For the first-time since 2019, the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs return to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). Team Penske’s Joey Logano is the first driver to earn a spot in the Championship 4 Round with his victory last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leaving three positions still up for grabs but only two chances left to secure them.
- Next Race: Dixie Vodka 400
- The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway
- The Date: Sunday, October 23
- The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
- The Purse: $7,342,738
- TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET
- Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
- Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),
- Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 165), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)
This season (2022) will be the 17th year Homestead-Miami Speedway has hosted a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race (2004-2019, 2022). The 2022 season marks the first-time the second-race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 has been hosted by Homestead-Miami Speedway (Race No. 34 of the season and eighth of the postseason). Homestead-Miami Speedway (2022) is the fourth different track to host the eighth-race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Phoenix Raceway (one race: 2004), Texas Motor Speedway (16 races: 2005-2020), and Kansas Speedway (one race: 2021). Prior to the 2022 season, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the season finale race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs from 2004-2019 (16 races).
A total of 11 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, led by Greg Biffle with three postseason victories in South Beach (2004-2006). Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in victories in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Homestead-Miami Speedway with two postseason wins each.
|Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race Winners|
|Track||Playoff Race Winners||Date||Race No.|
|Homestead-Miami||Greg Biffle||Sunday, November 21, 2004||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Greg Biffle||Sunday, November 20, 2005||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Greg Biffle||Sunday, November 19, 2006||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Matt Kenseth||Sunday, November 18, 2007||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Carl Edwards||Sunday, November 16, 2008||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Denny Hamlin||Sunday, November 22, 2009||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Carl Edwards||Sunday, November 21, 2010||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Tony Stewart||Sunday, November 20, 2011||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Jeff Gordon||Sunday, November 18, 2012||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Denny Hamlin||Sunday, November 17, 2013||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Kevin Harvick||Sunday, November 16, 2014||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Kyle Busch||Sunday, November 22, 2015||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, November 20, 2016||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Martin Truex Jr||Sunday, November 19, 2017||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Joey Logano||Sunday, November 18, 2018||36|
|Homestead-Miami||Kyle Busch||Sunday, November 17, 2019||36|
A total of nine different drivers have won the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson with five postseason victories (Texas: 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in victories in the eighth race of the Playoffs with three postseason wins (Texas: 2017, 2018, 2019).
|NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 8 Winners|
|Track||Playoff Race Winners||Date|
|Phoenix||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Sunday, November 7, 2004|
|Texas||Carl Edwards||Sunday, November 6, 2005|
|Texas||Tony Stewart||Sunday, November 5, 2006|
|Texas||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, November 4, 2007|
|Texas||Carl Edwards||Sunday, November 2, 2008|
|Texas||Kurt Busch||Sunday, November 8, 2009|
|Texas||Denny Hamlin||Sunday, November 7, 2010|
|Texas||Tony Stewart||Sunday, November 6, 2011|
|Texas||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, November 4, 2012|
|Texas||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, November 3, 2013|
|Texas||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, November 2, 2014|
|Texas||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, November 8, 2015|
|Texas||Carl Edwards||Sunday, November 6, 2016|
|Texas||Kevin Harvick||Sunday, November 5, 2017|
|Texas||Kevin Harvick||Sunday, November 4, 2018|
|Texas||Kevin Harvick||Sunday, November 3, 2019|
|Texas||Kyle Busch||Sunday, October 25, 2020|
|Kansas||Kyle Larson||Sunday, October 24, 2021|
Seven times the winner of the Homestead-Miami Speedway Playoff race has also won the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season during the Playoffs Era (2004-Present):
- In 2011, NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart won from the 15th starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and as a result secured his third-career NASCAR Cup Series championship (2002, 2005, 2011).
- In 2014, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick won from the fifth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the first year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result won his first NASCAR Cup Series title.
- In 2015, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch won from the third starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the second year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.
- In 2016, Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson won from the 14th starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the third year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he tied NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the series-most titles with seven each.
- In 2017, Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. won from the second starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fourth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.
