NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Truck SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Homestead hijinks ensue as playoffs heat up

4 Mins read
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the final race for NASCAR’s CupXfinity, and Craftsman Truck Series for two decades before relinquishing the slot to Phoenix Raceway, but its current slot in the penultimate round of the playoffs still makes it a viable site for championship implications.

In the Cup Series, it was a battle of the B’s as Christopher BellRyan Blaney, and William Byron fought to clinch their spot in the final round. Although Byron had the upper hand on the final restart following Denny Hamlin‘s wreck, Bell passed him with sixteen laps to go to take it for himself.

Bell had to fight for every position after finishing a dismal twenty-second in Stage #2 while Blaney won the stage.

“Today was just a whirlwind, for sure,” said Bell. “To be able to overcome and to be in that bad of a spot, I was a quarter straightaway from going a lap down. It was just incredible the difference a couple pit stop adjustments will do to your car. I’ve always been one that says that the car is everything. The driver’s job is to maximise the car. If the car is fast, you do good. If the car is slow, you do bad. I think today was the epitome of that.

“We were really struggling. I was the slowest car on the track at one point in the race. A couple good adjustments later, we became one of the fastest ones.”

Kyle Larson won the first stage and led a race-high ninety-six laps, but retired after a bizarre accident on lap 214 in which he slammed into the sand barrels at the entrance to pit road; Sheldon Creed suffered the same fate in the 2020 Truck Series race at Homestead, while Kurt Busch nearly did the same in the 2004 Cup event here. Fortunately for Larson, he is already assured a spot in the finale thanks to his win at Las Vegas, incidentally over Bell.

At the Xfinity level, Sam Mayer scored his first oval win after keeping last week’s winner Riley Herbst at bay on the final lap. The win locks Mayer into the Championship Round with one race to go. On the opposite end, Creed’s gamble to stay out on older tyres with thirty laps remaining blew up as he restarted as the leader only to fall out of the top ten after one lap, and his subsequent finish of twenty-sixth leaves him in must-win territory.

While Creed and Hamlin still have one final shot to qualify for the Championship, Homestead was the end of the road for reigning Truck Series champion Zane SmithTy MajeskiNick Sanchez, and Christian Eckes. The drivers comprising the Championship Round all finished first through fourth led by Carson Hocevar.

To add insult to injury, Smith was eventually disqualified for an illegal windshield support. Although he originally finished second, he needed to win to advance.

“We are disappointed in the disqualification from today’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event,” reads a statement from his Front Row Motorsports team. “We will continue to work and discuss with NASCAR officials back at the NACAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. before making any further comment.”

Cup race results

11320Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota267Running
21012Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord267Running
3345Tyler Reddick23XI RacingToyota267Running
4724William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
52516A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet267Running
6223Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota267Running
7954Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota267Running
83622Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord267Running
93010Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
1063Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet267Running
11224Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
12262Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord267Running
132941Ryan PreeceStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
141943Erik JonesLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet267Running
15169Chase Elliott^Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
161499Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet267Running
172114Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
18188Kyle BuschRichard Childress RacingChevrolet267Running
191248Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
20207Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
211717Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord267Running
221534Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord267Running
232731Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet267Running
243377Ty DillonSpire MotorsportsChevrolet266Running
253238Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord266Running
263451Ryan Newman*Rick Ware RacingFord265Running
272347Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet263Running
2846Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord262Running
29119Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota237Engine
301111Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota236Accident
3181Ross ChastainTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet221Accident
322442John Hunter Nemechek*Legacy Motor ClubChevrolet218Accident
333115J.J. Yeley*Rick Ware RacingFord218Accident
3455Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet214Accident
353578Josh Bilicki*Live Fast MotorsportsChevrolet201Accident
362821Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord165Overheating
Bold – Currently in playoffs
^ – Currently in owner playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points

Xfinity race results

1131Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
2798Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord200Running
3220John Hunter NemechekJoe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
4421Austin HillRichard Childress RacingChevrolet200Running
52388Dale Earnhardt Jr.JR MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
61510Daniel HemricKaulig RacingChevrolet200Running
71048Parker KligermanBig Machine Racing TeamChevrolet200Running
8179Brandon JonesJR MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
9518Sammy SmithJoe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
101119Joe Graf Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
112011Derek KrausKaulig RacingChevrolet200Running
121631Parker RetzlaffJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet200Running
13100Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord199Running
141439Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord199Running
1537Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet199Running
161891Kyle WeathermanDGM RacingChevrolet199Running
172692Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet199Running
183344Jeffrey EarnhardtAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet199Running
19296Brennan PooleJD MotorsportsChevrolet199Running
202827Jeb BurtonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet199Running
212251Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet199Running
222538Kyle SiegRSS RacingFord199Running
232745Leland HoneymanAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet199Running
243743Ryan EllisAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet199Running
253635Patrick EmerlingEmerling-Gase MotorsportsChevrolet198Running
2692Sheldon CreedRichard Childress RacingChevrolet198Running
273508Mason MasseySS-Green Light RacingFord198Running
283178Anthony AlfredoB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet197Running
293402Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet196Running
301926Kaz GralaSam Hunt RacingToyota194Running
312124Connor MosackSam Hunt RacingToyota190Electrical
3288Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet171Accident
333029Mason Maggio*RSS RacingFord153Electrical
341216Chandler SmithKaulig RacingChevrolet138Engine
35625Brett MoffittAM RacingFord97Accident
363274Dawson CramCHK RacingChevrolet65Accident
373828C.J. McLaughlinRSS RacingFord37Carburetor
382466Ryan NewmanMBM MotorsportsFord27Rear Gear
DNQ53Matt MillsEmerling-Gase MotorsportsToyota
DNQ4J.J. YeleyJD MotorsportsChevrolet
DNQ07Natalie DeckerSS-Green Light RacingChevrolet

Truck race results

1242Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
22199Ben RhodesThorSport RacingFord134Running
3811Corey HeimTRICON GarageToyota134Running
4323Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet134Running
51741Bayley CurreyNiece MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
6952Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota134Running
72288Matt CraftonThorSport RacingFord134Running
81324Rajah CaruthGMS RacingChevrolet134Running
9498Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingFord134Running
10144Chase PurdyKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
11615Tanner GrayTRICON GarageToyota134Running
121151Jack WoodKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet134Running
131217Taylor GrayTRICON GarageToyota134Running
143225Trevor Bayne*Rackley WARChevrolet134Running
151535Jake GarciaMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet133Running
1655Dean ThompsonTRICON GarageToyota133Running
1712Nick Sanchez Rev RacingChevrolet133Running
18277Marco AndrettiSpire MotorsportsChevrolet133Running
192345Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet133Running
201019Christian EckesMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet133Running
211943Daniel DyeGMS RacingChevrolet133Running
222656Tyler HillHill MotorsportsToyota133Running
232520Nick LeitzYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet133Running
241802Brad Pérez*Young’s MotorsportsChevrolet133Running
251616Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota133Running
263330Jonathan ShaferOn Point MotorsportsToyota132Running
272922Mason MaggioAM RacingFord131Running
282013Hailie DeeganThorSport RacingFord131Running
293133Memphis VillarrealReaume Brothers RacingFord131Running
30249Colby HowardCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet129Running
313446Armani WilliamsG2G RacingToyota121Running
322804Spencer DavisRoper RacingFord65Electrical
333012Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet50Electrical
34738Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord134Running (DSQ)
Underline – Eliminated from playoffs
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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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