Staff picks for Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
RELATED: See all the cars lined up for Sunday's race Jimmie Johnson : "The focus is rightly on Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart this weekend. Away from the spotlight, though, Johnson and his No. 48 team finally get back on track with a dominant showing -- and "Six-Time" ties Gordon with his fifth career win at the Brickyard." -- Brad Norman Tony Stewart : 'Smoke' has been on a roll and no place means as much to him as the Brickyard. -- Kenny Bruce Kyle Larson : " Fueled by a landmark victory at Eldora Speedway and increased team performance, expect Kyle Larson to ride a wave of momentum into the Brickyard, backing up his two Indy top-10s by landing in Victory Lane for the first time in his Sprint Cup Series career." -- Pat DeCola Jimmie Johnson : " He's won here four times before and it's time for his frustrating summer to end." -- Holly Cain Tony Stewart : "Equipped with a third-place starting position for his final Brickyard 400 run, look for Indiana native Tony Stewart to continue his hot streak up front -- and eventually in Victory Lane." -- Jessica Ruffin Ryan Newman : "The Rocket Man has been close the past two weeks (seventh at Loudon, third at Kentucky) and qualified sixth at the Brickyard, so let's go with Indiana's forgotten son to pull off the upset on Sunday. After all, his last Sprint Cup Series win came at Indy (2013)." -- George Winkler Kyle Busch: " The Sprint Cup Series champ is starting on the pole and I think he's going to stay there to bring home his second consecutive Brickyard win. Also, with Saturday's XFINITY Series win under his belt, Busch is eyeing a sweep again, a feat that's only been done by him." -- Taylor Nunnally Carl Edwards : " The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has the speed this weekend and his quiet summer is about to come to an end with his first Brickyard win." -- RJ Kraft Jimmie Johnson : Four-time Indy winner is due for a Brickyard win and this weekend could be the year "Six-Time" ties Jeff Gordon for the most wins at the 2.5-mile track. -- Maggie MacKenzie Make your picks in Streak to the Finish !
Busch picks up Coors Light Pole Award in search of Brickyard defense
RELATED: Full starting lineup " See the full field SPEEDWAY, Ind. – A sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is nothing new to Kyle Busch. But this year, he started early. With a lap at 184.634 mph (48.745 seconds) in the final round of Saturday's knockout qualifying, Busch claimed the pole position for Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Earlier in the day, the driver who swept both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Indy last year earned the pole award ahead of the heat races prior to Saturday afternoon’s Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY race. But the Sprint Cup pole that completed the Saturday sweep was special, because it was the first for Busch at the vaunted Brickyard. "I haven't been great at qualifying here, but the guys gave me a great piece this time around, and I'm real pumped about that," said Busch, who claimed his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the 19th of his career. "We're starting first in both of these (races), and hopefully we can end that way. "It means a lot (to win the pole). It's definitely pretty special to be running the way that we're running and to have the success that we've had here the last couple of years at Indy, and I’d love nothing more than to try to win here again." Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was .023 seconds faster than the No. 19 of teammate Carl Edwards (184.547 mph). "I was happy with my lap," Edwards said. "I was surprised Kyle got me. That was a good lap for him – I mean, that was a good lap that he ran because I felt like my lap was pretty good – but, yeah, it's frustrating right now to be second because it's so close, and the pole position is obviously huge here. "But by tomorrow, the race gets started and I think I'll be pretty happy with that starting spot, so just good job by all my guys." Making his last appearance at Indy as a Sprint Cup Series driver, Tony Stewart earned the third starting spot with a lap at 184.328 mph and knew exactly where he had lost critical speed. "I just wish I could do lap three (final round) one more time and not clip the apron in (Turn) 4," Stewart said. "I think we could have been on the pole." RELATED: Stewart discusses his qualifying effort Denny Hamlin qualified fourth, giving JGR three of the top four spots. Brad Keselowski in fifth has the top Ford . Ryan Newman , Kevin Harvick , Martin Truex Jr. , Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson will start from positions six through 10, respectively. The time trials were a disappointment for the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, who failed to place a car in the top 12. Jimmie Johnson ran the fastest lap of the day in the first of three rounds, touring the 2.5-mile speedway in 48.435 seconds (185.816 mph). But the six-time series champion failed to advance beyond the second round, losing the 12th and final position to Kurt Busch by .008 seconds. Johnson will start 13th, Chase Elliott 15th and Jeff Gordon , subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. , who is out with concussion-like symptoms, claimed the 21st spot on the grid. "I felt really comfortable right there," said Gordon, who was 15th fastest in the first round. "I feel like today I’m much calmer than I was yesterday (in practice). Usually, my heart is beating more for qualifying than it is for practice, but that wasn't the case. "So, today I feel more relaxed and comfortable in the car. I hope to feel the same way tomorrow. Tomorrow's challenge is going to be being around traffic, and also trying to get the balance of the car right and do that when you're by yourself as well as when you're around other cars." Josh Wise failed to make the 40-car field. </p>
