All eyes were on Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson during the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the seasons final race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Marcos Ambrose led the field to green, although Joey Logano was the pole sitter for the race. Logano had to move to a back up car, and subsequently the back of a field when he was involved in a crash during final practice on Saturday.
It was neither Keselowski or Johnson who took the checkered flag at the end of the 267 laps, though.
It was Jeff Gordon who found himself in victory lane. The win was his second of 2012, the other coming at rain shortened Pocono. It was Gordon’s 87th career win and his first at Homestead.
Clint Bowyer finished in second, followed by Ryan Newman in third.
Matt Kenseth finished 18th in what would be his final race in the No.17 and with Roush Fenway Racing, while Joey Logano finished 14th in his final start with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Kenseth will be driving the No.20 Home Depot Toyota in 2012, while Logano will be moving to Penske to drive the No.22 Pennzoil Ford.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be moving up from the Nationwide series to drive the No.17. He finished 39th in today’s race.
With 62 laps to go, Johnson actually passed Keselowski in points when Keselowski ran out of gas, but shortly after a critical pit road mistake for Johnson cost him the lead. The 48 drove off pit road missing a lug nut, and had to drive back through pit road again putting him a lap down.
With 40 laps to go, Johnson had a rear gear break and headed to the garage, ending his chances of catching Keselowski for the championship.
Keselowski only had to finish the race to win his first championship, and he did just that, finishing in 15th position. The win is Roger Penske’s first championship as an owner in the Sprint Cup Series and Dodge’s first since 1975.
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