by Bob Priddy, Contributing Editor
(NASCAR)—Denny Hamlin withstood a furious challenge for the lead from Chase Elliott for most of the last thirty laps to get his third victory of the year and wrap up NASCAR’s mad scramble to save its 2020 schedule.
The race at Homestead-Miami Speedway was the third in eight days for Cup drivers, the eighth in 23 days as NASCAR worked to catch up to its schedule after shutting down for nine weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hamlin took the lead from Elliott on the 238th of 267 laps and was under heavy pressure until Elliott brushed the wall with about three laps to go. Hamlin beat him to the finish line by less than nine-tenths of a second. Ryan Blaney was a close third and rookie Tyler Reddick picked up his first career top-five finish.
Clint Bowyer came home eleventh. He remains twelfth in the points standings.
The race started almost an hour late because of weather and was red-flagged twice because of rain and lightning. It was the first race since March 8th with fans in the stands.
Drivers and crews have an entire week off before heading to the sport’s longest track at Talladega, Alabama next Sunday.\
(INDYCAR)—INDYCAR’s next action is on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 4, the day before NASCAR takes to the oval for the Brickyard 400. Both races will be run without fans in the stands because Indianapolis has not hit COVID recovery goals for lifting crowd controls.
(FORMULA 1)—Formula 1’s schedule is still up in the air. Three events that had been considered “postponed” have been cancelled—Singapore, Azerbaijan, and Japan.
The latest version of the schedule has races only in Europe, beginning with two events in Austria on July 5 and 12, then a race in Budapest before competitors have a couple of weeks off before two races in Britain, the Spanish Grand Prix and on August 30, the Grand Prix of Belgium and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza a week later, seven races in nine weeks. The grandstands are expected to be closed for all of the races.
The F1 Circus had been expected to run at the Circuit of The Americans near Austin, Texas on August 25th. Formula 1 has not announced firm plans beyond Monza in mid-September.