NASCAR at Homestead live updates: William Byron takes checkered flag

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Alex Andrejev
·10 min read
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The NASCAR Cup Series hits its first intermediate track of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway today. The Dixie Vodka 400 is at 3:30 p.m. on FOX.

Race stages end on laps 80, 160 and 267.

Check back here for live updates throughout the race and follow NASCAR reporter Alex Andrejev on Twitter at @AndrejevAlex.

FINAL

William Byron took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami shortly after 7 p.m., followed by Tyler Reddick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson.

Final Stage

6:38 p.m., Lap 227: The running order for leaders with 40 laps to go is William Byron, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Cole Custer.

6:16 p.m., Lap 200: A caution is called after Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola make contact. Both cars have damage, with Blaney losing a tire, and debris is left on the track to bring out the yellow. Kyle Larson, Martin Truex, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, William Byron come out first from the pit stop, but Hamlin gets a speeding penalty on pit road to send him to the back on the restart. He was 0.09 seconds over the tolerance speed. “I was definitely getting all I could get but I didnt feel I was any faster than any time today,” Hamlin says on his radio.

6:08 p.m., Lap 189: Cole Custer has moved up to seventh, followed by Brad Keselowski, Michael McDowell and Tyler Reddick. The sun is setting now and it appears the top groove is becoming preferable. Kevin Harvick is also up to sixth after a slow start to the day, finishing out of the top-10 in the second stage.

5:58 p.m., Lap 170: Martin Truex Jr. is one of a few cars to pit for tires, as does Ryan Blaney, and it pays off with Truex running from 17th to fifth in a single lap after the restart. William Byron, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. are leading.

Stage 2

5:48 p.m., Lap 160: William Byron wins Stage 2. Denny Hamlin picks up five spots on pit road to restart in the front row inside Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. It’s a one lap shootout for the end of the stage, but Hamlin slides high in front of Truex in the final lap, saying he got on the brakes off Turn 4 and lost it. That blocks Truex and opens up the low line for Byron to slide into first place at the end of the stage. The finishing order is: William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon for points.

5:36 p.m., Lap 153: The caution comes out for fluid on the track. Corey LaJoie’s smoking car appears to have a race-ending issue. He heads to the garage and stand-in crew chief Steve Letarte says over the radio, ”For the week we’ve had, we accomplished a lot.” LaJoie was running 15th after dropping to the back for the start of the race. His typical crew chief Ryan Sparks was out due to COVID-19 protocols.

5:30 p.m., Lap 140: After pit stops cycle through, Martin Truex Jr. picks up his lead over Chris Buescher. The order with fewer than 20 laps in the stage after them is William Byron, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman and Aric Almirola.

5:19 p.m., Lap 121: Martin Truex Jr. takes the lead from Chris Buescher but doesn’t complete it before pitting. He gets a call to pit “too late,” he says. Buescher pits from the lead the next time around.

5:15 p.m., Lap 117: A Toyota enters the top-three talk with Martin Truex Jr. in second place chasing down Buescher, who’s ahead by less than half a second. Wiiliam Byron, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott follow in that order. Green flag pit stops will start shortly.

5:05 p.m., Lap 95: Chris Buescher’s car is clearly strong on the long-run and he’s back in first after a few laps into the stage. But the Chevrolets are commanding the top-10 now after Fords led early. Kyle Larson goes to second. William Byron is into third, Chase Elliott drops to fifth behind Martin Truex Jr. Alex Bowman says he’s losing his drive and is in eighth.

5 p.m., Lap 90: Chase Elliott gained four spots on pit road during the stage break. He takes the lead on Lap 90 and is the first non-Ford driver to lead the race in his No. 9 Chevy.

Stage 1

4:45 p.m., Lap 80: Chris Buescher trailed Brad Keselowski for a few laps before he retook the lead for his first stage win of the season. Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch and Austin Dillon finish the stage in the top-10.

4:30 p.m., Lap 64: The caution comes out as James Davison heads to the garage with a smoking car. His car has a mechanical engine that will send him out of the race. Chris Buescher continues to lead William Byron and Brad Keselowski. Fords have led all laps so far. By Buescher leading the last 15 laps, he’s tied the most laps he’s led in a single race of 189 Cup races. (Buescher led 15 laps at Talladega last fall.)

4:25 p.m., Lap 57: Chris Buescher makes a tight pass over Brad Keselowski on Lap 56 to lead for the first time since last fall at a 1.5-mile oval. A lap later, William Bryon also passses Keselowski for second place. Denny Hamlin is in 18th reported earlier he was losing power.