- In 2018, Team Penske’s Joey Logano won from the fifth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fifth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.
- In 2019, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch won from the fourth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the sixth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his second NASCAR Cup Series championship, becoming the only active driver with multiple titles (2015, 2019).
Four times the winner of the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the title later that same season – three at Texas Motor Speedway (2007, 2011, 2013) and once at Kansas Speedway (2021).
- In 2007, Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson won from the eighth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. The Playoff win at Texas was his third of four consecutive victories in the 2007 Playoffs – the only driver to win four straight in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix).
- In 2011, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Tony Stewart won from the fifth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season (2002, 2005, 2011). The Texas Playoff win was Stewart’s fourth of his record setting five NASCAR Cup Series Playoff wins in a single postseason run in 2011 (Chicago, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas, Homestead-Miami).
- In 2013, Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Johnson’s second of two postseason victories (Dover, Texas) in 2013.
- In 2021, Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson won from the first starting position at Kansas Speedway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that same season. The Kansas Playoff win was Larson’s fourth of his five postseason wins in 2021 (Bristol, Charlotte RC, Texas, Kansas, Phoenix); tying NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart’s record for the most Playoff wins in a single Playoff run with five each.
The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th and it has occurred three times: 2005, 2008, 2012.
- In 2005, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Tony Stewart finished 15th in the season finale NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the series title that season – it was his second career championship. He entered the final race 52 points ahead of second place Jimmie Johnson in the championship standings.
- In 2008, Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson finished 15th in the season finale NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the series title that season – his third consecutive championship. Johnson entered the final race 141 points ahead of second place Carl Edwards in the championship standings.
- In 2012, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski finished 15th in the season finale NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the series title that season – his first career championship. Keselowski entered the final race 20 points ahead of second place Jimmie Johnson in the championship standings.
The worst finish in the eighth NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race by a driver that went on to win the title that same season:
- At Phoenix Raceway, the eighth race of the Playoffs in 2004, Kurt Busch finished in 10th-place and won the title that same season.
- At Texas Motor Speedway, the eighth race of the Playoffs in 2009, Jimmie Johnson finished in 38th-place and won the title that same season.
- At Kansas Speedway, the eighth race of the Playoffs in 2021, Kyle Larson won the race and won the title that same season.
Three times non-Playoff drivers have won the Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2004, 2006, 2013).
- In 2004, Greg Biffle was ranked 17th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings when he won the inaugural Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- In 2006, Greg Biffle was ranked 13th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings when he won the Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- In 2013, Denny Hamlin was ranked 23rd in the NASCAR Cup Series standings when he won the Playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Four times a non-Playoff driver has won the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, all at Texas Motor Speedway (2006, 2014, 2015, 2020).
- In 2006, Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings at the time of the Playoff win at Texas Motor Speedway.
- In 2014, Jimmie Johnson was 11th in points at the time of the Playoff win at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.
- In 2015, Jimmie Johnson was 12th in points at the time of the Playoff win at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 16.
- In 2020, Kyle Busch was ninth in points at the time of the Playoff win at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2020 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.
All the NASCAR Cup Series on-track activity this weekend will get going with practice and Busch Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday, October 20 at 10 a.m. ET and can be viewed on the NBC Sports App.
Clinch scenarios for Homestead-Miami Speedway
To decide this season’s NASCAR Cup Series champion the current Round of 8 contenders, not named Joey Logano, have just two chances left – this weekend at Homestead- Miami and next weekend at Martinsville Speedway – to earn one of the three remaining spots in the Championship 4 Round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Team Penske’s Joey Logano punched his ticket to the Championship 4 with his big win last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fifth-time in his career the 2018 series champion has earned a spot in the final postseason round (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022). This weekend, the Dixie Vodka 400 (Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) offers 400.5 miles (267 laps) for the competitors to battle it out. Here is a look at the clinch scenarios the drivers vying for a spot in the next round will face on Sunday.
The following driver has clinched a spot in the four-driver field of the next round: Joey Logano.
