The ten closest finishes from the 2021 NASCAR season
10. Austin Cindric vs. Brett Moffitt – Daytona Xfinity – 0.104s
Cindric started his title defense on the right foot with a win in the season-opener at Daytona, controlling the final few laps of the race and denying Moffitt his first victory in the Xfinity Series.
9. Brad Keselowski vs. William Byron – Talladega Cup – 0.102s
Keselowski’s last victory as a Team Penske driver. At Talladega, he beat Byron to the checkered flag for his 35th career win and what would ultimately be his final behind the wheel of the No. 2 machine before becoming a co-owner/driver at Roush Keselowski Fenway Racing.
8. Myatt Snider vs. Brandon Jones – Homestead Xfinity – 0.085s
Snider earned his first career NXS victory early in the 2021 season, leading just five laps after a tough back-and-forth battle for the race lead at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
7. A.J. Allmendinger vs. Austin Cindric – Bristol Xfinity – 0.082s
One of the most dramatic finishes of the year came in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season finale at Bristol Motor Speedway. Three-wide, door-slamming chaos ensued at the half-mile short track, culminating in a photo finish and massive crash just after the checkered flag. Allmendinger’s race-winning car even had to be towed back to Victory Lane.
6. Ryan Blaney vs. William Byron – Michigan Cup – 0.077s
The closest finish of the NASCAR Cup Series season came at one of its biggest tracks with Ryan Blaney holding off William Byron. Blaney took the top spot for the first time on a Lap 193/200 restart and did not look back, leading the final eight laps as fellow young gun Byron tried and failed to find his way back into the lead.
5. Noah Gragson vs. Austin Cindric – Martinsville Xfinity – 0.064s
Gragson secured his place in the Championship 4 with this impressive victory at Martinsville after leading over half the race. The win was the fifth of his NXS career, holding off 2020 series champion Cindric in the battle to the line. He would go on to place third in the final points standings.
4. Tate Fogleman vs Tyler Hill – Talladega Trucks – 0.052s
After sending John-Hunter Nemechek spinning, it was a clash of the underdogs as Fogleman beat doors with Hill to the line and winning for the very first time in his brief career. It was a career-best result for Hill as well, and the first time either driver had finished inside the top-five.
3. Ben Rhodes vs. Jordan Anderson – Daytona Trucks – 0.036s
The eventual 2021 CWTS champion started off the year with a victory in the season-opener, denying both Jordan Anderson and Cory Roper what could have been their first trip to Victory Lane. Rhodes would later bookend the year by also winning the finale and taking the Truck Series championship.
2. Daniel Hemric vs. Austin Cindric – Phoenix Xfinity – 0.030s
In a climatic NXS championship finale, Hemric and Cindric traded paint exited the last corner. Hemric prevailed, capturing his first ever win after going winless in his first 119 starts. They slammed fenders not just for the win though, but the title as well. Hemric would get to celebrate both his first career and the title on the same night in one of the most memorable season finales in recent history.
1. Justin Haley vs. A.J. Allmendinger – Daytona Xfinity 0.023s
In a Kaulig Racing 1-2, Haley narrowly beat out his teammate for the closest finish of the 2021 season, coming in the NXS playoff race at Daytona. The win was the fourth of Haley’s NXS career, all coming at superspeedways.