This weekend 47 drivers head to Homestead-Miami Speedway – four will go home – while the other 43 will make their last start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Homestead-Miami Speedway is a 1.5 mile oval track which has been home to NASCARs “Ford Championship Weekend” for the last ten years.
Homestead’s 400.5 mile, 267 lap race has been home to many close battles such as Greg Biffle and Mark Martin in 2005 and last seasons championship determining race between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart.
Drivers will qualify Friday evening at 6:10pm, final practice will then be Saturday from 3:00-3:50pm… the next time the Cup cars see the track will be Sunday for the Ford EcoBoost 400.
Brad Keselowski leads the points and is favored to win the championship after Jimmie Johnson ran into some bad luck at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend. The wreck took him from the points lead to being 20 points behind Keselowski.
However, Johnson has remained positive and believes that still he can bring home a sixth championship for the No.48 Lowes Hendrick Motorsports team. “Something can happen here….” Johnson said. “This isn’t just any other race this is the championship race.”
Keselowski has remained just as positive, “For us its about focusing on getting the job done…just focusing on what we need to do.” he said.
Johnson has an average finish of 13.5 with seven top tens in his eleven races. Keselowski, on the other hand has only made four appearances at Homestead. His average finish in those four starts is 20.2, in which his best finish was 13th in 2010. Neither driver has stats that are mind blowing at the track, but with Keselowski only needing to finish 15th or better to claim his first Sprint Cup Series title – the odds are already in his favor.
If we look at who has the best chance to win this weekend, we look at someone who isn’t racing for the championship, in fact, someone that hasn’t even won a race yet this season. With an average finish of 5.2 in eight starts -7 top tens, 5 top fives and two wins, Carl Edwards ending the season in victory lane would give him some sort of vindication after losing the title here one year ago.
Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart both have three wins at Homestead while Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon have better average finishes but neither have actually won at the track. The race tends to be a wild card as to who will win, unlike with the Championship race coming down to two drivers.
With last weekends craziness between Gordon and Clint Bowyer, the question has already risen – will Bowyer seek retaliation? Our guess is no, but the best way to find out is to not miss the final race of the 2012 NASCAR season on Sunday.
Drivers we are tracking this weekend:
|Martin Truex, Jr.||7||0||2||5||97|