South Florida hosted the NASCAR season finale for almost two decades, but the Championship Weekend will be replaced to Phoenix International Raceway as of 2020. The annual race at Homestead Miami Speedway will thus be moved to March. The first such race is just around the corner as NASCAR superstars will take on each other on March 22nd in Homestead.
We’ll take a look at the list of the main favorites to win the event. William Hill NJ have already come out with the odds for the race winner. The reigning champion Kyle Busch snapped his long winless thread in November when he took the checkered flag in Homestead. One of the all-time greats will be among the main favorites to match such success this time around. Let’s see who are his main rivals?
The top five favorites
Denny Hamlin clinched the Daytona 500 victory and will no doubts be among the main contenders in South Florida. His win was overshadowed by a tough Ryan Newman crash as the driver was forced to rush to the hospital following the last-lap collision. Hamlin thus bumped his chances of winning the NASCAR Cup Series and will arrive at Homestead in the highest of spirits in spite of his results in late-February/early March. Denny won the Florida race two times in his career but has not been at the top of the caravan here since 2013.
Joey Logano and Kyle Busch had disappointing runs at the start of the season finishing the Daytona 500 outside the top 20 each. They are both expected to bounce back with a strong challenge at the Dixie Vodka 400, especially following their recent form. They have won the event in the last two years. Interestingly, Busch and Hamlin are the only two active drivers to have won the Homestead Speedway more than once.
Aside from this trio, we see Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. as drivers capable of causing troubles to the aforementioned trio. Harvick will be looking to keep his fine spell of form going following the 5th-place finish at Daytona 500, while Truex Jr. is still among the main contenders for the Cup Series Championship despite a slower set of performances in February.
The standings after Auto Club 400
Alex Bowman climbed up to third place in the overall NASCAR Cup Series standings thanks to the victory at the Auto Cup 400 at the start of the month. Bowman secured his second career win after leading 110 of 200 laps.
Ryan Blaney tops the field for the second consecutive week in spite of the 19th-place finish on the first weekend of the month. Joey Logano, Jimmy Johnson, and Chase Elliott are within six points inside the top five in the overall standings, while the Daytona 500 winner Hamlin sits seventh with a nine-point deficit to Elliott.
Driver’s performances at Homestead-Miami
Joey Logano finished sixth or better in five successive years at Homestead-Miami. He led the race 80 laps two years ago when the legend won both the event and the championship. His recent form and results at this particular race over the course of history make us believe Logano will indeed do well on March 22nd.
Kyle Busch also finished at least sixth in each of his last five appearances in South Florida. The defending champion will no doubts be the one to keep a close eye on.
Kevin Harvick, who holds the fourth place in the 2020 rankings, is the only driver to have completed a top 10 finish in each of his 12 appearances at Homestead-Miami. He finished fourth or better in five of the last six races here and is also well worth backing to take the checkered flag here in mid-March.