A Much Needed Victory – Dixie Vodka 400

Yesterday, the NASCAR Cup Series returned to Homestead Miami for the second race of the Round of 8, and for only the second race before the Championship decider in Phoenix. William Byron in the #24 and Christopher Bell in the #20 locked out the front row. Byron held an early lead over Bell, but not too long after, John Hunter Nemechek in the #45, subbing for the suspended Bubba Wallace, spun and hit the inside wall from fourth place bringing out the first caution.

Byron led his teammate, the #5 of Kyle Larson, at the restart. Larson quickly passed Byron for the lead. Behind, Byron and Tyler Reddick in the #8 battled for second place. Larson went on to win the first stage, with Byron behind.

Larson and Byron battled for the lead at the restart, with Larson coming out on top. After green flag pit cycles and a relatively calm second stage, playoff contender Chase Briscoe crashed with five laps to go in the stage, ruining his day and bringing out the third caution and second caution for incident. The stage ended under the yellow flag with Larson winning once again.

The final stage started with Larson and Byron battling once again. Larson came out on top as usual, and began pulling away. Midway through the stage, green flag pit stops began. Byron lost tons of time due to a slow stop, and just a couple of laps later the caution would come out for Ryan Blaney spinning while leaving the pits. 

At the restart, Denny Hamlin in the #11 took the lead from Ross Chastain in the #1, and could have pulled away until he began batting his teammate Martin Truex, Jr. in the #19. Truex had a comfortable lead as Hamlin faded, but he still had to worry about the hard-charging Kyle Larson, who was quickly gaining time. A few laps later, the caution came out for Tyler Reddick spinning and hitting the inside wall.

Kyle Larson led from Denny Hamlin at the restart, and began pulling away. As Larson led, the #1 of Chastain gained positions up to second, but wasn’t quick enough to catch Larson. After a dominant performance, Kyle Larson won at Homestead Miami!

Featured photo from @NASCAR on Twitter.

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