harvick has really been pushing Blaney running up high on the track.

9:46 p.m.: Larson has moved back up into fifth with 216 laps to go. He fell behind taking the pit stop under caution after winning the second stage.

9:42 p.m.: Blaney nearly hit the wall, but he saves it to stay out in front. Harvick made up a lot of ground on him, but still Blaney remains in first.

9:41 p.m.: Blaney goes right under Harvick to speed out in front and take the lead. Bell and Truex battling back-and-forth for third.

9:40 p.m.: As the green flag comes back out, it’s Harvick in the lead with Blaney and Bell right behind him.

9:39 p.m.: NBCSports broadcast showing that Harvick, Blaney and Logano have joined Hamlin, Truex Jr. and Larson in advancing to the next round of the playoffs.

9:32 p.m.: Larson wins Stage 2 and Hamlin takes second place.

9:32 p.m.: Pit road is now closed with two laps left in the stage.

9:30 p.m.: New tires for Harvick haven’t helped him out. He’s been unable to pass Byron for fifth place as the stage nears its end.

9:28 p.m.: Hamlin is making some contact with the rear bumper of Larson trying to push him for the lead.

9:27 p.m.: 18 laps left in stage two as the race is back to green.

9:25 p.m.: Both Larson and Hamlin looked like they might pit, but decided against it last minute. Those two are running at the top with Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Elliott rounding out the top five.

9:22 p.m.: Most cars are staying out, though Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman each take the chance to pit under caution.

9:20 p.m.: Engines have been re-fired as the yellow flag is back out.

9:13 p.m.: The red flag has now been brought out for that crash.

9:11 p.m.: B.J. McLeod and Corey LaJoie are both out.

9:10 p.m.: Pit road hasn’t been opened yet as they work to clear it after the crash.

9:06 p.m.: Big crash on turn four of lap 220 that has collected a number of cars.

9:02 p.m.: Larson is able to coast through the traffic, and Hamlin is trying to go under it to keep pace with him in second.

9:01 p.m.: Ryan Newman is out of the race.

8:59 p.m.: Elliott is all the way up to ninth on lap 194. He’s made up quite a lot of ground since he was sent to the rear.

8:57 p.m.: Kurt Busch has moved below the cut line with Alex Bowman moving up just above it.

8:55 p.m.: Almirola is able to stay on the lead lap as the green flag comes back out.

8:54 p.m.: Almirola was black flagged on that trip to pit road.

8:52 p.m.: Instead of going back to green, they’re looking for fluid on the tracks.

8:50 p.m.: The caution has come back out. Almirola’s car is still smoking after a trip to pit road, with his crew saying that there is a liquid leaking.

8:47 p.m.: Larson, Hamlin, Keselowski, Harvick and Blaney are the first five off pit road.

8:46 p.m.: Here’s a look at the incident that has brought out the caution.

8:43 p.m.: The caution comes out. Smoke coming out of Daniel Suarez’s car, a number of other cars are heading into pit road with damage. Also smoke coming from the back of Aric Almirola’s car.

8:40 p.m.: Elliott has moved back up to 21st on lap 156, but he’s still a ways back. That speeding penalty dropped him all the way to the back of the field.

8:37 p.m.: Hamlin drives Keselowski up top and moves in ahead for the lead.

8:36 p.m.: Keselowski jumps up to take the lead and Hamlin moves in ahead of Larson as well.

8:34 p.m.: Green flag is back out. 

8:32 p.m.: Elliott has been hit with speeding on pit road.

8:31 p.m.: Larson, Elliott, Keselowski, Hamlin and Harvick are the first five off pit road. Hamlin dropping all the way down to fourth after winning the stage.

8:29 p.m.: Coming into the race, Tyler Reddick, William Byron and Michael McDowell needed a lot to happen for them to reach the next round. At the caution, Reddick is in 13th, Byron is in fifth and McDowell is in 20th.

8:25 p.m.: Larson passes Hamlin, but gets caught up in lap traffic. Hamlin retakes the lead as Larson is stuck behind Bubba Wallace. Larson now cutting to the bottom and gets past Wallace, but he can’t get past Hamlin, who wins the Stage 1.

8:25 p.m.: Larson has caught up with Hamlin as only five laps remain in the first stage.

8:17 p.m.: Hamlin stays up high and passes Larson to take the lead. Corey LaJoie, Hamlin and Larson go three-wide at one point on lap 92.

8:15 p.m.: Elliott gets caught in traffic as Larson makes a move to take the lead. Hamlin takes advantage of some contact made between him and Elliott to move into second.

