A Closer Look at Homestead-Miami Speedway
After Wednesday night’s race, the Blu Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series rolls on with its eighth race since the COVID-19 pause ended with the May 17 race at Darlington. It also marks the third race in eight days after the circuit raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway last Sunday followed by Wednesday’s run at Martinsville. The next stop comes to you down in the Sunshine State as the Dixie Vodka 400 comes to you from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Before you start contemplating what potential wagers to put down on the race, we’ll take a look at the track itself and give you some background information to help you prepare.
The track opened in November 1995 as part of the plan to revitalize the Homestead area after the devastation that Hurricane Andrew wreaked on the region three years earlier. After it was opened, the first race to take place at the track was the Jiffy Lube Miami 300 with Dale Jarrett taking the checkered flag in the Busch Grand National Series under a caution on November 5, 1995. The first NASCAR Cup series race that was run on the track was the Pennzoil 400 on November 14, 1999 with Tony Stewart cruising to the win by a hefty 5.289-second margin of victory. He held off Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton to earn the victory.
The track is a 1.5-mile oval with the turns banked between 18 and 20 degrees while the straightaways have a mild four-degree bank to them. As has been the case in recent seasons, the race will be divided into three stages, allowing the possibility of bonus points to be awarded to the winners of those. Stage 1 will be concluded at the 80-lap mark with the second stage coming to a close after lap 160. The final stage comes at the end of the race, which would be at the conclusion of lap 267. Brad Keselowski owns the record for qualifying as he turned a lap at 181.238 miles per hour on November 14, 2014. When it comes to the top race speed, Jeff Gordon owns that mark with an average speed of 142.245 mph on November 12, 2012.
Among current drivers, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick have each run 19 races at the track with Ryan Neman right behind with 18 starts. Eight active drivers have won at the track with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin each recording a pair of victories. Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Johnson, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick has all recorded one victory here. Harvick has racked up 11 top-five finishes here to lead the way among active drivers, putting him well ahead of Truex Jr.’s six, which puts him second. Kyle Busch and Johnson are tied for third with five top-five runs. Harvick also owns 17 top-10 finishes in his 19 runs, putting him atop the leaderboard in that department. Johnson and Kenseth each have 11 top-10 finishes while Hamlin and Truex Jr. each have 10. Hamlin has three pole positions while Johnson and Kurt Busch each have a pair.
The Dixie Vodka 400 gets underway at 3:30 pm ET with television coverage coming to you from FS1 and the Performance Racing Network. It will cap a busy weekend at the track as both the Hooters 250 and the Contender Boats 250 will be run on Saturday and Sunday for the Xfinity Series. In addition, the Baptist Health 200 for the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will be run on Saturday. Harvick, who leads the NASCAR Cup Series points standings, should be in prime position to maintain and potentially extend his advantage given his success at the track.