Saturday, Feb 04

NCS: What to watch for in today’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway

Playoff race returns to Miami: Following a two-year absence of Miami the Playoffs return to Miami this weekend for the Dixie Vodka 400 in the round of eight marking now the 17th season the track has been part of the playoffs and first since 2019 when the track last hosted the championship events. In total 11 different drivers have won a Playoff event at Homestead with Greg Biffle leading the way with three over Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch’s two wins each including Kyle Busch’s 2019 championship run.

Two spots: Following Joey Logano win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend that leave three spots open in the next two races to lock themselves into the championship in Phoenix. Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin find themselves above the cut line with Hamlin the last of the four and six points above over William Byron. Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell also find themselves below the line with Bell 23 points out after getting tangled in an accident with Bubba Wallace last weekend of no fault of his own ending his day.

Clinch stats provided by NASCAR Stats:

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the four-driver field of the next round: Joey Logano.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the third winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ross Chastain or Chase Elliott.

  • Ross Chastain: Could only clinch with help
  • Chase Elliott: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Denny Hamlin or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the second winless driver in the standings.

  • Ross Chastain: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell.

Elliott looking for three straight: 2020 NASCAR Champion and 2022 regular season champion Chase Elliott sitting in third in points is looking to make his third straight appearance in the championship event in Phoenix. In six starts at Homestead, Elliott has stacked up two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes with an average finish at 1.5 miles tracks of 9th.

Outside looking in: Byron with two wins this season comes into Homestead in fifth place and six points out over Hamlin who he will be chasing this weekend. Byron took home the win in the 2021 spring event at the track and has two top-10 finishes. But its really Christopher Bell that’s looking for some redemption after last week tangle with Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson in an intentional incident that who see Wallace suspended for today’s event after wrecking Larson then marching down the track to confront Larson as he got out of his damaged car. Bell would be the innocent bystander in that incident when the two wrecked just as Bell was passing through getting knocked into. Bell would take his wounded No. 20 to pit road to try and salvage the car but to no avail when the team would take it to the garage. Now Bell sits eighth and 23 points behind.

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