NASCAR Homestead: Hamlin fends off Elliott to win weather-delayed race

Jake Nichol
·5 min read
Hamlin fends off Elliott for Homestead win
Hamlin fends off Elliott for Homestead win

Denny Hamlin fended off a late charge from Chase Elliott to record his third win of the season in the heavily delayed NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead.

Lightning in the area of the 1.5-mile Homestead circuit forced a two-hour suspension of the race after just five laps of green-flag running, and subsequent lightning strikes caused a further hour's delay to the running.

Hamlin, who was randomly drawn on pole for the first race at Homestead since 2001 that was not the championship-decider, in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry re-started stage one in second place following a competition caution behind Team Penske's Ryan Blaney.

On Lap 76 of 80, Hamlin eased by Blaney's #12 Ford Mustang to record victory in the opening segment of the 267-lap encounter, before passing Blaney once again in the second 80-lapper stage to dominate on his way to a relatively untroubled section win.

In the final 107-lap stage, Hamlin was leading, being pursued by Chase Elliott, Blaney and rookie Tyler Reddick, with the quartet forming a breakaway after the final green-flag pit-stops cycled out with around 50 laps to run once Hamlin had resumed the lead following Elliott's one lap undercut.

After that, Hamlin comfortably held Elliott at bay by around half-a-second, with Blaney and Reddick zoning in on the leading duo.

A slight barrier tap for Elliott left Hamlin in the #11 Camry free to take his third win of the season, 40th of his career and third at Homestead.

Hendrick Motorsports' Elliott fended off Blaney's late attention, with the pair finishing as the lead Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang entries respectively.

Reddick, in his first full season in the Cup Series put in a stunning performance for Richard Childress Racing to take fourth, at times putting the leaders under pressure before just fading at the end.

Hamlin fends off Elliott for Homestead win
Hamlin fends off Elliott for Homestead win

Reddick, whose two Xfinity Series crowns were sealed with victory at Homestead in 2018 and '19, started 24th on the 38-car grid and carved through the field in the opening laps, laying seventh by lap 15 and finishing third and second in stages one and two.

Aric Almirola was a solid fifth for Stewart-Haas Racing in a quiet race that featured only two caution periods for on-track action, ahead of reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch, who is still yet to record a Cup win in 2020 for his JGR squad.

Austin Dillon bounced back from the rear of the field following an uncontrolled tyre on pit-road penalty in his #3 RCR Camaro with seventh, just hours after he became a father for the first time following the birth on son Ace.

Christopher Bell made it two rookies in the top 10 with eighth for Leavine Family Racing, having made a long climb from 35th on the grid for the best result of his fledging career, heading home William Byron (Hendrick) and Brad Keselowski (Team Penske).

Martin Truex Jr, who won the mid-week race at Martinsville on Wednesday, was an anonymous 12th for JGR, with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson also barely featuring on his way to a lapped 16th in his #48 Camaro.

Kevin Harvick (flat tyre) and Joey Logano (contact damage) also had races to forget in their SHR and Penske Mustangs, the duo crossing the line in 26th and 27th, respectively having not had the pace to recover from their incidents.

Results

Pos

Driver

Team

Gap

1

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

3h08m06.s

2

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

0.895s

3

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

1.447s

4

Tyler Reddick

Richard Childress Racing

4.191s

5

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

12.300s

6

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

14.072s

7

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

20.265s

8

Christopher Bell

Leavine Family Racing

20.448s

9

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

22.925s

10

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

23.560s

11

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

23.920s

12

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

28.603s

13

Darrell Wallace Jr.

Richard Petty Motorsports

29.067s

14

Matt DiBenedetto

Wood Brothers Racing

33.446s

15

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

33.551s

16

Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports

1 Lap

17

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

1 Lap

18

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

1 Lap

19

John Hunter Nemechek

Front Row Motorsports

1 Lap

20

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty Racing

1 Lap

21

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

1 Lap

22

Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing

1 Lap

23

Chris Buescher

Roush Fenway Racing

1 Lap

24

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing

1 Lap

25

Matt Kenseth

Chip Ganassi Racing

1 Lap

26

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

1 Lap

27

Joey Logano

Team Penske

2 Laps

28

Ty Dillon

Germain Racing

2 Laps

29

Corey LaJoie

Go FAS Racing

3 Laps

30

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

4 Laps

31

Daniel Suarez

Gaunt Brothers Racing

4 Laps

32

Brennan Poole

Premium Motorsports

7 Laps

33

Quin Houff

StarCom Racing

8 Laps

34

Timmy Hill

MBM Motorsports

10 Laps

35

B.J. McLeod

Spire Motorsports

11 Laps

36

Joey Gase

Petty Ware Racing

12 Laps

37

Josh Bilicki

Rick Ware Racing

22 Laps

38

J.J. Yeley

Rick Ware Racing

Fuel pump


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