After the opening two races of the new NASCAR Cup Series season saw two first-time winners on two different types of tracks, the field now moves to Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sunday’s race will be the first on an intermediate speedway this season, and many top drivers will fancy their chances.
Wins by Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell in the two Daytona races certainly make things interesting going forward. With those two drivers already booking their places in the playoffs, it leaves many top drivers under pressure to bag that win before it is too late.
Homestead-Miami has crowned many champions in the past before the championship race moved to Phoenix. However, the driver who goes in as the favorite to win Sunday’s race has the most wins at the track among active drivers but is yet searching for his maiden Cup title.
After the surprising results so far, Hamlin believes things will get back to normal on the 1.5-mile tracks and many of the ‘regular winners’ will start winning races consistently.
Hamlin certainly is one of those regular winners, along with the likes of Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott. After being fairly quiet in the last two races, Harvick will be itching to get back to winning ways. Meanwhile, Elliott is also expected to show great speed at Homestead.
One driver to keep a very close eye on will be Team Penske star Joey Logano. He knows what it takes to win at the track, having won the 2018 title race there. He came very close to victory in both the Daytona races in the first two weeks and looks like a further improved driver these days.
Logano starts on the front row alongside pole-sitter Hamlin. They both are expected to be in the battle for the win in the final stage.
Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson boasts of a great record at Homestead-Miami. Considering his host of runner-up and top-5 finishes so far, it is a surprise he has not won there yet.
Now, with the Hendrick car, Larson has an even better chance to use his strengths on 1.5-mile tracks and secure the victory early.
Kyle Busch has also shown some strong fighting capabilities in both the opening races. The two-time champ can never be counted out for a win.
While it will be interesting to see if another ‘new winner’ emerges, a ‘regular winner’ is expected to strike back. It will be a tough fight out there, but Hamlin is most likely to carry his momentum and turn it into a victory.
PREDICTION: Denny Hamlin to win his fourth race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.