MIAMI – Winning at Homestead-Miami Speedway is nothing new for Denny Hamlin. When he took the checkered flag in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400, it marked his third win at the South Florida track, tying him with Hall of Famer Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle for the most Cup Series wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was Hamlin’s third victory of the season, as he became the Series’ first three-time winner in 2020. The race was staged with about 1,000 South Florida military members and their families on hand as honorary guests.
Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, began the race on the pole and was in control for most of the way, leading 137 laps of the 267-lap race, and capturing Stages 1 and 2 as well. It marked just the third time that the pole sitter at Homestead-Miami Speedway also won the race, and the first time since Kurt Busch did it in 2002. Tonight’s win also was the 40th in Hamlin’s career.
“I knew with three runs to go, my crew chief (Chris Gabehart) was giving me lap times and saying that the 9 (Chase Elliott) had good stuff going when we had that big lead” said Hamlin. “Really, I think our strong suit was being able to run a good lap time no matter where we were on the track. He was able to short pit us there. I wasn’t able to come to pit road, I kind of missed pit road there and he was able to get us on that cycle. I just knew if I ran the pace I knew I needed to save the tires that I was going to be good in the long run.”
The start of today’s race was delayed by weather before Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stepped to the starter’s stand to wave the green flag, getting the Dixie Vodka 400 underway. After just five laps, however, weather brought out a red flag, causing a further delay of 2:08:05. A second rain delay occurred after running just 28 more laps, this one for 00:38:43.
Hamlin overtook second-place finisher Chase Elliott for the lead with 30 laps remaining and never looked back. Ryan Blaney, who finished third, led 70 laps. The top five was rounded out by rookie Tyler Reddick (4th) and Aric Almirola (5th).
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway, which was founded by Miami businessman, racing enthusiast and philanthropist Ralph Sanchez, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2019, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 18th consecutive year (2002-19). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2019 were Kyle Busch (NASCAR Cup Series), Tyler Reddick (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Matt Crafton (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series). In 2020, Homestead-Miami Speedway commemorates its 25th anniversary in 2020, as it hosts four NASCAR races over two days – June 13-14 – capped by the running of the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday, June 14.
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