Chase Elliott notched his third victory of the season (that’s two in the Round of 12) leaving some hopefuls out in the cold. The field has been shrunk once more — now to eight — and a Win for one guarantees a crack at the Cup.
$2 hot dogs are on the grill soon, and all is right at The ‘Clip…for now.
Here’s what to look for:
–Kyle Busch will have the cleanest of air at the most congested track on the circuit. One of the “Big Three” this season, it was a pretty good idea that he’d be competing at Homestead, but nothing is definite this year. We know he can win..because he did so here just last year. Defending champ of the race, and starting out front. Great place to be.
–Clint Bowyer starts Outside Pole today, and like his front-row-mate Kyle Busch, he’s a recent winner here. The most recent, in fact, as the #14 visited Victory Lane back in March. Bowyer is one of four Stewart-Haas Fords in the Round of 8.
–Martin Truex Jr. finished 2nd last Fall, and 4th in the Spring. He’ll be one to contend with today (but now starting from the back after a failed inspection), though he’s still yet to log a short track Win on NASCAR’s premier circuit. Truex has a steep hill to climb.
–Kevin Harvick has placed 5th at each of the last two races here, rolling off 13th today. That’s the best he’s finished since 2011, also the year of his sole Martinsville Win. Just a 15.5 average, he’ll need to outpace himself here.
–A.J. Allmendinger isn’t a name you hear much of outside of road courses, but Martinsville has been fairly kind to him. Of twenty attempts, he’s got seven Top 10s, his most of any track. Dinger practiced well this week, too, though his Qualifying results are a bit misleading. Starting 17th, expect him to finish higher than that.
Coverage of the race starts on NBCSN at 2:30pm, green flag scheduled for 2:43pm.