This past weekend in Homestead proved to be another exciting week of Nascar racing. From multiple cautions to cars on fire, there was lots of action. And once again, the young guns got it done! Myatt Snider took the final checkered flag, while AJ Allmendinger took Stage 1 and Austin Cindric took Stage 2.
The Xfinity race on Saturday had a total of 8 cautions, with one of them coming during the first overtime attempt, causing the race to extend for another attempt. This time the cars took the white flag without incident and Snider held off the field to take the checkered flag.
But it wasn’t just the ending that was exiting. There was action throughout the race. With 69 laps to go Justin Allgaier got in the wall, ending his day. With 58 laps to go, flames erupted from underneath Colby Howard’s car, ending his day as well. Both Harrison Burton and Ty Dillon had mechanical issues causing them to go to the garage early.
But nobody’s day was as ruined as Noah Gragson’s. With 2 laps to go and a huge lead, Gragson ran into the back of David Starr. Starr was running in 12th position when his tire came apart. Starr’s car shot up the track and Gragson was unable to avoid hitting it, ending Gragson’s day and causing him to finish 33rd. Starr finished 21st.
Tyler Reddick finished the race in 2nd but failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. This pushed all drivers up a position, including rookies Ryan Vargas, who finished 24th, and Josh Berry, who finished 10th.
Sunday’s Cup race started off with pole sitter Denny Hamlin dropping to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments. He joined Alex Bowman, Corey LaJoie, and James Davison at the tail end of the field before the green flag was waved.
With 38 cars flying around the track, there was bound to some action, especially since there was no practice for the drivers. A competition caution was thrown on Lap 25 so teams could make any necessary adjustments. At this time, Timmy Hill, who had already made two pit stops, went to the garage and was done for the day. On lap 64, James Davison’s car caught fire which ended his day as well. All this happening in Stage 1 while Chris Buescher fought hard hold off Brad Keselowski to win the stage.
Stage two had it’s share of excitement too, as on Lap 153 Corey Lajoie’s engine blew and left fluid on the track. Till crews got it cleaned up, it was down to a 2-lap shootout for the Stage win. Denny Hamlin fought hard against Martin Truex Jr and was able to pass him coming out of turn 4 on the final lap of the stage, but William Byron came out of nowhere to win the stage!
After that, there was no one that could catch Byron. Even after there was a caution on lap 199 for contact between Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney, Byron got a great restart and it was all over but the crying. Byron won without a challenge from anyone in the closing laps. Rookies Chase Briscoe and Anthony Alfredo both had solid finishes coming in 18th and 24th respectively.