RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, Nov. 23 6 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 8 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN Noon, NASCAR 120, NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Tuesday, Nov. 24 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Wednesday, Nov. 25 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 5:30 p.m., Uncompromising: Kevin Harvick (re-air), FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 3 a.m., Best of NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Thursday, Nov. 26 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN Sunday, Nov. 29 7 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Award Show (tape), NBCSN &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
RELATED: Learn more about Champion's Week DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The celebration will continue after the trophy is lifted at Homestead-Miami Speedway as NASCAR ® presents the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey. Live from Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, fans can tune-in to coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. NBCSN will also begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET from the red carpet, followed by the awards broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. This year's show will also feature a lineup of performances from award-winning musical artists Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, Rachel Platten, and Sabrina Carpenter. As the current host of The Price is Right and former host of Who's Line is it Anyway? , Drew Carey will bring a seasoned air of entertainment and comedy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards stage. Best known for his self-portrayal on The Drew Carey Show , which garnered seven Emmy nominations, Carey has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three People’s Choice Awards, an Editor’s Choice TV Guide Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "This has been a tremendous year for NASCAR , and I'm honored to host this headlining event as fans all across the country tune-in to pay homage to the accomplishments of the 2015 champion," said Carey. "I look forward to rounding out the 2015 NASCAR ® racing season with a night of epic proportions alongside some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment." Triple-platinum selling recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. The pop singer best known for hits such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Back Home” took America by storm in 2015 with his smash single, "Honey, I'm Good" turning it into one of the year’s catchiest songs. A deluxe edition of his sophomore album, Magazines Or Novels was released on Nov. 20 featuring Andy's brand new single, "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah.)" The evening's musical lineup will also feature country star Sam Hunt, who took home the honor of New Artist of the Year at Sunday night's American Music Awards. His critically-acclaimed debut album Montevallo has so far produced three consecutive No. 1 platinum-selling singles with "Leave the Night On," "House Party" and the double-platinum "Take Your Time," plus his current platinum-selling Top 15, "Break Up In A Small Town." Rachel Platten, one of this year's breakout artists with her double platinum No. 1 hit single, "Fight Song", will also grace the awards stage. Her current chart-climbing single, "Stand By You" will be released on her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Wildfire. Rounding out the night's performances will be multi-talented singer / songwriter Sabrina Carpenter, who currently stars on the Disney Channel original series Girl Meets World . Carpenter released her debut album, Eyes Wide Open earlier this year, which features "We'll be the Stars" and its namesake single, "Eyes Wide Open." "The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards marks the pinnacle of our season as we have the opportunity to commend the drivers and teams for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "With Drew Carey at the wheel and a lineup of performances from some of the most celebrated entertainers in the music industry, it will certainly be a finale to remember for everyone joining us in Las Vegas and the NASCAR fans watching at home." This year's artists will join a star-studded group of actors and musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR ’s championship celebration, including Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, and Kid Rock. Part of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week™ in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards is the headlining experience in a series of events that also includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Fanfest, NASCAR After The Lap™ and NASCAR Victory Lap™, where fans get a front row seat as the 16 Challengers™ roar down Las Vegas Boulevard. Visit www. NASCAR .com/ChampionsWeek to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule.
