The NASCAR Cup Series Round of Eight continues at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 23. A spot in the championship and a historic win are both on the line for Denny Hamlin, who has previous success at the Florida track.
Hamlin, the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, enters the race weekend in a three-way tie for the most Cup Series wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He joins Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, who also have three wins each.
Stewart won the first two races at Homestead — 1999 and 2000 — before adding his third in 2011 to clinch his third championship. Biffle won three straight in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
If Hamlin can win his fourth race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will walk away with the most Cup Series wins at the track in NASCAR history. He will also join Joey Logano in the championship four with one race remaining in the Round of Eight.
Hamlin’s Success Took Place Over Several Years
Hamlin has three trips to Victory Lane. His first win was in 2009, and it capped off a four-win season. He then returned in 2013 and captured the finale for his first win of the season. This particular race capped off a year in which he missed multiple races with an L1 compression fracture.
Hamlin’s third win at Homestead-Miami Speedway took place in 2020 after NASCAR moved the championship race to Phoenix Raceway. The veteran driver started from the pole and led 137 laps before capturing the checkered flag. He also swept all three stages after dealing with two separate lightning delays.
While Hamlin led the most laps, he actually had to chase down another driver with more than 30 laps remaining in the race. Chase Elliott used a bold strategy to pit one lap before Hamlin and Ryan Blaney, which gave him the lead during the final stage.
Elliott had better lap times after jumping to the lead and getting clean air, but he used up his tires trying to keep his spot at the front of the pack. He then lost his lead after Joey Logano held him up while trying to remain only one lap down.
Another Win Would Create a Separate Tie
If Hamlin wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 23, he will break a tie with Stewart. He will also create a separate tie with the Hall of Fame driver-turned-owner on the all-time wins list.
Hamlin enters the playoff weekend with 48 career Cup Series wins. He entered the 2022 season with 46 wins and added two more during trips to Richmond Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Hamlin technically won his 49th career race on July 24, which put him in a tie with Stewart for 15th on the all-time list. However, NASCAR officials disqualified both him and runner-up Kyle Busch during a post-race inspection.
The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry fell back down to 48 wins after the disqualification. Now he has another opportunity to tie Stewart while simultaneously breaking a tie with him and Biffle. Though Hamlin’s focus will be on reaching the championship four.