Therefore it comes down to this. The final race of the long NASCAR season. After 35 points spending races, the final 4 drivers who will race to the championship Sunday have been decided.
Since the removal format to pick a champion was released two years ago the winner has also won the race. Odds are then the winner of the race Sunday will also wear the Cup crown. Others can win, but three of those previous five race winners dating back to Tony Stewart in 2011, have also won the title, so don’t be shocked if the driver celebrating a race win 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 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 like average running posture, average speed under green, number of fastest laps, and other stats. There’s a maximum of 150 points that 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 with multiple wins at Homestead, Edwards still has memories of losing the race, along with the title, to Tony Stewart in 2011. Section of the Joe Gibbs Racing team, Edwards will be looking for redemption Sunday, and he might 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 has the second highest driver evaluation of the 4, 96.7. Johnson will want to make history Sunday with a seventh title. When he brings his”A” game and can prevent some of the miscues that the group has endured this season occasionally, Johnson could just pull it off.
3. Kyle Busch (5-1). Busch is looking to defend his name, earned by a win at Homestead last year. He has the third greatest driver rating, 95.5. However he barely made the Championship 4, and has struggled sometimes. But with one final race and a chance to add another title, and Joe Gibbs rebounds , Busch could be able to add another triumph, 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 driver rating among the area, 83.5. But Logano finished fourth here last year and led the second most laps in the race,” 72. Logano has been 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 motorists trying to win Sunday. Chief among them, Matt Kenseth (12-1). Kenseth has the second highest driver rating among the area, 108.4, and acquired here in 2007. Coming off a disappointing finish at Phoenix a week, Kenseth will be looking to make a strong statement. Kevin Harvick (6-1) was frustrated last week as he failed to make the cut for the first time since the removal format started. He won the race, and the title in 2014, has the fifth greatest driver evaluation, 104.3, and could add another win to his Homestead resume 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 starting at 2:00 p.m. ET using all the green flag coming only after 2:30 p.m. ET.
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