So it comes down to this. The final race of the lengthy NASCAR season. After 35 points spending races, the final 4 drivers who will race for the championship Sunday happen to be determined.
Considering that the elimination format to decide a winner was introduced two years ago the winner has even won the race. Odds are then 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 surprised if the motorist celebrating a race win in victory lane Sunday, can also be celebrating his championship.
Here’s how it shakes out among the four finalists for Sunday’s 36th race of the year for your betting or fantasy racing leagues. Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 total) among active drivers at Phoenix. The Driver Rating is a number based on a formula developed by NASCAR which unites”loop data” elements such as average running position, average rate under green, number of fastest laps, and other stats. There is a maximum of 150 points a driver can earn for every race. The chances are present as of Wednesday.
1. Carl Edwards (7-1). Edwards has just two wins here along with 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. Part of the Joe Gibbs Racing team, Edwards will be looking for redemption Sunday, and he may just get it.
2. Jimmie Johnson (7-2). Homestead is one of those few tracks in NASCAR that Johnson has never won at. He runs well here and gets the 2nd greatest driver rating of this 4, 96.7. Johnson will be looking to make history Sunday with a seventh title. If he brings his”A” game and may prevent a few of the miscues that the group has suffered this year occasionally, Johnson could just pull it off.
3. Kyle Busch (5-1). Busch is looking to defend his name, made by a win at Homestead this past year. He has the third highest driver rating, 95.5. But he hardly left the Championship 4, and has struggled at times. But with one final race and an opportunity to add another title, and Joe Gibbs rebounds , Busch could be able to add another win, and another name.
4. Joey Logano (7-1). Logano is possibly the underdog one of the Championship 4. He has never won at Homestead, gets the lowest motorist evaluation one of the field, 83.5. But Logano finished fourth here last year and headed the 2nd most laps in the race,” 72. Logano was surprising 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 drivers trying to acquire Sunday. Chief among them, Matt Kenseth (12-1). Kenseth has the 2nd greatest driver rating among the area, 108.4, also won here in 2007. Coming off a disappointing finish at Phoenix last week, Kenseth will be seeking to make a powerful statement. Kevin Harvick (6-1) was also disappointed a week since he failed to make the cut for the first time since the elimination format began. He also won the race, and the title in 2014, has the fifth greatest driver evaluation, 104.3, and could add another win to his Homestead restart Sunday.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be conducted on Sunday, November 20. Live coverage is going to be on NBC beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET using the green flag coming just after 2:30 p.m. ET.
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