TRACK: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5 mile oval) DISTANCE: 267 Laps – STAGE 1: 80 Laps, Stage 2: 80 Laps, FINAL STAGE 107 LAPS, 400.5 Miles)
WEATHER: RAIN 40%, 82 degrees high
The track has been on the NASCAR schedule since 1999. But, for the first time since the races inception, last year’s event was moved from November to the Spring. Due to COVID, it was delayed until June. Now, the race has a new home – February.
Homestead will complete the three race Florida start to the season.
- The ones to watch are certainly the Toyota drivers. Toyota has won each of the last two Homestead races including three of the last four and four of the last six.
- NASCAR began using stage breaks in their races in 2017, the eventual race winner of the Cup Series race on the South Florida 1.5 mile track has finished in the top five of every stage run. They’re 8-for-8. Denny Hamlin won last year’s race and swept both stages. Kyle Busch won the year prior and was 3rd and 1st in the two stages. Joey Logano was victorious in 2018 and was fourth and third respectively himself. Martin Truex Jr. was fifth and second respectively in his win in 2017.
- 7 of the last 8 races at Homestead have been won from a driver coming from a top five starting spot anyways.
- Parity – It all started June 30, 2019 at the Chicagoland Speedway with Alex Bowman. Then, Kentucky Speedway (Kurt Busch), Las Vegas in the Fall (Martin Truex Jr), Kansas (Denny Hamlin), Texas (Kevin Harvick) and Homestead (Kyle Busch). That’s six straight different winners. Last year, it was Las Vegas (Joey Logano), Charlotte (Brad Keselowski/Chase Elliott), Atlanta (Harvick), Homestead (Hamlin), Kentucky (Cole Custer), Texas (Austin Dillon), Kansas (Hamlin), Vegas (Kurt Busch) and Texas (Kyle Busch) respectively. That’s nine different winners in as many races between Kentucky from June 2019 to Charlotte in May 2020. Overall, we’ve had 11 different winners on 1.5-mile tracks in the last 16 races on them.
- Hamlin beat the kids last year. The then 39 year old was one of only three drivers over the age of 28 in the top 10 in the Dixie Vodka 400. 24 year olds Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick were second and fourth respectively. 26 year old Ryan Blaney was third. 25 year old Christopher Bell was eighth while 22 year old William Byron was ninth. The only other drivers in the top 10 was 36 year olds Brad Keselowski (10th) and Aric Almirola (5th), 35 year old Kyle Busch (6th) and 30 year old Austin Dillon (7th).
- Don’t expect overtime – 13 of the last 14 Homestead races ended on Lap 267.
Darlington would be the closest comparison. Both tracks have two longer straightaways (front and back) with longer sweeping corners connecting them. The tracks are both abrasive and run most similar together.