When the green flag drops at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, the track will begin a new era in NASCAR.
For the first time since the 2001 season, the South Florida venue will not be host to the championships of NASCAR’s three premier series. Instead, they will be hosting early season events.
The 1.5 mile oval with turns banked up to 20 degrees will be host to just the 12th race of the Cup Series season. However, all three premier series will still have events. The Xfinity Series will actually have events on both Saturday and Sunday, with 15-time Cup Series most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. participating on Saturday.
Like all Cup Series races at Homestead, the Dixie Vodka 400 will be 400 miles long and 267 laps. Each of the first two stages will be 80 laps with the final stage being 107 laps.
Last time at Homestead, Kyle Busch won the race en route to his second Cup Series Championship. On Sunday, he will roll off 4th. His teammate, Denny Hamlin, has the pole.
The starting positions were determined via a random draw dependent on owner points. 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36 in owner points are determined by separate draws for starting positions. Spots 37-38 are represented by non-chartered teams. With no qualifying, it provides more incentive for teams to get better finishes to have a better chance to start further up-front.
It will be really interesting to see how Sunday’s race plays out. Now, there’s more than just the Championship 4 fighting for something big. Instead, it’s the whole field competing for the same prize. It will also be the first time that FOX will be broadcasting this race.
The race is at 3:30pm ET on Sunday. The Truck Series and Xfinity series run on Saturday afternoon, and the Xfinity Series runs again before the Cup race on Sunday.