Photo by Michael Reaves | Getty Images
Dale Earnhardt Jr. returned! Homestead-Miami Speedway held a race in June. A unique race at Homestead ended in thrilling fashion. Harrison Burton held off Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson on a restart with two laps left to pick up his second victory of the season.
The race began in sloppy fashion as Chase Briscoe had parts from his car spill onto the track. He was brought to pit road to fix his issues and by the time he re-entered the race, he was scored six laps down.
Stage one saw strategy come into play as drivers needed to decide if they were going to pit during the competition caution on lap 20 and get fresh tires. Ryan Sieg would be the first car to pit and he used those new tires to soar above the pack and pick up the stage win, his first of the season. Alex Labbe also used those tires to finish fifth in the first stage.
Stage two saw a huge collision between Brett Moffitt and Vinnie Miller that caused a caution. Briscoe would take fresh tires during the caution and used them to earn the free pass at the end of stage two. Gragson came away with the stage two win, his fourth of the season. However, Earnhardt Jr. won the race off pit road to begin the final stage.
The final stage saw many great battles between Gragson, Ross Chastain, Earnhardt Jr. and Cindric. Heading into the green flag pit stops, Gragson was in the lead after passing the other three top drivers. This was all despite hitting the wall while trying to catch Earnhardt Jr. early in the stage. Justin Allgaier, with 50 laps to go, had damage to his right side and with his brakes gone, he headed to the garage. This is the fifth finish in nine races outside the top 10 this season for Allgaier as he finished 32nd.
After pit stops, Chastain suffered a penalty for an uncontrolled tire, which put him outside the top five after spending most of the race there. Chastain would finish ninth. Briscoe pitted with 15 laps to go and finally got back into the pack. Briscoe would end up finishing seventh place.
It looked like Gragson was going to win by more than 10 seconds, but Sieg spun out with 10 laps to go and forced a caution. The final restart came with two laps to go. Burton, Cindric and Gragson all battled for the win, but Burton was able to take the lead and hold off Cindric for the win. Earnhardt Jr. would finish fifth, once again finishing in the top five in his one Xfinity Series appearance since his Cup Series retirement three years ago.
The Xfinity Series will return tomorrow for another race as drivers must use the same car tomorrow or go to a backup. The Contender Boats 250 will begin tomorrow at noon EST on Fox Sports 1.