So it comes down to this. The last race of this lengthy NASCAR season. Following 35 points paying races, the last 4 drivers who will race to the championship Sunday have been decided.
Considering that the elimination format to pick a winner was released two years back the winner has even won the race. Odds are then that the winner of the race Sunday will also wear the Cup crown. Others can win, but three of those last five race winners dating back to Tony Stewart at 2011, also have won the name, so don’t be shocked if the driver celebrating a race win in victory lane Sunday, can also be celebrating his championship.
Here is how it shakes out among the four finalists for Sunday’s 36th race of the year for your gambling 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 unites”loop data” elements such as average running posture, average speed under green, variety of workouts, and other stats. There’s a maximum of 150 points a driver can make for every race. The chances are present as of Wednesday.
1. Carl Edwards (7-1). Edwards has just two wins here and the highest 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, along with the name, to Tony Stewart in 2011. Section of the Joe Gibbs Racing team, Edwards will be seeking redemption Sunday, and he may just get it.
2. Jimmie Johnson (7-2). Homestead is one of those few tracks in NASCAR which Johnson has never won at. He runs well here though and has the second highest 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 avoid some of the miscues the group has endured this season at times, Johnson could pull it off.
3. Kyle Busch (5-1). Busch is seeking to defend his title, made with a win at Homestead this past year. He has the third greatest driver evaluation, 95.5. However he barely left the Championship 4, also has struggled at times. However, with one last race and a chance to add another title, and Joe Gibbs Racing behind him, Busch could be able to add another triumph, and another name.
4. Joey Logano (7-1). Logano is possibly the underdog among the Championship 4. He’s never won at Homestead, gets the lowest driver evaluation one of the field, 83.5. However, Logano finished fourth last year and led the 2nd most laps in the race, 72. Logano was 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 motorists seeking to win Sunday. Chief among them, Matt Kenseth (12-1). Kenseth has the 2nd highest driver evaluation among the field, 108.4, and 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 because the elimination format started. He won the raceand 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 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be run 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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