NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Denny Hamlin takes South Beach by storm with a fourth straight pole at the track

Denny Hamlin fell short of a championship last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He'll look to make up for it in the 2020 Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday with a small consolation prize: starting from the pole position in his first race back on the 1.5-mile oval.

 

It's the first time since 2001 this track hasn't served as the postseason finale. Instead, NASCAR's hope is this racy intermediate with multiple grooves offers a new challenge to teams and drivers during the regular season. June's south Florida heat should slicken up the asphalt, leaving no room for error with drivers that regularly run inches from the outside wall here in the turns.

 

Hamlin's pole came as a result of the same qualifying draw NASCAR's been using for most races since their return from the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember that it's a team's position in owner points, not the driver, that determines what group of 12 they're in. Veterans like Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth, for example, are in a higher group even though they've missed seven races combined. The No. 42 and No. 6 cars, respectively, are higher in the owner standings through points accumulated by other drivers.

 

Here’s a quick review of how the field is set.

 

Positions 1-12 were drawn among teams ranked 1st through 12th in the owner standings.

Positions 13-24 were drawn among teams ranked 13th through 24th in the owner standings.

Positions 25-36 were drawn among charter teams only (guaranteed spots on the grid) ranked 25th through 36th in owner points.

Positions 37-40 were set by owner points among the four "open" teams who must race in on speed every time out.

 

Only 38 teams were entered for 40 spots on the grid, the smallest NASCAR Cup Series field since the sport's return from COVID-19 quarantine. BJ McLeod's No. 78 chose to skip their second straight event while Tommy Baldwin Racing's No. 7 chose not to make the trip down to Florida.

 

1. Denny Hamlin

2. Joey Logano

3. Brad Keselowski

4. Kyle Busch

5. Chase Elliott

6. Martin Truex Jr.

7. Kevin Harvick

8. Alex Bowman

9. Jimmie Johnson

10. Kurt Busch

11. Ryan Blaney

12. Clint Bowyer

13. Chris Buescher

14. Ryan Newman

15. Erik Jones

16. Austin Dillon

17. Bubba Wallace

18. John Hunter Nemechek (R)

19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20. Matt Kenseth

21. Aric Almirola

22. William Byron

23. Matt DiBenedetto

24. Tyler Reddick (R)

25. JJ Yeley (i)

26. Corey Lajoie

27. Josh Bilicki (i)

28. Brennan Poole (R)

29. Joey Gase (i)

30. Michael McDowell

31. Quin Houff (R)

32. Ty Dillon

33. Ryan Preece

34. BJ McLeod (i)

35. Cole Custer (R)

36. Christopher Bell (R)

37. Daniel Suarez

38. Timmy Hill (i)

 

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Denny Hamlin (1st) will start from the pole for the fourth straight race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and fifth time overall. However, the best finish he’s had from the pole in any of those starts was ninth in 2017.
  • Joey Logano (2nd) has drawn four straight top-5 starting positions.
  • John Hunter Nemechek (18th) was the highest-qualifying rookie. He’s drawn the 18th starting spot for four straight races now.
  • Aric Almirola (21st) has his second-worst starting spot of the season following three straight front-row starts. Only the Coca-Cola 600 in May was worse (40th).
  • Josh Bilicki (27th) makes his fourth Cup start of the year in the No. 53 owned by Rick Ware Racing. It’s his first start in that car after running the No. 7 and No. 27.
  • JJ Yeley (26th) jumps back into the No. 27 owned by Rick Ware Racing. He ran Atlanta with Spire Motorsports’ No. 77.
  • Rookie Cole Custer (35th) drew the worst starting position of his short Cup career.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Dixie Vodka 400

Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway (Homestead, Fla.)

Date: Sunday, June 14

Time: 3:47 p.m. ET

TV: FOX, 3:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 267 laps (400 miles)

Stage 1: 80 Laps

Stage 2: 80 Laps

Final Stage: 107 Laps

 

MIDWEEK ANALYSIS

How has NASCAR’s turn toward #BlackLivesMatter changed the sport? Frontstretch analysts Dustin Albino and Mike Neff address the issue in a special podcast they call “Justice For All” before turning toward Sunday’s Homestead-Miami Speedway preview.

Event Date: 
Sunday, June 14, 2020 - 15:30
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