Therefore it comes down to this. The final race of this long NASCAR season. Following 35 points paying races, the last 4 drivers who will race to the championship Sunday happen to be decided.
Considering that the removal format to pick a winner was released two years back the winner has also won the race. Odds are then the winner of this race Sunday will also wear the Cup crown. Others could win, but three of the last five race winners dating back to Tony Stewart in 2011, also have won the name, so don’t be shocked if the motorist celebrating a race triumph in victory lane Sunday, is also celebrating his championship.
Here’s how it shakes out among the four finalists for Sunday’s 36th race of this year for your gambling or fantasy racing leagues. Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 total) among active drivers in Phoenix. The Driver Rating is a number based on a formula developed by NASCAR which unites”loop data” components such as average running posture, average rate under green, variety of fastest laps, and other stats. There’s a maximum of 150 points that a driver can make for each race. The odds are current as of Wednesday.
1. Carl Edwards (7-1). Edwards has two wins here and the highest driver rating one of the 4, 109.4. The only driver among the Championship 4 with multiple wins at Homestead, Edwards still has memories of losing the race, and the title, to Tony Stewart in 2011. Section of the Joe Gibbs Racing team, Edwards will be looking for salvation Sunday, and he may just get it.
2. Jimmie Johnson (7-2). Homestead is one of those very few tracks in NASCAR that Johnson hasn’t won at. He works well here and gets the second greatest driver evaluation of this 4, 96.7. Johnson will be looking to make history Sunday with a title. When he brings his”A” game and may prevent some of the miscues that the team has suffered this season occasionally, Johnson could pull it off.
3. Kyle Busch (5-1). Busch is looking to defend his name, earned by a win at Homestead this past year. He has the third greatest driver evaluation, 95.5. However he hardly left the Championship 4, also has struggled at times. But with one last race and an opportunity to add another name, and Joe Gibbs rebounds , Busch could be in position to add another triumph, and another name.
4. Joey Logano (7-1). Logano is possibly the underdog one of the Championship 4. He’s never won at Homestead, has the lowest driver evaluation among the field, 83.5. However, Logano finished fourth last year and led the 2nd most laps in the race,” 72. Logano has been astonishing at times this season and he could certainly be a surprise Sunday by winning his first Cup title.
OTHERS: There will be a total of 36 other drivers seeking to acquire Sunday. Chief among them, Matt Kenseth (12-1). Kenseth has the 2nd greatest driver rating one of the field, 108.4, and won here in 2007. Coming off a disappointing finish at Phoenix a week, Kenseth will be looking to make a powerful statement. Kevin Harvick (6-1) was also disappointed last week as he failed to make the cut for the first time since the removal format began. He won the raceand the name in 2014, has the fifth best driver rating, 104.3, and could add another win to his Homestead restart Sunday.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford EcoBoost 400 in Homestead-Miami Speedway will be run on Sunday, November 20. Live coverage will be on NBC starting at 2:00 p.m. ET using the green flag coming just after 2:30 p.m. ET.