The Cup Series carries on today with the 4EVER 400 Presented by Mobil 1 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With 2 races to go in the Round of 8, 2nd through 8th in the standings are separated by 30 points, with everyone still in the hunt to move onto the Championship 4.
Homestead-Miami Speedway is a 1.5 mile intermediate oval that first opened in 1999 and has hosted NASCAR every year since. Finding success here is a huge risk/reward scenario, with the fastest laps often coming when you run just a few inches off the wall. There is tons of speed to be found by running the top line, but one slip and your day can be over in the blink of an eye.
Last year’s edition was won by Kyle Larson, who swept the stages and led 199 laps to pick up his first Homestead-Miami victory. Ross Chastain finished second, with AJ Allmendinger, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski rounding out the top 5.
Driver to Fade:
2023 has been one to forget for Austin Cindric, with just 1 top 5 and 4 top 10’s on the campaign. Cindric finished 19th in his lone start here last year and his intermediate track results of late have been less than stellar, finishing outside the top 20 in each of his last 3 mile and a half track starts. Cindric rolls out from 26th today and we would be surprised if he manages to crack the top 20 today.
After making the Playoffs last year, Austin Dillon has had a quieter 2023, with 1 top 5 and 6 top 10’s this season. However, there is room for hope this week. Austin Dillon is seemingly a Homestead-Miami ringer and you can make a case for this being his best track on the schedule. In 9 career starts, Dillon has 1 top 5, 3 top 10’s, and 8 top 20’s at Homestead-Miami, including 7 straight top 12 finishes, with a best finish of 4th here last year. Dillon start from the 6th position today and there’s no reason why he can’t keep that top 12 streak alive this afternoon.
2023 has been a year of resurgence for Brad Keselowski, with 7 top 5’s and 16 top 10 finishes this season. Keselowski has never won at Homestead-Miami, but he’s still had some success here, with 4 top 5’s and 7 top 10’s in 15 starts. Homestead-Miami is a track that puts so much focus on the driver’s skill and Keselowski has found success at similar driver-focused tracks this season, with top 10’s in both Darlington races and during the Bristol Night Race. Keselowski showed solid pace in practice and rolls out from 5th today. Keselowski is going to be in the mix for the win, but a top 10 finish is a lock.
The winner at Las Vegas last week and the winner of this race last year, Kyle Larson has put together a terrific season, with 4 wins, 14 top 5’s, and 16 top 10 finishes. Homestead-Miami has been a successful track for Larson in his young career, with 1 win, 5 top 5’s and 529 laps led in 9 starts. Larson showed great long-run pace in practice and is going to start today’s race from the 5th position, so if this race has some long, green flag runs late in the going, this will play right into Larson’s hands. Larson isn’t afraid to put his car right on the wall and with the past success he’s had here and the recent success he’s been having this season, it all adds up to Kyle Larson winning for the second consecutive week as well as winning at Homestead-Miami for the second straight year!