Therefore it comes down to this. The last race of the long NASCAR season. After 35 points spending races, the final 4 drivers that will race for the championship Sunday have been determined.
Since the removal format to pick a champion was released two years ago the winner has also won the race. Odds are then that the winner of the race Sunday will even wear the Cup crown. Others can win, but three of the previous 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, can also be celebrating his championship.
Here’s how it shakes out one of the four finalists for Sunday’s 36th race of the year for your betting or fantasy racing leagues. Driver Ratings are accumulated 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 combines”loop info” components like average running position, average rate under green, number of fastest laps, and other stats. There is a maximum of 150 points a driver can make for each race. The odds are present as of Wednesday.
1. Carl Edwards (7-1). Edwards has just two wins here along with the maximum driver evaluation among the 4, 109.4. The only driver among the Championship 4 having a number of wins at Homestead, Edwards still has memories of losing the race, and the title, to Tony Stewart in 2011. Part 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 the very few tracks in NASCAR which Johnson has never won at. He runs well here though and has the 2nd highest driver rating of the 4, 96.7. Johnson will be looking to make history Sunday with a seventh title. If he brings his”A” game and may avoid a few of the miscues the group has suffered this year occasionally, Johnson could just pull it off.
3. Kyle Busch (5-1). Busch is seeking to defend his name, made with a win at Homestead this past year. He has the third greatest driver rating, 95.5. However he barely left the Championship 4, and has struggled sometimes. However, with one final race and a chance to add another title, and Joe Gibbs Racing behind him, Busch could be in position to add another triumph, and another name.
4. Joey Logano (7-1). Logano is perhaps the underdog one of the Championship 4. He has never won at Homestead, gets the lowest motorist evaluation one of the area, 83.5. But Logano finished fourth last year and led the second most laps in the race, 72. Logano has been astonishing at times this year and he could surely be a surprise Sunday by winning his first Cup title.
OTHERS: There will be a total of 36 other motorists trying to win Sunday. Chief among them, Matt Kenseth (12-1). Kenseth has the 2nd highest driver rating among the field, 108.4, and won here in 2007. Coming off a disappointing finish at Phoenix a week, Kenseth will be seeking to make a powerful statement. Kevin Harvick (6-1) was frustrated a week since he failed to make the cut for the first time since the removal format started. He also won the race, and the title in 2014, has the fifth greatest driver rating, 104.3, and may add another win for his Homestead restart Sunday.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford EcoBoost 400 in Homestead-Miami Speedway will be run on Sunday, November 20. Live coverage is going to be on NBC starting at 2:00 p.m. ET using the green flag coming only after 2:30 p.m. ET.
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