4:17 p.m., Lap 39: Brad Keselowski gets the lead off pit road and continues to hold the lead after the restart. Joey Logano is in second, but Chris Buescher is making moves. He’s up to third. William Byron is in fourth and Ryan Newman in ninth for a strong early showing by Roush Fenway Racing and the Fords.

4:05 p.m., Lap 25: At the competition caution the order is Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex, Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney. Larson has moved from 17th to 4th in the opening laps.

3:57 p.m., Lap 13: Brad Keselowski gets the lead over Joey Logano. The running order after the Penske teammates is Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

3:49 p.m., Lap 5: The race goes green at 3:49 p.m. with Joey Logano starting in the front on the outside lane as the control car. Christopher Bell moves up to the front row with Denny Hamlin, the race polesitter, dropping to the back due to pre-race unapproved adjustments. Bell gets behind quickly on the inside, though, and Logano leads early, followed by a Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick battling for second. Hamlin is up to 22nd by Lap 5. Tyler Reddick is up to 19th.

Pre-race

3:30 p.m.: Pre-race ceremonies

Pre-race ceremonies, including the invocation, anthem and a two-jet flyover are underway at Homestead-Miami Speedway in front of limited fans. Netflix’s The Crew actor Sarah Stiles performs the national anthem (virtually). Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is giving the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. FOX NFL analyst Jonathan Vilma will wave the green flag at 3:48 p.m.

3 p.m.: Polesitter Denny Hamlin now starting at the back

Denny Hamlin has been added to the list of drivers dropping to the back of the pack at the start of today’s race. He was slated to start first, but his team was penalized for pre-race unapproved adjustments on the No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin was favored to win this year’s first intermediate race (+500), per BetMGM odds. He started on the pole for last year’s race at Homestead, led 137 of 267 laps and won the race.

2 p.m.: Who’s dropping to the rear at the start?

NASCAR’s pre-race is complete. Three cars will be dropping to the rear for the start of today’s race: The No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman and the No. 7 Chevrolet driven by Corey LaJoie will start at the back due to unapproved adjustments. The No. 15 Chevrolet driven by James Davison will also drop to the back for the start for two inspection failures. Bowman was slated to start 13th. LaJoie was slated to start 25th and Davison was slated to start 29th.

1:10 p.m.: Hamlin’s tire carrier cleared for today

A tire carrier for the Denny Hamlin’s team, Josh Shipplett, was knocked to the ground during a pit stop to service Daniel Hemric’s No. 18 Toyota in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. He was evaluated in the care center mid-race and complaining of right side rib pain, according to FOX Sports. Shipplett’s Joe Gibbs Racing team said he was cleared to pit Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota today.

“He is as tough as they come, and I love our group,” Hemric tweeted Sunday. “You never want to be the cause of something like that, and last night I was. Thankful he is ready to rock today.”

1 p.m.: Weather in Homestead, Fla.

There were reports of cloudy skies this morning around track in Homestead, Fla. The National Weather Service is forecasting mostly sunny skies, but a slight chance of sprinkles this afternoon with a high near 83 degrees. NASCAR was quick to throw a caution for light rain last weekend near the end of the race at the Daytona road course, so sprinkles this afternoon could impact the race.

NASCAR this weekend: How to watch the race at Homestead

  • Race: Dixie Vodka 400

  • When: Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m.

  • How to watch/listen: FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

  • Distance: 267 laps, 400.5 miles on the 1.5-mile oval

  • Stages: Laps 80, 160, 267

  • Last year’s winner: Denny Hamlin

NASCAR Cup at Homestead starting order

Order

Driver

Car No.

1

Denny Hamlin

11

2

Joey Logano

22

3

Christopher Bell

20

4

Kevin Harvick

4

5

Kurt Busch

1

6

Michael McDowell

34

7

Brad Keselowski

2

8

Ryan Preece

37

9

Martin Truex Jr.

19

10

Cole Custer

41

11

Chase Elliott

9

12

Chris Buescher

17

13

Alex Bowman

48

14

Ryan Blaney

12

15

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

16

Aric Almirola

10

17

Kyle Larson

5

18

Erik Jones

43

19

Bubba Wallace

23

20

Justin Haley(i)

77

21

Daniel Suárez

99

22

Austin Dillon

3

23

Ryan Newman

6

24

Kyle Busch

18

25

Corey LaJoie

7

26

Cody Ware(i)

51

27

Anthony Alfredo#

38

28

Garrett Smithley(i)

53

29

James Davison

15

30

Chase Briscoe#

14

31

William Byron

24

32

Ross Chastain

42

33

Timmy Hill(i)

66

34

BJ McLeod(i)

78

35

Tyler Reddick

8

36

Josh Bilicki

52

37

Matt DiBenedetto

21

38

Quin Houff

0

(i) ineligible for driver points, # series rookie