The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Miami for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown postponed its original scheduled date in March. Homestead-Miami Speedway will play host to Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).Although fans will be prohibited from attending like other events held since NASCAR returned to action after the coronavirus outbreak, the 400.5-mile race will host up to 1,000 South Florida service members, while only a limited amount of essential personnel will be permitted on the track’s grounds. It will mark the eighth Cup Series race in NASCAR’s return and the 12th race overall this season.Here’s everything you need to know with helpful information for Sunday.RELATED: How to follow the races | Schedule for Homestead-MiamiTRACK DETAILSHomestead-Miami Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval that held its first NASCAR Cup Series event on November 14, 1999, won by Tony Stewart during his rookie NASCAR Cup Series season.The turns feature 18-20 degrees of progressive banking, while the straightaways have three degrees of banking. Both the frontstretch and backstretch are 1,760 feet in length.Sunday’s 267-lap race will be the 22nd race for NASCAR’s top division at the South Florida track.RELATED: List of winners at Homestead-Miami SpeedwaySTAGE LENGTHSStage 1 is set to end at Lap 80, Stage 2 at Lap 160, and the final stage is slated to conclude on Lap 267.STARTING LINEUPSunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 will be held without practice and qualifying as NASCAR tries to limit exposure for on-site personnel to control the spread of coronavirus. The lineup was determined by a random draw among groups in the team owner standings:Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 37-38: Open teams in order of owners pointsDenny Hamlin will start on the pole in the No. 11 Toyota Camry alongside Joey Logano in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang.MORE: Starting lineup for Homestead-MiamiPit-stall selection was ordered based on finishing positions from the NASCAR Cup Series’ previous race — Wednesday night’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway — followed by new entries in order of points.For more information about starting-lineup procedures for national-series races scheduled without qualifying, click here.RULES PACKAGEThe 2020 NASCAR rules package for intermediate-sized tracks will be in effect with a tapered spacer used to set a target of 550 horsepower. The cars will use aero ducts in addition to other aerodynamic devices to increase downforce.GOODYEAR TIRESHeat, humidity and high wear: Since its return in mid-May, NASCAR has run at several high tire wear race tracks, and Homestead-Miami Speedway ranks right near the top of that list. Homestead has come to be known for being one of the most competitive race tracks on the circuit, with its progressive banking, multiple racing grooves and its abrasive surface are part of that. High tire wear puts an emphasis on tire management, with drivers who are easier on their tires early in a run suffering less tire fall-off and making up a lot of track position later in that run. That scenario creates a lot of “comers” and “goers” over the course of a full fuel run, all leading to exciting and entertaining racing for the fans.“Over the past several seasons we have had some great races at Homestead,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “It has also turned into one of our most high wear tracks, and that is something that both fans and drivers seem to like. For the drivers, it puts a lot of focus on being smooth and managing their tires. Over a long run, lap times will fall off over two seconds from the beginning to the end of the run, so drivers who are able to save their tires early in a run will benefit from that later on. One other nice thing about this tire setup is that these teams just ran it at Darlington a few weeks ago, and at Homestead last fall, so they should have a good notebook from which to work.”The NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will all run the same tire combination this weekend in South Florida.RELATED: Cole Pearn offers his Miami outlookSTATS TO KNOW— The last four races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been won by four different drivers — Kyle Busch (2019), Joey Logano (2018), Martin Truex Jr. (2017), Jimmie Johnson (2016).— The race winner has started in the top-five positions in six of the last seven races.— Joe Gibbs Racing has won three of the last seven Miami races, while the organization’s former affiliate Furniture Row Racing also won one of those seven races with Truex Jr.— Kevin Harvick has 12 straight top 10s at Miami, including six straight top fives all coming with Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick is also the all-time leader at Miami in these categories: 11 top fives, 17 top 10s, 6.4 average finish. He also owns an average running position of 4.0 or better in six straight Miami races.— Kyle Busch has recorded five consecutive finishes of sixth or better, including two wins, all coming with crew chief Adam Stevens. Busch is also the only repeat winner in the last 10 Miami races.