Kyle Larson dominates Dixie Vodka 400, wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway (includes video story)

With just 17 laps to go in Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, fans cheered from the stands with adrenaline-induced euphoria for leader Kyle Larson. Though he’d led for most of the race, they feared he wouldn’t win. 

That had happened several times before.

This time, defending NASCAR Cup Series champion scored a convincing victory. 

Larson led 199 of the 267 laps and swept both stages to capture his third win of the 2022 season. He had to hold off drivers Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger during the final laps. It was his 19th career victory in the Cup Series (the premier level of NASCAR) since his debut in 2013 and his first at the South Florida track.

“It means a lot,” said Larson post-race. “I think it makes it feel even more special too that I’ve had to wait since my first Cup Series race here to win. I love this place.”

Kyle Larson burns it down after winning the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Courtesy of NASCAR)

The winning restart came after a bizarre sequence when Tyler Reddick spun out and slammed the wall, causing the fifth and final caution of the day at lap 246. 

Martin Truex Jr., who was leading the race at the time with Larson in second, led the field onto pit road but found his pit stall late, prompting him to hit the brakes. As a result, Larson tapped the rear bumper of Truex’s car, spinning him into his pit stall. 

Truex proceeded to pit just a lap later, which dropped him to 19th with under 20 laps remaining. From there, Larson pulled away from the field and cruised to the win. 

Chastain took the checkered flag in second, becoming the highest-finishing driver still eligible to compete for the title. (Larson isn’t competing because of an earlier loss.) The 2020 Dixie Vodka 400 winner, Denny Hamlin, found speed late but crossed the line in seventh place. Chastain and Hamlin were the only playoff drivers to finish in the top 10. 

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings after the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Courtesy of NASCAR)

Memorable moments on the track included a minor crash for playoff driver Chase Briscoe, who slammed into the side of the wall at lap 162. Ryan Blaney, also a playoff driver, suffered an issue during the final stage of the race when he spun his #12 Ford Mustang while exiting pit road on lap 212. Smoke erupted from both of their cars, with the former driver finishing 36th and the latter 17th. 

Blaney, Briscoe, Hamlin and Christopher Bell face elimination going into the final race of the Round of 8 at Martinsville. Meanwhile Chastain, Chase Elliott and William Byron sit above the cutline. 

Even before the race, many drivers had looked forward to the challenges of competing at Homestead-Miami Speedway in its first and only appearance on the 2022 NASCAR schedule.

“Driving this track is pretty special and unique,” said driver Landon Cassill, who ran the Xfinity Series race on Saturday. “It applies to any kind of car that you are driving.”

Rookie driver Todd Gilliland also had high hopes before the green flag dropped, stating that it would be a guessing game on how tires would wear and how the race would play out. 

“I’m excited for it,” said Gilliland. “These types of races are always the most fun.” 

Drivers and fans will have to wait another year for stock car racing to return to South Florida. The speedway will have the same October race date in 2023. 

As for the Cup Series, the playoffs will continue Oct. 30 at the Martinsville Speedway, where the Championship Four drivers will be decided. Coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. 

Kenneth Bueno is a junior majoring in the Digital Broadcasting field. He is a sim racing commentator for Podium eSports and aims to apply his love for sports into the sports broadcasting industry after graduating.


Moises Pinell is a student at FIU majoring in communications with a track in Digital Media. He enjoys editing videos related to sports and business. He aspires to work for a television network, the Miami Heat, or in the film industry.

Antonio Gimenez is a cybersecurity analyst and a journalist. He describes himself as a polemicist, essayist, and alchemist of ideas.