Kyle Busch tops the heap in final Indy practice
RELATED: Practice 1 results " Final practice results Kyle Busch closed out final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice atop the leaderboard Friday afternoon, recovering from a spin earlier in the day and landing the fastest speed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch, the defending race winner, lapped the track with a best speed of 184.619 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota as teams made mock qualifying runs ahead of Saturday's time trials. It marked an improvement over his 12th-best time during Friday's opening 85-minute session at the 2.5-mile track. During that opening session, Busch's No. 18 Camry slightly touched the car of Patrick Carpentier as they raced side-by-side in Turn 2. Busch, the defending series champion, spun out without making further contact. Former Brickyard winner Kevin Harvick registered the second-fastest lap, pushing the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet to a lap of 184.268 mph. Kyle Larson , Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards completed the top five in the final practice before Sunday's Crown Royal Presents The Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Jeff Gordon was 25th-fastest in his second stint of practice ahead of his first Sprint Cup start of the season. The four-time series champion notched a 180.375-mph lap in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. , who is sidelined for the second straight week by concussion-like symptoms. Tony Stewart , prepping for his final scheduled Sprint Cup start at his home-state track, was 24th-fastest (180.505 mph) in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet. Coors Light Pole Qualifying is set Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN). Sunday's race will be the 20th of 36 points-paying races this season. Johnson sets pace in opening Indy practice Jimmie Johnson soared to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an opening practice that featured the return of Jeff Gordon to competition. Johnson pushed the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet to a best lap of 184.185 mph around the 2.5-mile track. He'll seek his fifth Indianapolis win in Sunday's Crown Royal Presents The Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Former Indy pole winner Denny Hamlin was second-fastest in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota at 182.563 mph, a sizable .434 seconds off Johnson's pace. Casey Mears (180.346 mph), Kevin Harvick (179.845 mph) and Ryan Newman (179.784 mph) completed the top five in the 85-minute opening session. Gordon clocked the ninth-fastest speed, landing a 179.376 mph lap in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. He's scheduled to make his first Sprint Cup start of the season Sunday as a replacement for Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he recovers from concussion-like symptoms. Tony Stewart , scheduled to make his final Brickyard start in what's to be his last full-time season, was eighth-fastest at 179.655 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet. The native Hoosier will be vying for his third Brickyard victory in Sunday's 400 -miler. Defending Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch, also the defending race winner, was 12th-fastest but recovered from a spin at the one-hour mark of the session. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota made a prolonged slide out of Turn 2 after making contact with the Go FAS Racing No. 32 Ford of Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier, 44, walked over to Busch's garage stall later in the session to issue an apology for crowding his pass attempt. Carpentier was 39th-fastest of the 41 drivers entered during first practice. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Edsel Ford II: 'It's tough' with no Ford in Championship 4
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It's Ford Championship Weekend and the automotive manufacturer has its name on all three NASCAR races this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . A champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be crowned Friday, where Brad Keselowski Racing driver Tyler Reddick trails Erik Jones by 19 points. On the XFINITY Series side, Roush Fenway Racing 's Chris Buescher has his Ford out front by 18 points over Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports). Sunday, the Sprint Cup championship will be decided among four teams that have survived a nine-race, elimination-style playoff to get here. None of the entries among those four title-contending teams preparing for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 carry the Ford nameplate. "It's tough. I'm not going to mince words," Edsel Ford II said Friday. "We're very disappointed that we don't have a car in the Chase, especially (for) Ford Championship Weekend." Two Ford drivers, Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano , qualified for the 16-team Chase for the Sprint Cup . Roush Fenway Racing , the last Ford team to win the Sprint Cup title (with Kurt Busch in '04) failed