Dixie Vodka 400 odds, preview, and value picks
The NASCAR Cup Series will stay in “The Sunshine State” for the third straight week, as the drivers head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sunday's Dixie Vodka 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX).
The Daytona 500 and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 (Daytona Road Course) yielded first-time Cup Series winners in Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell, respectively, but oddsmakers are expecting order to be restored in this event. Denny Hamlin has been set as the +500 race favorite, and his case is a solid one.
Hamlin won the most recent Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami in June of 2020, leading 137 laps in the process. He paces all active drivers in victories at this circuit (three). However, we went looking for some upset candidates and found three other drivers who have solid win chances on Sunday.
Dixie Vodka 400
Sun, February 28 2021, 8:40 PM
Truex Jr, Martin
Kevin Harvick was a non-factor in last year’s Dixie Vodka 400, as he checked in 26th. However, there’s reason to believe he’ll bounce back in a big way here.
Harvick had a streak of 12 straight Top 10 finishes at Homestead-Miami going into 2020’s heat. That included his championship-clinching victory in the 2014 Ford EcoBoost 400 over this course.
NASCAR’s winningest driver in 2020 (nine victories) has been sharp to start the 2021 season, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, over the first two races of the campaign. Harvick’s No. 4 Ford will roll off the grid in fourth place.
Kyle Busch did not fare well in the Daytona doubleheader to start the 2021 season (finished 14th and 35th, respectively), but he should relish a return trip to one of his favorite courses in Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Busch has finished no worse than sixth in his last six races on this oval. He made two trips to Victory Lane in that span, both of which clinched Cup Series Championships (2015 and 2019).
“The Candy Man” will begin his day in 24th, but don’t be surprised to see him making up ground quickly.
Ryan Blaney hasn’t had much luck early in 2021, wrecking in both the Busch Clash and the Daytona 500 before mustering a 15th place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253. However, his fortunes could change on Sunday.
Blaney has been sharp in each of his last two trips to Homestead-Miami. He placed sixth in both stages before settling for 11th in the November 2019 race here. Blaney followed that up with a strong third-place finish in June of 2020, placing in both stages while leading 70 laps.
The No. 12 Ford, starting in 14th, is worth a wager at a nice price.