HOMSEY, Minn. — Last year, Homestead Speedway was the setting for perhaps the most controversial moment in its history. It was there that Kyle Larson and Matt Dominguez brawled on the track, ending with Dominguez getting the best of Larson and the fans getting the best of both. Since then, the track has been trying to put that moment, which many still call a wrestling match, behind them. As the new year has begun, the fans and the sport have a new way to reflect on that fateful day and the rivalry that followed.
On Feb. 18, 2020, Homestead will once again host the opening round of the NASCAR Cup Series. Once again, there will be a battle royal between the drivers. This year, it will be the Car Xpress Racing trio of Cole Custer, Dakota Hubbard and Kyle Larson going head-to-head. And once again, it will be up to you, the fans, to decide which trio you want to see win that day. (There’s actually more than one battle royal this year, so keep reading.)
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming race and the battle royal that will shake the NASCAR world.
Battle Royal: The Car Xpress Racing Trio
Each year, Homestead Speedway puts on a battle royale to decide the fans’ favorite driver for the season. This year, it’s the Car Xpress Racing trio going head-to-head for the crown. The drivers are competing in the #47 car owned by Robby McDaniel (son of Richard) for the next week’s race in order to become the year’s champion. (There’s actually more than one battle royal this year. See below for details.)
Cole Custer won the last battle royal in 2019. Since then, he’s been battling an injury that has prevented him from racing. However, he’s still managed to find the time to train and prepare for the upcoming race. Custer is coming off his best season yet, winning three races and the battle royal. Unfortunately, he’ll have to settle for second place in 2020 as he recovers from his injury. (It’s worth noting that Custer was also the last man to beat Larson in a battle royal, which he did in 2019.)
Meanwhile, Larson won four races in 2019, including the one that was ruled a tie, to win the battle royal. Since then, he’s been focusing on being a better driver and preparing for his next challenge. He’ll be going up against a much healthier Custer in what will be a battle between the two-time defending champions. Who will win? You decide.
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Why Are There Two Battle Royals This Year?
Typically, the battle royal is held at the end of the year to determine who will be the winner of the season. However, there are two more battle royals this year, which means more opportunities for you, the fan, to choose your favorite driver. What’s more, there are three separate battles, which means you get to vote for three different drivers! (There’s actually more than one battle royal this year, so keep reading.)
First Battle Royal
The first battle royal is scheduled for Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. Central Time. The defending champion for this round is Cole Custer, who will be driving the #47 car. He’ll be going up against Kyle Larson in a battle of two-time defending champions. Custer is looking to prove that last year was no fluke, while Larson is looking to put that brawl at Homestead behind him. Who will come out on top? You decide.
Second Battle Royal
The second battle royal is scheduled for Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. Central Time. The defending champion for this round is Dakota Hubbard, who will be driving the #89S car. He’ll be going up against Matt Dominguez in a battle of the two top dogs from last year. This is a rematch of the 2019 battle royal, but with a few extra days and some time off after the last race of the season, Dominguez is looking to prove a point and take back the championship that he lost last year. Who will win? You decide.
Third Battle Royal
The third and final battle royal is scheduled for Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. Central Time. The defending champion for this round is Kyle Larson, who will be driving the #22 car. He’ll be going up against Matt Dominguez in a battle of the two middle infielders looking to prove that they are still the best of the best. This is a rematch of the 2019 battle royal with the same drivers, but with one critical difference: they’re going to be racing on a different track. Who will win? You decide.
There you have it. Three separate battle royals with three different drivers. Each one of these races means that you get a chance to choose a champion — for all intents and purposes, it’s a virtual championship. So put on your voting hat and get ready to choose your favorite driver. Who will come out on top? You decide.