— Ryan Blaney finished second at Martinsville Speedway, but it’ll be a little more of a challenge at Homestead-Miami if he wants to replicate that result. The 1.5-mile track is one of only three places where Blaney has yet to score a top-10 finish, including Darlington Raceway and Richmond Raceway. His best finish at Miami is 11th in 2019.Source: NASCAR statistics, Racing Insights LIVE COVERAGETune in Sunday at at 3:30 p.m. ET to television coverage from Homestead-Miami Speedway on FOX and the FOX Sports App. For full radio coverage, listen to MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. RELATED: Ways to follow the racesFor a more interactive experience, head over to NASCAR.com or the NASCAR app to check out an enhanced Race Center, live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the customizable live leaderboard with Scanner (which is FREE for both races), and the return of Drive (featuring in-car cameras).Be sure to set your lineup in Fantasy Live and make your picks in the NASCAR Finish Line App.2019 RACE WINNERKyle Busch, who has yet to win so far in 2020, took his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry to Victory Lane in last year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Busch led 120 of the 267 total laps and finished with a 4.578-second margin of victory over Championship 4 contender and teammate Martin Truex Jr. Busch also won at Miami in 2015 for his first career title.RELATED: 2019 Ford EcoBoost 400 recapACTIVE HOMESTEAD-MIAMI WINNERSKyle Busch, Denny Hamlin (two each); Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. (one each).
Last Updated: 25th January, 2020 17:59 IST Tata Steel Chess: Anand Beats Firouzja, Jumps To Joint Sixth Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand gave a fine endgame lesson to young Alireza Firouzja, jumping to joint sixth position at the end of the 11th round Press Trust Of India Masters round 11: Nikita Vitiugov (Rus, 4) drew with Daniil Dubov (Rus, 5.5); Alireza Firouzja (Fid, 5.5) lost to V Anand (Ind, 5.5); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 3) lost to Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 8); Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 6) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 7); Vladislav Artemiev (Rus, 5.5) beat Jorden Van Foreest (Ned, 6); Wesley So (Usa, 6.5) drew with Jeffery Xiong (Usa, 5); , Anish Giri (Ned, 5.5) drew with Yu Yangyi (Chn, 4).Challengers: Vincent Keymer (Ger, 5.5) drew with Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 5.5); Nihal Sarin (Ind, 5.5) drew with Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 7); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 6) drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Ind, 6.5); Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 6.5) drew with Jan Smeets (Ned, 5.5); Anton Smirnov (Aus, 4) lost to David Anton Guijarro (Esp, 8); Max Warmerdam (2.5) drew with Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 2.5); Lucas Van Foreest (Ned, 5) lost to Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 7). LIVE TV COMMENT First Published: 25th January, 2020 17:59 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand gave a fine endgame lesson to young Alireza Firouzja, jumping to joint sixth position at the end of the 11th round of Tata Steel Masters here. With his second victory, Anand clawed his way back to a fifty percent score and will now hope to end the tournament on a high. At just 16 years, Firouzja is less than one-third of Anand’s age, and the Indian ace showed that the Iranian still has a lot to learn. Anand started with the Nimzo Indian and faced the Samisch setup by the Iranian.The middle game was double-edged but Anand made most of it. Converting to a rook and opposite coloured Bishops endgame, Anand capitalised on his better pieces to tie down white’s forces and in the end forcibly won a pawn. For Firouzja, this was the third straight loss in the tournament after a brilliant start that saw him on the leaderboard around the half way mark. “I was not very optimistic before the round,” Anand said after the game, adding, “I felt that after the rest day he will get back in some sort of control, but he is very dangerous and aggressive.”With two rounds to go, Fabiano Caruana of the United States made a decisive stride forward for his maiden title here, crushing Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus to reach a very impressive eight points. The American now enjoys a full point lead over world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway. Wesley So of the United States is in sole third spot on 6.5 points, a half point clear of fourth-placed Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland and Jorden Van Foreest of Holland. In the Challenger’s section, Grandmaster David Anton Gujjaro of Spain also moved ahead of the field, defeating Anton Smirnov of Australia. India’s Surya Shekhar Ganguly is in joint fourth spot on 6.5 points while Nihal Sarin is joint seventh on 5.5.Results Written By FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE