A Long Way to Go and a Short Time to Get There
Denny Hamlin enters Ford Championship Weekend with a 15-point lead over four-time reigning Champion Jimmie Johnson and just a 46-point margin over Kevin Harvick
Heading into Sunday’s one-race shootout to decide the closest Sprint Cup Championship race in Chase history at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Denny Hamlin has a 15-point lead over four-time reigning Champion Jimmie Johnson and just a 46-point margin over Kevin Harvick. The drama continues to build for the Ford 400 as both Hamlin and Harvick will have to fight their way through the field to get to the front after qualifying 38th and 28th respectively while Johnson will have a big advantage starting from the 6th position.
Every year since the inception of the Chase in 2004, the driver holding the points lead with one race remaining has gone on to win the Sprint Cup Championship. Tickets for this historic Championship finale are STILL available starting at $55 via HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com and (866) 409-RACE. Parking, as always, is FREE at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and fans are invited to bring their own food and drink into the Speedway in a cooler not to exceed 14x14x14 inches in dimension.
Of course, after Sunday’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there are no more races to make up any ground, so this is Johnson and Harvick’s last opportunity to snatch the Championship from Hamlin.
Hamlin has the most simple of all scenarios to win the 2010 Sprint Cup Championship. All he needs to do is win the race. If Hamlin manages to win the race or finish second and lead the most laps, he is guaranteed his first championship and the fourth overall for Joe Gibbs Racing.
“We didn't improve, but our car is going to be fine tomorrow. We know that,” said Hamlin. “This is a track you can pass.”
Johnson has a chance to win an unprecedented fifth consecutive NASCAR Championship, but he has to dominate. If Johnson wins and leads the most laps, he wins no matter what anyone else does.
“I'm excited about how we'll start the race,” said Johnson. “I'm also looking forward to practice tomorrow.”
If Johnson wins and does not lead the most laps but Hamlin does, the driver of the No. 11 car will need to finish fourth or worse in order for Mr. Four-Time Champ to become Mr. Five-Time.
Kevin Harvick needs a helping hand from his closest competitors to claim his first Sprint Cup title. The driver of the No. 29 needs the most help to win the championship, and there’s no scenario that allows him to lock-up the title regardless of what Hamlin or Johnson does. If Harvick wins and leads the most laps, Denny Hamlin must finish seventh or worse if he fails to lead, and eighth if he manages to lead a lap.
Harvick also needs a helping hand from defending champ Johnson. The No. 48 car needs to finish fourth or worse if he doesn’t lead, and fifth if Johnson manages to lead a lap.
“Our car was very comfortable in race trim and we are ready to go," said Harvick.
The focus of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 is undoubtedly the battle for the Sprint Cup in the Championship but there are 40 other drivers looking to end the season with a win.
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99, is the highest Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings heading into this weekend – sitting in fourth place. Edwards, who swept last week’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup events at Phoenix, will start second and makes up the front row with pole-sitter Kasey Kahne.
“For us, we came into this race focused on this qualifying effort and it is disappointing to not get the pole.” Said Edwards “But we’ll have a great starting spot.”
It all comes down to Miami, where Sunday’s Championship-finale Ford 400 is set for a 1 p.m. (ET) start, and tickets for this historic Championship finale are STILL available starting at $55 via (866) 409-RACE and HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com. Parking is FREE at Homestead-Miami Speedway all weekend, and fans can bring their own food and drink into the Speedway in a cooler not to exceed 14x14x14 inches.
Doing It in Style: Kyle Busch takes the Camping World Truck Series owners’ title and looks to add the Ford 300 and Ford 400 trophies to his mantle
A year ago, there was no Kyle Busch Motorsports, and Germain Racing didn’t have any sponsorship.
Yet somehow the two teams put themselves in position to be champions. Todd Bodine clinched his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship as a driver before the start of the Ford 200 Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Although Bodine had sewn up the drivers’ title, Busch held a solid 120-point lead on the owners’ side. Busch passed Ron Hornaday on Lap 130 following a restart and held on to win under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Busch’s squad became the first rookie team to take the title since Richard Childress Racing won the inaugural Camping World Truck Series crown with Mike Skinner in 1995.
“This is so cool to come out here and win in our last race and in the style that we did,” Busch said. “It’s fun to come out here and participate in the Truck races.
“For me, it’s great to race in this series, with guys like Ron Hornaday and Todd Bodine. Congratulations to Todd for winning the driver’s championship.”
The driver’s title is the second for Bodine at Germain Racing. He also won the championship in the 2006 season.
“I never thought I’d be a one-time champion, let alone a two-time champion,” Bodine said. “It’s hard in a career to be a part of a group that cares as much as this one and is as good as this one. I count my blessings every day.”
Next up for Busch is Saturday’s Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship finale. Sunday’s Championship-finale Ford 400 is set for a 1 p.m. (ET) start, and tickets for this historic Championship finale are STILL available starting at $55 via (866) 409-RACE and HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com. Parking is FREE at Homestead-Miami Speedway all weekend, and fans can bring their own food and drink into the Speedway in a cooler not to exceed 14x14x14 inches.