to place one of its drivers in the Chase for the first time since the format debuted that same season. But Keselowski, who won the championship in 2012 with Penske and Dodge, failed to advance out of the final eight this season to earn a berth in this weekend's Championship Round. Logano, meanwhile, swept one of the three-race rounds and appeared to be one of the title favorites before a run-in with Matt Kenseth escalated, eventually ending when Kenseth wrecked the No. 22 earlier this month at Martinsville. Thus, this weekend's four Chase contenders represent two of the three automotive manufacturers competing in NASCAR -- defending series champion Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr . (Chevrolet) and Kyle Busch (Toyota). "We would have loved to have had a car in the Chase, frankly. But it is what it is. That's racing I guess," said Ford , a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors. This was a chance we could win a Ford Championship -- we've got good trucks, we've got good XFINITY cars, we've got very good (Sprint) Cup cars so who knows?"
Stats advance: Analyzing the Ford EcoBoost 400
A statistical look ahead to the season finale at Homestead RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 10, 2014) – Below is a look at the Championship 4 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and beyond at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida going into the Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 16. ESPN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. (ET) and the race is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET). HOMESTEAD-MIAMI-SPECIFIC STATISTICS 1 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7 2014 Rundown · One win, seven top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 14.5 · Led 17 races for 313 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 11.2 in nine races · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 93.4, eighth-best · 88 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · Series-high 826 Green Flag Passes · 1,406 Laps in the Top 15 (58.5%), 11th-most 2 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.7 2014 Rundown · Five wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.2 · Led 22 races for 993 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top 10; one pole · Average finish of 20.8 in five races · Average Running Position of 19.5, 19th-best · Driver Rating of 71.2, 22nd-best 3 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.1 2014 Rundown · Four top fives, 15 top 10s · Average finish of 13.0 · Led 7 races for 41 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, four top 10s · Average finish of 17.0 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 84.8, 13th-best · 696 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · 1,520 Laps in the Top 15 (63.2%), ninth-most · 426 Quality Passes, third-most 4 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s; eight poles · Average finish of 13.3 · Led 26 races for 2,083 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Five top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 8.1 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 10.9, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 99.1, fourth-best · 83 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 681 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.857 mph, fifth-fastest · 1,805 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), fourth-most · 398 Quality Passes, sixth-most 5 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.6 2014 Rundown · Six wins, 16 top fives, 19 top 10s; five poles · Average finish of 12.9 · Led 27 races for 1,540 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top 10 · Average finish of 17.0 in six races · Average Running Position of 16.8, 14th-best · Driver Rating of 80.3, 16th-best 6 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.4 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 14 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.4 · Led 25 races for 922 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.6 in 15 races · Average Running Position of 12.5, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best · 91 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 678 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.852 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,734 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), sixth-most · 442 Quality Passes, second-most 7 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.8 2014 Rundown · 13 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 13.4 · Led 20 races for 529 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.5 in 14 races · Average Running Position of 8.6, third-best · Driver Rating of 109.8, third-best · 123 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.160 mph, third-fastest · 1,984 Laps in the Top 15 (82.5%), second-most · 364 Quality Passes, 10th-most 8 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.7 2014 Rundown · One win, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 17.0 · Led 15 races for 453 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, three top 10s · Average finish of 21.3 in nine races · Average Running Position of 14.8, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 93.4, seventh-best · 122 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 1,579 Laps in the Top 15 (65.7%), seventh-most · 396 Quality Passes, seventh-most 9 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4 2014 Rundown · Two wins, seven top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 14.5 · Led 11 races for 135 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 6.6 in 10 races · Series-best Average Running Position of 8.0 · Series-best Driver Rating of 115.5 · Series-high 266 Fastest Laps Run · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 162.432 mph · Series-high 2,057 Laps in the Top 15 (85.6%) · 382 Quality Passes, eighth-most 10 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.7 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 12 top fives, 20 top 10s · Average finish of 12.1 · Led 17 races for 383 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 20.7 in 14 races · Average Running Position of 19.1, 18th-best · Driver Rating of 76.9, 19th-best · 134 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 815 Green Flag Passes, second-most 11 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Hungry Jack Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 71.1 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 19.6 · Led 5 races for 68 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 15.4 in five races · Average Running Position of 20.0, 21st-best · Driver Rating of 77.6, 17th-best 12 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.5 2014 Rundown · Three top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 15.7 · Led 7 races for 110 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 15.2 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 15.6, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 88.7, 12th-best · 103 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 798 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.629 mph, 11th-fastest · 1,280 Laps in the Top 15 (53.2%), 12th-most · 302 Quality Passes, 12th-most 13 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.5 · Led 17 races for 1,310 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.8 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 13.0, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 96.6, fifth-best · 84 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.978 mph, fourth-fastest · 1,775 Laps in the Top 15 (73.8%), fifth-most · 402 Quality Passes, fifth-most 14 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.8 2014 Rundown · One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 19.2 · Led 14 races for 219 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, five top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 19.8 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 22.9, 25th-best · Driver Rating of 72.0, 21st-best 15 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.3 2014 Rundown · One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 17.8 · Led 12 races for 218 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, four top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 15.2 in 10 races · Average Running Position of 12.9, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 90.0, 10th-best · 106 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 763 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.658 mph, 10th-fastest · 1,470 Laps in the Top 15 (61.1%), 10th-most · 370 Quality Passes, ninth-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.1 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 21.5 · Led 5 races for 23 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 in four races · Average Running Position of 18.0, 15th-best · Driver Rating of 80.5, 15th-best The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2014 Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Denny Hamlin 9 0 2 4 5 0 11.2 93.4 2 Joey Logano 5 1 0 0 1 1 20.8 71.2 3 Ryan Newman 12 0 0 1 4 2 17.0 84.8 4 Kevin Harvick 13 0 0 5 11 0 8.1 99.1 * – Based on last nine races at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2005 – 2013). Homestead-Miami Speedway: History · Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993. · The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett . · The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway 's layout. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999 – won by Tony Stewart . · 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track. Notebook · Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip ), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison ), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin ) and Tony Stewart in 2012 (made up three points on Carl Edwards ). · There have been 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway , one per season since 1999. · 113 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead; 89 in more than one. · Two drivers have made all 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon . · David Green won the first Coors Light pole at Homestead in 1999 at a speed of 155.759 mph (34.669 sec.). · There have been 11 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards , Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each. · Youngest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Joey Logano (11/18/2012 – 22 years, 5 months, 25 days). · Oldest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days). · Jamie McMurray (November, 2003) and David Reutimann (November, 2008) won their first career Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway . · There have been nine different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami; three have won more than once, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart with three each. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin (two each) are the only other drivers with multiple wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway . · Of the three drivers with multiple wins at Homestead, Tony Stewart is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Pontiac (1999, 2000) and Chevrolet (2011). · Two of the 15 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002). · Five of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place. · 10 of the 15 (66.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10. · 5 of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position outside the top 10 – most recently - Jeff Gordon (15 th -place starting position; 2012). · Denny Hamlin won the 2009 race from the 38th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started at HMS. · Two drivers have won consecutive races at Homestead-Miami: Tony Stewart (1999 - 2000) and Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006, three straight). · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 6.600; only two other drivers have an average finish inside the top 10: Kevin Harvick (8.078) and Martin Truex Jr. (9.222). · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Homestead with seven, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with five. · Youngest Homestead winner: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days). · Oldest Homestead winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days). · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead the series in runner-up finishes at Homestead with two each. · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Homestead with seven; followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick with five each. · Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 11 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with eight. · Eight of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Homestead-Miami participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart (1999) is the only driver to win at Homestead in his first appearance. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 14. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead was the (4/10/2010) race won by Greg Biffle with a MOV of 0.017 seconds. · Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season; starting 24 th and finishing 20 th . NASCAR in Florida · There have been 176 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among eight tracks in Florida. Track Name City NSCS Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach 135 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead 15 Palm Beach Speedway W. Palm Beach 7 Speedway Park Jacksonville 6 Five Flags Speedway Pensacola 1 Golden Gate Speedway Tampa 1 Titusville-Cocoa Speedway Titusville 1 · 173 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Florida. · There have been 10 race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Fireball Roberts 33 0 0 LeeRoy Yarbrough 14 0 0 Marshall Teague 7 0 0 Joe Nemechek 4 16 0 Bobby Johns 2 0 0 David Reutimann 2 1 1 Aric Almirola 1 1 2 Shorty Rollins 1 0 0 Rick Wilson 0 2 0 Joey Coulter 0 0 1 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway · Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 11th Chase event. · The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era once: Tony Stewart (2011). · Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards with two (2008, 2010). · The worst finish in a Chase race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th (three times), Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012. · Chase Contenders have won seven of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Two non-Chase contenders have won a Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013). · Four of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead the eventual series champion has finished in the top five. · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with six, including five consecutive: Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006), Matt Kenseth (2007) and Carl Edwards (2008). · Ford leads the series in Chase wins at Homestead with six; followed by Chevrolet with two. · The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Carl Edwards victory in 2010. He posted a Perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 and led 190 of the 267 laps (71.1% of his laps completed) - most by a Chase race winner at Homestead. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Ford EcoBoost 400 entry list
See who will compete in the Sprint Cup Series season finale RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 1 Jamie McMurray Felix Sabates Keith Rodden 14 Chevrolet Cessna 2 2 Brad Keselowski Roger Penske Paul Wolfe 14 Ford Miller Lite 3 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Gil Martin 14 Chevrolet Dow 4 4 Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Rodney Childers 14 Chevrolet Budweiser 5 5 Kasey Kahne Linda Hendrick Kenny Francis 14 Chevrolet Great Clips 6 7 Michael Annett Tommy Baldwin Kevin Manion 14 Chevrolet Pilot Flying J 7 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Drew Blickensderfer 14 Ford STANLEY 8 10 Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Daniel Knost 14 Chevrolet Florida Lottery / GoDaddy 9 11 Denny Hamlin J D Gibbs Darian Grubb 14 Toyota FedEx Express 10 13 Casey Mears Bob Germain Bootie Barker III 14 Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 11 14 Tony Stewart Margaret Haas Chad Johnston 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 12 15 Clint Bowyer Rob Kauffman Brian Pattie 14 Toyota 5-Hour Energy 13 16 Greg Biffle Jack Roush Matt Puccia 14 Ford 3M 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr John Henry Michael Kelley 14 Ford Fastenal 15 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Dave Rogers 14 Toyota M&M's 16 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Jason Ratcliff 14 Toyota Dollar General 17 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Glen Wood Donnie Wingo 14 Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 18 22 Joey Logano Walter Czarnecki Todd Gordon 14 Ford Shell Pennzoil 19 23 Alex Bowman Ron Devine Dave Winston 14 Toyota Dip Your Car 20 24 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick Alan Gustafson 14 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 21 26 Cole Whitt Anthony Marlowe Randy Cox 14 Toyota Speed Stick Gear 22 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Justin Alexander 14 Chevrolet Richmond / Menards 23 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Luke Lambert 14 Chevrolet Caterpillar 24 32 Blake Koch(i) Frank Stoddard Jr Clinton Cram 14 Ford LeafFilter.com 25 33 Brian Scott(i) Joe Falk Mike Hillman Jr 14 Chevrolet TBA 26 34 David Ragan Bob Jenkins Derrick Finley 14 Ford The Pete Store 27 36 Reed Sorenson Allan Heinke Todd Parrott 14 Chevrolet TBA 28 38 David Gilliland Brad Jenkins Jay Guy 14 Ford MDS TRANSPORT 29 40 Landon Cassill(i) Michael Hillman Mark Hillman 14 Chevrolet Harvey Gulf 30 41 Kurt Busch Gene Haas Tony Gibson 14 Chevrolet Haas Automation 31 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Chris Heroy 14 Chevrolet Target 32 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Trent Owens 14 Ford Smithfield Foods 33 47 A J Allmendinger Tad Geschickter Brian Burns 14 Chevrolet Hungry Jack 34 48 Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon Chad Knaus 14 Chevrolet Lowe's 35 51 Justin Allgaier Harry Scott Jr Steve Addington 14 Chevrolet BRANDT 36 55 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Billy Scott 14 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 37 66 Brett Moffitt Jay Robinson Scott Eggleston 14 Toyota TBA 38 78 Martin Truex Jr Barney Visser Todd Berrier 14 Chevrolet Furniture Row 39 83 TBA Ron Devine Joe Williams 14 Toyota Dip Your Car 40 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Rick Hendrick Steve Letarte 14 Chevrolet National Guard 41 95 Michael McDowell Bob Leavine Wally Rogers 14 Ford KLOVE Radio/Thrivent Financial 42 98 Josh Wise Mike Curb Gene Nead 14 Chevrolet Phil Parsons Racing 43 99 Carl Edwards Jack Roush James Fennig 14 Ford Fastenal MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Lineup for Ford EcoBoost 400
See the order that the field will take the green flag on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Pos Car Driver Team 1 24 Jeff Gordon Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet 2 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 3 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 4 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 5 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 6 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 7 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 8 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 9 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 10 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Chevrolet 12 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 13 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 14 51 Justin Allgaier # BRANDT Chevrolet 15 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 16 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 17 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 18 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Foods Ford 19 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 20 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 21 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 22 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 23 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 24 3 Austin Dillon # Dow Chevrolet 25 47 AJ Allmendinger Hungry Jack Chevrolet 26 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 27 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 28 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 29 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 30 33 Brian Scott(i) Shore Lodge Chevrolet 31 34 David Ragan The Pete Store Ford 32 10 Danica Patrick Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet 33 40 Landon Cassill(i) Harvey Gulf Chevrolet 34 83 JJ Yeley(i) Dip Your Car Toyota 35 38 David Gilliland MDS Transport Ford 36 36 Reed Sorenson Feed The Children/Dei Fratelli Chevrolet 37 98 Josh Wise PPR98.com Chevrolet 38 95 Michael McDowell KLOVE Radio/Thrivent Financial Ford 39 7 Michael Annett # Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 40 32 Blake Koch(i) LeafFilter.com Ford 41 23 Alex Bowman # Dip Your Car Toyota 42 26 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Gear Toyota 43 66 Brett Moffitt X8 Energy Gum Toyota MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Chevy, Ford , Toyota dote on final four Chase contenders
Reps for vehicle manufacturers break down Hamlin, Harvick, Logano and Newman RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- One is said to exude quiet confidence. The other's a leader from the cockpit. Another's laser-focused while the fourth is charging. That's how officials from their respective automakers described this year’s four championship contenders Saturday here at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Denny Hamlin , Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano and Ryan Newman each will head into Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 seeking a first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The four are all that remain of the original 16 in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup field, advancing through three rounds to reach one final stop. The highest-finishing driver leaves with the title, meaning a win isn't necessary. But none of the four wants to go out with anything less than a checkered flag. And the championship trophy. Hamlin's been here before, under somewhat different circumstances. In 2010, he led Jimmie Johnson by 15 points heading into Homestead but by most accounts let the pressure of the title get in his way. Johnson won handily, and Hamlin hasn't forgotten. Dave Wilson, president and GM for Toyota Racing Development USA, said that experience should prove valuable to the 34-year-old Hamlin, as well as other recent near misses for the Toyota camp. "Denny thinks a lot, and he's been here before, and I think that really helps him," Wilson said. "We've, as a manufacturer, been the bridesmaid three out of the past four years; Denny has had a second‑place finish, Clint Bowyer has had a second‑place finish, then of course last year Matt Kenseth . But Denny is comfortable. He's confident, quietly confident I would say." Wilson also noted that Hamlin has enjoyed success on the 1.5-mile track, winning twice in the past five years, including last season. "I think it gives him just what he needs to do the job Sunday," he said. Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) won once this year, at Talladega Superspeedway in April. His best Chase finish came last week at Phoenix where he was fifth. He has led multiple laps in five of the nine Chase races. Chevrolet, with Harvick and Newman, is the only manufacturer with multiple representatives going for the title. To some, they represent the most likely and the least likely to emerge with the championship. Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) has four wins this season while Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) is winless. Raw speed has been the calling card for Harvick's No. 4 team while Newman has relied on consistency and an ability to avoid the disastrous finish. "Ryan just keeps coming; he keeps getting stronger race after race, and that team has just gotten in a great rhythm ... every single race," said Chevrolet's Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports. "Now, they haven't won a race yet, but they are charging." Harvick, he said, is more representative of his boss, fellow driver and three-time Sprint Cup champion, Tony Stewart . "He's focused, he's mentally tough and he's a leader from the cockpit of the car," Campbell said. "When I think about the last time Stewart-Haas won the championship ... in '11, Tony had a lot of those same attributes. "And so we'll see where these two guys net out. The competition is tough. Anything can happen, and we expect there's going to be some curveballs and surprises in how the teams react. Same focus, calm, and the guys leading from the cockpit with the team is going to have the best chance to win." Logano is in his second season with Team Penske after a four full seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing that produced just two wins and no Chase appearances. He's yet to not make the Chase since joining the Penske organization. Two of his five wins this year have come in Chase races. "Joey Logano, when he came into the sport was billed as a phenom, and indeed he is a phenom," Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, said. "He's got the talent, and with the team around him, I think he's very poised to succeed. He is driven and the goal is in sight, and we expect him to succeed. "This is a sport of teams. You've got to put that in context. It's Joey, it's Todd (Gordon, crew chief), it's Penske, it's Ford . When you put that ensemble together, this season has been an absolute standout season." While there is much on the line, none of the three automakers has ramped up its assistance to the individual teams. Instead, most have continued to provide the technical and engineering support that's been the framework of the relationship from the beginning. "There are tendencies in the sport during the race that can be gleaned from mining data that could give a crew chief an opportunity to make a decision based on data rather than just simply on gut feel," said Allison. "The field of analytics is wide open. So really when you're coming down to the final race from a hardware (standpoint), it's largely in the hands of the teams. But in terms of enabling decision making on in‑race situation, that's one scenario." With 19 wins among all Chevrolet teams, and a 38th manufacturer's title in the wings, Campbell said he saw no reason to increase input. "Stick to the fundamentals in terms of providing the right parts, the right engineering people and the right engineering tools and then follow through," he said. Wilson agreed. And while Hamlin likely learned a lesson from his 2010 shortcoming, so too did the manufacturer. "I think we collectively overthought the gravity of it and played from a defensive position," Wilson said. "I think what everyone has seen this year is a different feel. Denny is loose. It's business as usual. The performance that we've collectively brought to the table is what has gotten Denny to this position, and we're just going to execute as a team and see what that brings tomorrow afternoon." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Logano's win brings milestones for Penske, Ford , Roush Yates
RELATED: Results " Post-Michigan standings " Chase Grid " Day in photos With each race it hosts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Michigan International Speedway offers extra incentives to the three manufacturers, given the track's proximity to the automaker hub of Detroit. With Joey Logano 's victory Sunday, Ford earned bragging rights and savored multiple historic milestones as a bonus. Ford took home the track's Heritage Trophy thanks to Logano's first Sprint Cup victory of the season in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford . His triumph in the FireKeepers Casino 400 marked the 50th win for team owner Roger Penske during his association with Ford . In fact, 23 of Penske's 50 wins have come since 2013 -- a nod to the dynamic duo that is Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski . Walt Czarnecki -- vice chairman of Team Penske , which is celebrating its 50th year in motorsports -- said he spoke by phone in Victory Lane with the organization's founder, who was watching his IndyCar operation participate in a rain-delayed event at Texas Motor Speedway . "MIS has such a special meaning and such a special place in the history of our company," Czarnecki said, "so to win here, it means a lot, and (Penske) was pretty excited, and in fact I told him, I really think the performance today was flawless by the team, and he absolutely agreed." The race also resulted in the 100th premier-series win for Roush Yates Engines, the engine-building powerhouse formed after the 2003 season with deep-rooted ties to Ford . "The win here in Michigan, to make these guys proud of what we do, is something that really means a lot to us," said Doug Yates, the chief engine builder and son of NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Robert Yates. "We take a lot of pride in that, and it's something that is really, really special. As you can tell, I'm pretty emotional and pretty excited about it, and I'm sure my dad and I will go over it. But Ford Motor Company has been a huge part of his career and my career, and we want to keep it going for a long time for now." Logano led 138 of the 200 laps in Sunday's 400 -mile race. Of his 15 career victories in the Sprint Cup Series, 13 have come in Team Penske Fords with Roush Yates Engines since the 2013 season. "This is where I got -- (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and I got our first Cup win together with Team Penske , so it's been a special place for us," Logano said. "It's been a good race track for us ever since then, but it's nice to be able to break through once again." Ford has registered 642 victories all-time in NASCAR's premier series. Of those wins, 74 have come with the Fusion, which became the manufacturer's model of choice for NASCAR in 2006.
Meet Sunday's hero, grand marshal for Brickyard 400
SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Retired U.S. Navy Seal Jason Redman freely admits he's new to big-time NASCAR racing and says he cannot wait to see the sights and feel the atmosphere at one of the Sprint Cup Series' biggest events here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway come Sunday. The excitement and honor, however, is greatly reciprocated. Redman, 40, who sacrificed for our country serving multiple tours in Iraq, will serve as grand marshal and has gifted the name of Sunday's race, "The Crown Royal presents …." from using his name to celebrating his charity, Combat Wounded Coalition. The Virginia native Redman has had nearly 40 surgeries to repair massive injuries to his face and arm suffered while fighting in Iraq. And he and his wife founded the Combat Wounded Coalition to serve military members needing specialized services because of their injuries. "I think the whole experience I'm looking forward to, no doubt,'' Redman said, adding with a laugh. "Now I've ruined it forever because I'll never be able to come back to a race because it will never be this good again. "Everything I've ever heard about NASCAR is just incredible from the racing, to the sounds of the engine and the track. People are so friendly and have a good time. The whole experience and then take that up another notch with everything I get to do like waving the green flag, leading the field in the pace car. That will be amazing." Redman said he was looking forward to meeting drivers and was especially grateful to spend time with Danica Patrick on Friday. The two talked about their different workouts and their shared love of dogs. "She was phenomenal and we had a great conversation,'' Redman said. He is looking forward to a full day of NASCAR access on Sunday. He will attend the drivers' meeting, drive the pace car, present the trophy to the winner and kiss the bricks. "This is definitely up there,'' Redman said. "It's a two part thing how incredible it is. On the one side, the experience of being here and how cool it is. And the flip side is for Crown Royal to allow us to name this race after my non-profit and to use it as an opportunity to highlight the sacrifices of so many of our veterans. … that was amazing. "Both of those opportunities are just beyond. I can't think of any better place than here at a NASCAR race. If there's any group of Americans that doesn't take their freedom for granted it is NASCAR fans." If you are interested finding out more information about the charity Combat Wounded Coalition, visit the organization at combatwoundedcoalition.org .