JIm Topper/Associated Press
The Homestead-Miami Speedway began hosting NASCAR Cup Series events in 1999 and had always held a November race.
In 2020, changes were made. Instead of hosting the Cup Series schedule finale, as it has each year since 2002, Homestead-Miami was set to hold an event in March for the first time. However, the coronavirus pandemic meant that didn’t happen.
Now, Homestead-Miami’s first non-November event will be held Sunday, when NASCAR’s busy return stretch continues with the Dixie Vodka 400. This will be the eighth Cup Series race to take place since the season resumed May 17. It will also be the third race in eight days, as the drivers competed at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.
NASCAR still isn’t holding practice or qualifying, so the starting order for Sunday was determined in a random draw. The result of that means Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano will be leading the field to the green flag.
Here’s everything else you need to know about Sunday’s race.
NASCAR at Homestead-Miami Information
Date: Sunday, June 14
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports app or FoxSports.com
Kyle Busch 450 (bet $100 to win $450)
Martin Truex Jr. 450
Kevin Harvick 500
Chase Elliott 600
Denny Hamlin 700
Brad Keselowski 800
Joey Logano 800
Ryan Blaney 1,000
Alex Bowman 1,500
Kurt Busch 2,000
Jimmie Johnson 2,500
Complete list of odds available at Caesars Palace.
While the past seven NASCAR Cup Series races have been held without fans, things will be slightly different Sunday. Homestead-Miami Speedway will host up to 1,000 South Florida service members for the 400.5-mile race, according to NASCAR.com.
It won’t be quite the same as a typical NASCAR crowd, but it’s a first step back in that direction.
Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are the betting favorites heading into the weekend, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given both drivers are likely to stay near the front of the field Sunday.
Busch has had plenty of recent success at Homestead-Miami, winning at the track in both 2015 and 2019 to secure his two career Cup Series championships. Last year, he led a race-high 120 laps to claim the title. However, that was also the last time he’s won a Cup Series race—he’s yet to notch a victory during the 2020 season.
Truex is also a former Homestead-Miami winner, finishing first at the race there in 2017 to secure his lone Cup Series championship. He has momentum entering the race, as he finished first at Martinsville on Wednesday for his first win of the 2020 season.
On Sunday, Busch is starting fourth and Truex will be in sixth, so it might not take long for one of them to move into the lead. However, they will have to get past Hamlin, who is starting in the pole position and is likely to be another top contender.
Hamlin has won two races this year—the season-opening Daytona 500 in February and the Toyota 500 at Darlington on May 20, which was the second race after NASCAR’s return to action. He’s also a two-time winner at Homestead-Miami, winning the 2009 and 2013 races.
However, none of the drivers have raced at Homestead-Miami in June before, and the track conditions could be greatly affected by the heat; AccuWeather forecasts high humidity and temperatures in the high-80s. With no practice, it will be interesting to see how drivers feel out the track at the start of the race.
Over the past few years, Homestead-Miami has hosted some competitive races. And according to Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, the cars will have the same tire package they used at the race last November, as well as at Darlington in May.
“It has also turned into one of our most high-wear tracks, and that is something that both fans and drivers seem to like,” Stucker said, according to NASCAR.com. “For the drivers, it puts a lot of focus on being smooth and managing their tires. Over a long run, lap times will fall off over two seconds from the beginning to the end of the run, so drivers who are able to save their tires early in a run will benefit from that later on.”
The 2020 NASCAR season has been unique, and it will be exciting to see just what happens at the first non-November Cup Series race ever at Homestead-Miami on Sunday.