What to Watch: 2022 Homestead-Miami

Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
(⏰ 2:30 p.m. ET | 📺 NBC, NBC Sports App | 📻 MRN, SiriusXM)

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead, the eighth playoff race of the 2022 campaign.

Where: Homestead, Florida
Approximate start time: 2:30 p.m. ET | Weekend schedule
TV/Radio: NBC, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio | Full TV schedule
The purse: $7,342,738
Forecast: Sunny, with a high near 84 degrees, according to NOAA.gov | Weather tracker
Race distance: 267 laps | 400.5 miles
Stages: 80 | 165 | 267
Pit-road speed: 45 mph
Caution car speed: 55 mph
Homestead 101: Get the full lowdown
Starting lineup:
Byron earns first pole of 2022
Pit stalls: Where drivers will pit on Sunday

Playoff grid: Print yours now

Key things to watch 🔑

Big story line

Joey Logano claimed the first ticket to Phoenix with his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leaving seven contenders to fight for three spots in the remaining two races leading up to the Championship 4. Only one driver will be able to wiggle his way in on points, putting a bigger premium on relieving that stress with a win this Sunday. Although it has been the site of many championship races in the past, the track’s February date in 2021 means there have been nearly two full seasons since Cup Series drivers have worked their way around the 1.5-mile South Florida favorite. It will be important for playoff drivers and teams to put forth their best effort of the season in practice and qualifying to avoid starting behind the 8 ball. There aren’t many points left you can leave on the table.

Who’s hot? Who’s not? 

Expected to make an early Round of 16 exit, Chase Briscoe has been proving he is a serious contender for the Cup Series championship. Briscoe is the only playoff driver with four consecutive top-10 finishes, doubling his total from the first 30 races of the season. One setback may be Briscoe’s lack of experience racing Cup Series drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway, only making one start at the track. But with a Miami win in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series on his resume, don’t count out the talented young driver on Sunday as he aims to complete the premier series trifecta.

After reeling off an impressive top-10 streak at the beginning of the playoffs, William Byron‘s speed has waned a bit and leaves him on the outside looking in regarding points. The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team finished 12th or worse at Talladega Superspeedway, the Charlotte Roval and last week at Las Vegas. If the trend continues, Byron will see his title hopes fade quickly after some other contenders have picked up the pace. Fortunately for Byron and company, he won at Homestead last year and has scored crucial points in five of the eight stages at the track. Look for them to flip the switch this weekend.

Driving under the radar

Make no mistake, Tyler Reddick’s announcement on his shift to 23XI Racing in 2023 hasn’t slowed down the No. 8 team one bit. Though they were eliminated from the playoffs, Reddick and the gang have been routine contenders nearly every week, finishing eighth or better three times in the last four races. Focus will be on playoff drivers in the remaining portion of the schedule, but if there is anything to be said from a non-playoff driver, the rising star is surely at the top of the list. He finished runner-up at Homestead in 2021.

Cars race around the track as the sun sets.
Cars race around the track as the sun sets.

Race-day staples ✅

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.

• Paint Scheme Preview: Sun, sand and schemes | Pick a favorite
• Power Rankings: Chastain knocking on the Championship 4 door | Updated driver rankings
• NASCAR betting: Favorites, long shots for Sunday’s race | Underdogs, value bets
• Fantasy Fastlane: Hamlin is headlining Homestead fantasy | Must starts, sleepers
• Backseat Drivers: Crunch time for Blaney and Bell | Watch the segment

Catch the pack 💨

Read up on the top headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.

• Suspension: Bubba Wallace issues one-race suspension after Vegas | Read more | Apology
• Do it for Dale:
NC man buys 3 lottery tickets, wins big prize | Read more
• RFTC:
Kyle Busch opens up on relationship with Joe Gibbs | Read more
• Elliott’s focus:
Chase Elliott is keeping his eyes on the ‘ultimate prize’ | Read more
• Boys & Girls Club: NASCAR helping create digital content and experiences | Read more
• Silly Season:
Spire taps LaJoie, Ty Dillon for 2023 lineup | Read more
• Humanitarian Award:
Finalists announced, voting open now | Learn more, vote
• Partnership news:
Chicago Street Race announces new partner | Read more

Get in on the action 💰

Think you know NASCAR? Put your mettle to the test with gaming, fantasy.

• Fantasy preview: Top tips, strong picks for Sunday’s race | Hear the advice
• BetMGM:
Chase Elliott pulling in the most bets | Sunday’s betting outlook
• The Action Network:
Betting Logano vs. Blaney | Expert betting insight
• Play it LIVE: Full guide to 2022 NASCAR Fantasy Live game | New rules for playoffs
• Going all the way:
2022 Cup Series championship odds | See them here

How far does Hamlin advance in playoffs? - Powered By PickUp

Miami moments 🏝

From championship crownings to regular-season rumbles, Homestead has a rich racing history. 

• Pace out front: Top 10 lap leaders at Homestead-Miami | See full list
• Winner, winner:
All-time winners at Homestead-Miami | Who has the most?
• Last year:
William Byron puts on a South Florida show | 2021 race recap
• Race Rewind:
Byron dominates Miami race late | Full highlights

Fast facts ⏩

Hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

There are only two past champions in the Round of 8, the fewest in playoff history.
The last 10 races of 2022 were won by 10 different drivers.
Since the last race at Miami, there have been 66 races with 24 drivers winning in between.
Chase Briscoe won at Miami in both Xfinity (June 2020) and Trucks (November 2017).
In the last two races, the pole winner from the week prior won the race.

Say what? 🎙

Notable quotes from the stars of the sport heading into Sunday’s race.

“Homestead for me has been a great racetrack. It‘s really how I got my start to go Cup racing. I filled in for Richard Petty Motorsports back in 2010 and I finished fourth after running up front. That opened some people‘s eyes. Sure enough, I got my first start in the Cup Series because of it.” — Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

“As disappointing as Vegas was, if anyone can pull through it‘s our No. 20 group. I expect to be extremely competitive again and am ready to tackle the challenge.” — Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

“I loved that we got to test there. Everyone figured out after about three or four laps the top was the place to be. I was watching 10 or 12 drivers that were running and everyone was getting better at running the fence. The drivers who tested there will be really good at running up top when we go back and I‘m going to have my work cut out for me, that‘s for sure.” — Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet