Well it’s that time again; the time NASCAR fans both look forward to and dread. It is the last race of the Sprint Cup Season at Homestead Miami Speedway where we will crown a new Sprint Cup Champion and move into the dark season of no racing. Here are some notes and things to look forward to during the race.
Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman are equal in points after the end of the Eliminator Round of the Chase. They are racing each other for the Championship. Since they all have the same number of points to start the race the driver who finishes ahead will win the Championship. There are no bonus points for leading laps. There absolutely cannot be a tie.
Kevin Harvick will start the race in 5th position and will be leading the Championship when the green flag drops followed by Denny Hamlin (8th), Joey Logano (9th) and Ryan Newman (21st). Kevin Harvick was the fastest of the four Chase drivers in all the practices except final practice when he was 8th fastest behind Logano. That and his starting position would make it seem that he has it all in hand.
Make no mistake about it each and every driver, crew chief and crew will be on pins and needles throughout the race. One stuck lug nut, speeding on pit road, blown tire anything that removes positions on the track can lead to loss of the Championship.
Unlike other sports the other drivers who are not racing for a Championship are also competing. Jeff Gordon wants to show everyone he should have made it into the final four. He won the Coors Light Pole award and will lead the field to green. He was also very fast in practice. It is the 200th pole for Hendrick Motorsports. Of all the drivers that didn’t make it, Gordon missing by one point has really hit the fans and Gordon.
Gordon said, “You know, I think even if we win this race on Sunday, that’s only going to make it hurt a little bit more in some ways because we could have won the championship if we were here.”
Other notes: Brian Scott will start the race from the back of the field due to an engine change. This is the last NASCAR race broadcast for ESPN. NBC Sports will pick up their part of the season next year.
The Homestead Miami Speedway is a 1.5 mile high banked speedway. The race is 400.5 miles or267 laps.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be broadcast live on ESPN starting at 2 PM ET Sunday, November 16th.
Feature Photo Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing