DENNY HAMLIN BRINGS HOME THE WIN IN DIXIE VODKA 400 AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
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.
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).