The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the season, the Ford EcoBoost 400. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, November 20; 3:01 p.m./et.
Weather: Sunny with a high around 77 degrees; wind out of the North at 11 mph. There is a ZERO percent chance of precipitation.
The Track: Homestead-MiamiSpeedway
Homesteadis a 1.5 mile oval. It has medium 18, 19, and 20 degree banking on the turns.
Key to Race: JOHNSON, EDWARDS, BUSCH, or LOGANO
We are down to the Final Four for NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano are the four contenders remaining. Johnson has never won at Homestead, but he is chasing his record-tying seventh championship. He will be tough to beat this weekend. Busch won at Homestead last year and is trying to repeat as the Sprint Cup Champ. Edwards has averaged a ninth place finish at Homestead during his career. He has been great on 1.5 mile tracks this season. Logano finished fourth at Homestead last year and has been very fast on the last 1.5 mile tracks this season.
Sunday’s race has all the pieces in place to be an instant classic. A strong case can be made for any of these four to win. The sports books in Las Vegas currently have Johnson (2/1) as the slight favorite followed by Kyle Busch (13/5), Edwards (3/1) and Logano (3/1).
After quite a bit of deliberating we had to go with Johnson as our choice to win his seventh championship. The guy is a machine and when he gets this close to taking home the hardware he is always flawless.
Round of 4:
Jimmie Johnson 5000 points
Carl Edwards 5000 points
Joey Logano 5000 points
Kyle Busch 5000 points
41 cars will attempt to qualify for 40 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has never won at Homestead, but he is one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history and he is on the verge or reeling-in his record-tying seventh championship. It is be difficult to pick against him.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Busch dominated the 2013 race at Homestead and won at the track last year. He is a great option as he races to repeat as series champ.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has been terrific on 1.5 mile tracks lately. He led 178 laps at Texas and finished third at Kansas. He will be very, very fast once again.
No. 19 Carl Edwards: Edwards has visited victory lane twice at Homestead. He is a great choice this weekend.
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won at Homestead in 2014 and finished second last year. He is one of the favorites again this visit to South Florida.
6 to 10
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has been very good at Homestead during his career and is a great pick to win this weekend.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has four top 10 finishes in the past five races at Homestead. He is a very nice choice.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has finished in the top four in four of the past 10 races at Homestead, including wins in 2013 and 2009. We like his chances.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished third and led the most laps at Homestead last year.
No. 24 Chase Elliott: Elliott is making his Cup debut at Homestead this weekend. He won’t have any issue with the track and should easily crack the top 15.
11 to 20
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch has four top five finishes in 15 career starts at Homestead, including a win in 2004. He should finish inside the top 15 this weekend.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has been great at Homestead in four of the last six years. He is a nice value pick.
No. 88 Alex Bowman: We love how Bowman drove for most last weekend’s race at Phoenix. He is a great third or fourth driver this weekend.
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson notched a fifth place finish at Homestead last year. He should be in the top 15 again.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon finished 14th at Homestead last year. He will take the checkers around the same spot this visit.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Smoke fires up his engine for the final time this weekend. It will be sad to see him drive off into the Florida sunset at the end of the race but we have a feeling it won’t be the last time we ever see him behind the wheel of NASCAR. He has averaged a 23rd place finish at Homestead the last four races and will be doing well to notch a top 20 finish.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has four top 10 finishes in 12 career starts at Homestead. He is just an okay pick.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has won three of the past 12 Homestead races. This weekend is a rare time to sneak the No. 16 onto your roster this season.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard finished fourth in 2014 and 11th at Homestead in 2012. He is a sleeper pick.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has notched top 13 finishes at Homestead the past two years. He is a nice sleeper choice for those in deep leagues.
21 to 30
No. 47 AJ Allmendinger
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
No. 6 Trevor Bayne
No. 21 Ryan Blaney
No. 10 Danica Patrick
No. 95 Ty Dillon
No. 43 Aric Almirola
No. 13 Casey Mears
No. 15 Clint Bowyer
No. 59 Michael McDowell
No. 38 Landon Cassill
No. 34 Chris Buescher
No. 7 Regan Smith
No. 44 Brian Scott
No. 23 David Ragan
No. 32 Dylan Lupton
No. 49 Matt DiBenedetto
No. 46 Michael Annett
No. 55 Reed Sorenson
No. 83 Jefferey Earnhardt
No. 30 Gray Gaulding
My NASCAR LIVE Team for this Week:
Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
B. Carl Edwards