Can Clinch Via Points
If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the third winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ross Chastain or Chase Elliott.
- Ross Chastain: Could only clinch with help
- Chase Elliott: Could only clinch with help
If there is a new winner from Denny Hamlin or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the second winless driver in the standings.
- Ross Chastain: Could only clinch with help
Can Clinch Via Win
The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell.
|NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Las Vegas Motor Speedway|
|Rank||Driver||Points||Race Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||Starts||+/- Cutoff|
|1||Joey Logano||4,084||3||6||26||33||In On Wins|
Ross Chastain breaking new ground in racing career
Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain is forging into unfamiliar territory in his NASCAR Cup Series career. In his first appearance in the Playoffs, the Florida native ranks second in the postseason standings following the Round of 8 opener at Las Vegas and is up +18 points on the cutoff with a shot at the Championship 4 Round.
“It’s so good to be driving these Trackhouse Racing Chevy’s for everybody at Advent Health, Moose Fraternity, Jockey and Worldwide Express,” said Chastain. “To keep bringing this kind of speed in the Playoffs is a dream come true.”
Chastain grew-up not too far from Homestead-Miami Speedway in Alva, Florida and returns to his home state looking to lock-up his chance at making the Championship 4 Round. So far, Chastain has been impressive in his first postseason run, making seven starts and putting up two top fives and four top 10s. His average finish during the Playoffs is 12.7.
Chastain will have to work this weekend to maintain his current points cushion, as Homestead-Miami has not been his best track. In three Cup Series starts he has a best finish of 17th (last season). His average finish at the 1.5-mile Miami track is a 28.3 – the worst of the eight Playoff contenders.
Former champion Chase Elliott looks to make Champ 4 for third straight season
The 2022 Regular Season Champion, Chase Elliott, has been hustling through this year’s Playoffs and finds himself third in the point standings following the Round of 8 opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, up 17 points on the Championship 4 Round cutoff. Since winning the Cup Series title in 2020, Elliott has earned a spot in the Championship 4 Round the last two seasons and is looking to make it three straight this season for a shot at his second-career championship. If Elliott were to win the title this season, he would join Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) as the only other multiple title holder active in the series.
In seven Playoff starts this season, Elliott has been roller coaster ride posting one win (Talladega) and two top fives. He has led 84 laps and has an average finish of 17.6.
But what should worry the competition is Elliott has run well at both Homestead and Martinsville in his career. At this weekend’s track, Homestead-Miami, Elliott has made six series starts posting two top-fives and three top 10s. Plus, he leads all eight Playoff contenders in average finish at the 1.5-mile track with a 9.0.
Miami Vice: Denny Hamlin teeters Championship 4 Round cutline
Of the Playoff drivers left vying for a position in the Championship 4 Round, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin has had the most experience in the final round with four career appearances (2014, 2019, 2020, 2021) and is looking for his fourth consecutive appearance this weekend at one of his best tracks, Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I’m looking forward to Homestead,” said Hamlin. “We had a very good test there a few weeks ago and really felt like we unloaded as one of the best cars. After two days, the field kind of caught up to us a little bit, but I have a lot of confidence going there. I feel like the driver can make a difference just with the different lines you can run, so I think that fits into our strengths on top of just how strong we have been on these types of tracks this year.”
Hamlin will be one to watch come Sunday, in 17 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile track in South Florida he has collected three wins (2009, 2013, 2020), five top fives and 11 top 10s. His average finish at the track is 10.0 (second-best among Playoff contenders) and he has led 393 laps.
Outside Looking In: Byron, Briscoe, Blaney and Bell have a hill to climb in points
With one race down in the Playoffs Round of 8 and two to go, the drivers below the Championship 4 Round cutline have their work cut out for them as they try to earn their position in the next round. Following Las Vegas, William Byron (-6 points), Chase Briscoe (-9), Ryan Blaney (-11) and Christopher Bell (-23) are all ranked below the cutline of the Championship 4 Round, but keep in mind only two more spots can be earned by wins leaving at least one spot reserved for a driver to get in on points.
Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron is currently fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, six points behind Denny Hamlin in the fourth and final transfer spot on points to the Championship 4 Round at Phoenix Raceway on November 6. In seven Playoff starts this season, Byron has put up one top five and four top 10s. He has led 102 laps in the postseason events this year and has average finish of 9.3. Looking to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, Byron should be feeling pretty confident. The North Carolina native has made four starts at the 1.5-mile track posting one win (2021) and two top 10s. His average finish at Homestead-Miami is 18.2.
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe is carrying the organizations banner this season in the Round of 8 of the Playoffs and following his top-five finish to open the round at Las Vegas he has moved up from eighth to sixth in the postseason standings nine points back from the Championship 4 Round cutline. In seven Playoff starts this season he amassed two top fives and four top 10s. Looking ahead to this weekend at Homestead-Miami, Briscoe will be looking to build on his series track debut from last season, where he started 30th and finished 18th. The South Florida track has been to Briscoe’s career in the past, he has wins in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2020) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2017).
“We kept ourselves in the ballgame and still have a lot of work to do but we still have a chance,” said Briscoe following Vegas. “We are running the best we have all year long and that is about all you can ask for.”
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney was looking like he was going to challenging for the win last weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 opener at Las Vegas, but instead an incident derailed his day and now the North Carolina native finds himself seventh in the point standings, -11 points back from the Championship 4 Round cutline. In seven postseason starts this year, Blaney has put up two top fives and three top 10s. He has led 110 laps and also has an average finish of 16.0. Looking ahead to this weekend at Homestead-Miami, Blaney has made seven career Cup starts at 1.5-mile track collecting just one top-10 finish. His average finish at the speedway is 18.9.
The one driver that fell the furthest in the standings following Las Vegas was Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, who was caught in the Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson incident, and now finds himself eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 standings, -23 points back from the Championship 4 Round cutline. Bell’s 2022 Playoff run has been one of feast or famine. The Oklahoman has put up one wins (Charlotte ROVAL) and four top fives (most among Playoff contenders). He has also led 157 laps and has an average finish of 14.0 this postseason.
“The good thing is I feel better about winning one of those two races than I did winning the Roval,” said Bell. “We’ve just had really, really strong Toyota Camrys – really all year long. We will see if we can go pull another rabbit out of the hat.”
Looking ahead to Homestead this Sunday, Bell has made two series starts at the 1.5-mile track posting one top-10 finish.
Cup Racing in South Beach
Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began August 24, 1993. The original configuration of Homestead-Miami Speedway was a four-turn, rectangular paved oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s layout.
The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Xfinity Series event on November 5, 1995 – the inaugural Xfinity Series race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (Ford, 92.229 mph). The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway was held on November 14, 1999 – the inaugural Cup Series race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (Pontiac,140.335 mph).
The 2002 season was the first year the Championship Weekend was held at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track. The track would host the season finale from 2002-2019. There have been 23 NASCAR Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one per season since 1999.
A total of 14 different drivers have won the pole in the NASCAR Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and five have won multiple poles. Denny Hamlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway with three (2015, 2017, 2018). Of the 14 NASCAR Cup Series pole winners at Homestead-Miami Speedway three will be active this weekend.
|Active Homestead-Miami Pole Winners||Poles||Seasons|
|Denny Hamlin||3||2015, 2017, 2018|
A total of 15 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and five different drivers have won more than once at the 1.5-mile track. Greg Biffle (2004, 2005, 2006), Tony Stewart (1999, 2000, 2011) and Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013, 2020) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with three wins each. Of the 15 NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami Speedway six of them are active this weekend, and three are active Playoff drivers – Joey Logano, William Byron and Denny Hamlin.
|Active Homestead-Miami Race Winners||Wins||Seasons|
|Denny Hamlin||3||2009, 2013, 2020|
|Kyle Busch||2||2015, 2019|
|Martin Truex Jr||1||2017|
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
Extensive list of dignitaries coming out to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend – Fans will have lot to look forward to this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway when NASCAR comes to town. Not only will there be great racing, but several other activities and celebrities for fans to enjoy as well.
Natti Natasha, the well-known Billboard award-winning Latin female artist who has taken over popular culture worldwide, will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Sunday, Oct. 23rd Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at picturesque Homestead-Miami Speedway. Natti will pilot a special pink Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE around the 1.5-mile South Florida track, part of the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” initiative (12th consecutive season, part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month). She will lead the field of NASCAR stars to the green flag in the premier series’ second of three races in the Round of 8 of the Playoffs.
Miami Heat Captain and three-time NBA Champion Udonis Haslem, one of the most respected and beloved players and new member to the DoorDash family of athlete partners, will serve as an “Honorary Race Official” for the Dixie Vodka 400 and will be introduced to the fans in attendance during pre-race and driver introductions.
Michael Baiamonte, the well-known public address voice of the Miami Heat team for the last 32 years and one of the premier voices in sports, serve as the pre-race announcer to introduce the starting field of drivers for the Dixie Vodka 400.
Afro-Latin singer, songwriter and Miami native Adassa will perform the National Anthem prior to the command to start engines for the Dixie Vodka 400.
Also, renowned Latin recording artist and radio personality Alex Sensation, whose popular syndicated radio show is heard in Miami on El Nuevo Zol 106.7 FM, will get the party started at Larry’s Hard Lemonade Beach Bash in the track infield also on Sunday. The Colombian American, who is one of the most influential Latin DJs in the United States, will perform his set in the infield at the one-of-a-kind 20,000 square-foot beach inside of Turn 3. The relaxation destination, the only one of its kind in motorsports, sits on a 7-acre spring-fed lake that spans the width of the backstretch. In addition to the live entertainment, the event will have unique food and beverage options, water activities and more. His show is broadcasted daily across the country in not only Miami, but also New York, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. With more than three million weekly listeners, Alex Sensation’s radio show has been a staple in the country’s top Latin music stations for 15 years.
NASCAR Cup Series Featured Matchups: Dixie Vodka 400 – Below is a close look at the featured matchups fans can bet on heading into this weekend’s event.
Joey Logano vs. Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano became the first driver to lock himself into the Championship race at Phoenix Raceway as he won the South Point 400 at Las Vegas last weekend. Logano used fresher tires to pass Ross Chastain with 3 laps to go and pulled away to the checkered flag. It was Logano’s fourth win of the season. His Penske teammate, Ryan Blaney, may have had the fastest car on Sunday but spun out late in the race to end his chances of winning his first race of the season. Blaney now finds himself 11 points behind the cutline and will look to Homestead as an opportunity to bring two Penske Fords to the Championship 4 Round.
Chase Briscoe vs. William Byron
Chase Briscoe found himself a lap down early in the race last weekend at Las Vegas, but in typical Briscoe fashion found himself near the front at the end of the race. Rallying from the free pass, Briscoe finished fourth at Las Vegas and climbed the Playoff rankings. He now sits only 9 points behind Denny Hamlin for the final spot in the Championship 4. For Byron, a 13th-place finish does not tell the whole story. He achieved stage points in the first two stages and climbed the Playoff rankings as well. He is three points ahead of Briscoe as he tries to battle for a spot in the Championship 4 Round. Byron has a win at Homestead on his resume and will look for #24 to become the second driver to lock himself into the Championship 4 Round.
Denny Hamlin vs. Chase Elliott
It was not the trip to Sin City that either Denny Hamlin or Chase Elliott were hoping for. Both had to start outside the top 20 but battled all day to get to the front. Hamlin rallied to finish with a good points day as he finished fifth in both Stage 2 and the race. Elliott crossed the finish line in 21st and did not get any stage points. Although they did not lock in their spot into the Championship 4 Round like Joey Logano, they are still above the cutline in the points race. Sitting in second, Elliott only has one top five in his last three races at Homestead. Currently fourth in the standings, Hamlin should be looking forward to Homestead where he has one win and a 109.9 driver rating in his last three races.