This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
William Byron won his second NASCAR Cup Series race in Sunday's Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway. The Hendrick Motorsports driver started 31st and drove from the rear to lead 102 of 267 laps, winning the second stage on his way to a comfortable win. The No. 24 team now will have a spot in the championship playoffs and can get started on extensive preparations for a run at the 2021 title. His Hendrick teammate Kyle Larson also finished in the top five, and Chevrolet took three of the top four spots. The Penske Racing and Roush Fenway Racing Ford drivers started the day at the front early in the distance, but Kevin Harvick was the only Ford to finish the race in the top five.
This week the series will venture West to visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway, another 1.5-mile oval. Fantasy players hoping to have a better view of where drivers stand are starting to see that picture become clearer. Denny Hamlin and Harvick sit atop the points, but there are some early surprises as well. Aside from the obvious early race winners, drivers like Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, Cole Custer and Bubba Wallace currently are in playoff positions three races into the 2021 season. There is still a long time to go in the season, but 2021 already shaping up to be very competitive.