2022 Homestead-Miami Dixie Vodka 400 Driver Ratings: Playoff Drivers

Kyle Larson dominated the race, preventing another playoff driver from clinching a spot in the championship. Crash NASCAR journalist Chad Smith goes through the field to hand out driver ratings in the 2022 Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
William Byron, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports
William Byron, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports

Ross Chastain - 10

It was another runner-up finish for Chastain, which earns him a comfortable 19-point cushion heading into the final race before the championship. He was one of the few that could battle with Larson, but having to fend off a challenge from AJ Allmendinger, he lost the opportunity to get by Larson. He isn’t guaranteed a spot in the final four, but his performance over the last few weeks is certainly worthy of a spot there.

Denny Hamlin - 7

Hamlin came into the weekend as one of the favorites. In addition to being the all-time wins leader at Homestead, the veteran had started on pole in each of the last five races here and was strong in the test last month. All of that withstanding, he got up and into the wall late in the race, which ultimately cost him the opportunity to fight for the win. It was, however, another consistent run for Hamlin, who positioned himself well heading into one of his best tracks on the schedule.

2022 Homestead-Miami Dixie Vodka 400 Driver Ratings: Playoff Drivers

Christopher Bell - 6

Hamlin’s teammate entered this race in a hole, as he was the victim in the incident between Bubba Wallace and Larson last weekend. His 11th place finish today was good, but they missed a golden opportunity to capitalize when other playoff drivers had issues.

William Byron - 5

After starting the race from pole position, it looked like Byron would be a favorite to win. He was strong early and often, but a disastrous final pit stop ended his hopes of a win. The team’s execution on pit lane is something they will be dreading all offseason if they are not able to advance to the Championship Four.

Chase Elliott - 5

The mediocre playoff run by the No. 9 team continued today with Elliott’s 14th place finish. After such an outstanding regular season, this team just looks and feels like a different bunch. They were near the front of the field early in the race but they continued to fade as the race played out.

Ryan Blaney - 3

If it weren’t for bad luck, Blaney would have no luck at all. Although he wasn’t one of the best cars today, Blaney was still in line for a decent result, hoping to point his way all the way to Phoenix. It nearly worked, but a spin after making his final pit stop cost him dearly. The Penske driver finished 17th and did not set himself up well for next weekend.

2022 Homestead-Miami Dixie Vodka 400 Driver Ratings: Playoff Drivers

Joey Logano - 4

Blaney’s teammate also seemed out to lunch today, as none of the three Penske cars seemed particularly strong. Logano (18th) had a different agenda though, already being locked into the championship. The No. 22 team is just putting all of their focus and attention on the final race – the only one that matters to them.

Chase Briscoe - 1

After finding some good fortune over the last few weeks, it all came back to haunt Briscoe and the Stewart Haas Racing team today at Homestead. With just over 100 laps to go, Briscoe got loose and hit the outside wall hard. The team was unable to make repairs to the No. 14 Mustang and he finished last. Now 44 points below the cutline in last place, Briscoe is facing a must-win scenario next weekend at Martinsville.

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