8:13 p.m.: Larson has been trying to make a move on Elliott for the lead, getting right up behind him at times, but Elliott has been able to keep him at bay as they continue to weave through traffic.

8:12 p.m.: The race for first remains incredibly close on lap 75. Elliott has held onto his advantage, but Larson and Hamlin are both within two seconds of him.

8:07 p.m.: Logano had some issues on pit road and drops pretty far. He’s riding in 23rd on lap 58.

8:05 p.m.: The green is back out. Larson immediately jumps past Hamlin for second.

8:01 p.m.: Elliott, Hamlin, Larson, Keselowski and Harvick all stay in the top five coming off pit road.

7:59 p.m.: There’s the competition caution.

7:58 p.m.: Truex has fallen all the way back to 10th, and is facing pressure from Byron.

7:57 p.m.: Kurt Busch, riding in 22nd, is having some issues right now. He needs to perform well in this race to keep his playoff hopes alive.

7:56 p.m.: Hamlin has worked his way back up to second, with Larson right behind him. Competition caution is coming up in seven laps.

7:53 p.m.: Tyler Reddick says that he’s having issues with his radio. Told his crew he can only hear every third word.

7:51 p.m.: Brad Keselowski, racing up in sixth, says over the radio that he’s feeling good about his car.

7:50 p.m.: Elliott takes the lead on lap seven. 

7:48 p.m.: Chase Elliott was aggressive early to move past Denny Hamlin, and he’s now making ground on the leader, Martin Truex Jr., on lap five.

7:48 p.m.: The last Round of 16 race is underway.

7:46 p.m.: NBCSN broadcast says the competition caution will come out at lap 40.

7:38 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. Foundation founder Sherry Pollex gives the command to drivers.

7:35 p.m.: Kids of NASCAR drivers and crew sing the National Anthem ahead of the race.

7:30 p.m.: Pre-race ceremonies underway.

7:15 p.m.: Weather certainly doesn’t seem to be an issue. Drivers have been going through introductions and there are only a few clouds in the sky above the track.

7 p.m.: Bristol Motor Speedway warning fans of severe weather around the area. According to the Weather Channel , scattered thunderstorms are expected leading up to the start of the race, but it looks like the chance of precipitation dips just after the green flag is expected to be waved.

NASCAR start time today

  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET (TV time)
  • TV channel: NBCSN (TSN5 in Canada)
  • Live stream: | NBC Sports App | fuboTV ( 7-day free trial )

The green flag for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Bristol Motor Speedway’s 0.533-mile oval is scheduled to drop at 7:47 p.m. ET.

Rain could be a factor on race night. The National Weather Service’s Saturday night forecast for Bristol, Tenn. , is for possible showers and thunderstorms before 9 p.m. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a low temperature in the low to mid-60s. Winds will be light. The weather service said that there is a 40 percent chance of precipitation.

NASCAR playoff standings

Three drivers are already locked into the Round of 12 heading into the Bristol race. Denny Hamlin was the first when he won the playoff opener at Darlington. Kyle Larson (clinched on points) and Martin Truex Jr. (race winner) followed in the next race at Richmond.

The bottom four non-winning drivers after the Bristol race will be eliminated from the playoffs. The remaining 12 drivers will advance to the Round of 12, which will begin Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  

Pos. Driver Points
1 x-Kyle Larson 2151
2 x-Denny Hamlin 2127
3 x-Martin Truex Jr. 2113
4 Joey Logano 2093
5 Ryan Blaney 2081
6 Kevin Harvick 2078
7 Chase Elliott 2072
8 Christopher Bell 2070
9 Brad Keselowski 2066
10 Kyle Busch 2061
11 Aric Almirola 2056
12 Kurt Busch 2053
13 Alex Bowman 2053
14 Tyler Reddick 2048
15 William Byron 2035
16 Michael McDowell 2015

x-Clinched berth in Round of 12.

NASCAR starting lineup at Bristol

Here is the complete NASCAR starting lineup for Saturday’s playoff elimination race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Bass Pro Shops Night Race.

Start pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 P-Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 P-Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 P-Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
4 P-Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
5 P-Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
6 P-Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 P-Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
8 P-Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
9 P-Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
10 P-Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
11 P-Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
12 P-Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
13 P-Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
14 P-William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
15 P-Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
16 P-Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
17 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
18 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
19 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
20 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
21 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
22 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
23 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
24 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
25 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
26 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
27 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
28 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
29 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
30 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
31 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
32 BJ McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports
33 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
34 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
35 JJ Yeley 51 Petty Ware Racing
36 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
37 James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing
38 David Starr 66 Motorsports Business Management