RELATED: Race results " Final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It wasn't the sort of record that Kevin Harvick wanted to break, another runner-up finish in a season full of them with a repeat NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on the line. Harvick entered Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 as a pre-race favorite and the defending race winner. He was left with his 13th second-place effort of the year, his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet a scant 1.552 seconds behind eventual winner and first-time champion Kyle Busch . The baker's dozen of runner-up performances surpassed the modern-era record formerly held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in the 1972 season. Those oh-so-close finishes -- balanced against three wins in 2015 -- helped him forge into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs with rock-solid consistency, but it wasn't quite enough on Busch's night. "It's been a great couple years, and I know we're disappointed about finishing second tonight, but it's kind of the theme of the year, finishing second," Harvick said. "Unfortunately it's just one short, but all in all, it's been a great couple years, and couldn't be prouder of our bunch of guys." Harvick led once in the race's early stages for 46 of the 267 laps, but struggled to find the handling balance on the 1.5-mile track. "No rear grip. Won't turn," he called out to crew chief Rodney Childers during the sixth of seven caution periods, hoping adjustments could help him regain his previous edge. Childers said he wasn't able to tell if alterations the team made overnight helped the No. 4 car or not, since track conditions were so much different from Saturday practices to Sunday's main event. But he said he's historically fought the same issue -- "tight getting in and too loose off" -- in past visits to the South Florida speedway. "We haven't been able to get a hold of it," Childers said. "It's probably one of our worst race tracks really, but we won last year and finished second this year at a place we feel like we just can't get a hold of. We need to make some changes with our cars and try to do a better job coming down here next year. "All in all, we had a great car and a great season. You look at the wins and the top-fives and the top-twos, and it's pretty incredible what we've been able to do and just really proud of Kevin and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing ." The race's final caution flag with 11 laps left seemed to give Harvick new hope, and he jumped from fourth to second place shortly after the restart. But by then, Busch had swept around late-race leader Brad Keselowski to take command. Post-race, after thanking his team and accepting congratulations from Stewart-Haas teammate Kurt Busch , a trademark smile formed on Harvick's face as he watched the 30-year-old Busch celebrate on the main stage -- seeing a little bit of his 2014 self in the No. 18 team's jubilation. It's a scenario that played out for Harvick last season, but was just one elusive position away. "I think when you race your whole life and you accomplish what you've raced for your whole life, it's exciting," Harvick said of Busch's first Sprint Cup championship. "I've been fortunate to experience that last year and know that feeling and know how gratifying that is. You know, it's fun to see that excitement. "He broke his leg at Daytona, and to come back from everything that he came back from, it's like I told you guys three or four days ago, I mean, there's four phenomenal stories that were sitting up on the stage, probably three that were much more exciting than mine, but that's a great comeback story from where he was after Daytona." WATCH: 'Dream come true' for Ky. Busch
IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe was in the NASCAR paddock this weekend in Homestead with three primary goals: telling Jeff Gordon good-bye, wishing sponsor GoDaddy a happy sendoff and, perhaps most importantly to him, talking to teams about a ride in the Watkins Glen, New York, XFINITY Series road course race. A handful of IndyCar Series drivers roamed the paddock from three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves to Marco Andretti. But the Canadian Hinchcliffe was there with a distinct and different mission, to secure his first NASCAR start. "It was really an exploratory trip,'' Hinchcliffe said. "I planted some seeds and got the ball rolling. "I would love to do all the road courses but I need one foot in the door first. Watkins Glen makes sense because it's closest to Canada.'' The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver said the car would have to be a Ford because of his Honda commitments. While that tightens the parameters, it also eases the process and focuses on teams that run Fords such as Penske and Roush-Fenway -- organizations that fielded the winning car and winning driver in this year's XFINITY competition. "It limits my options, but makes it easier too,'' Hinchcliffe said with a smile. A two-time front row starter in the Indy 500 and a four-time IndyCar race winner, Hinchcliffe is recovering from a serious injury he suffered in a crash during practice for this year's Indy 500. He said his visit this weekend to the NASCAR garage was, "More of floating idea in paddock." And in addition, he conceded, it was a great opportunity to see one of his racing heroes in his final start. "I'm here for Jeff Gordon , I used to wear a Jeff Gordon hat every day for grade six," Hinchcliffe said, smiling.
RELATED: Full race results " Miami race recap SHOP: Champion gear Tuesday: Media Day 2 Early Tuesday morning, Busch made appearances on "FOX and Friends" and "Live! With Kelly and Michael." "Rowdy" caught up with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan and discussed his wild year: injuries, his 2015 championship and 6-month-old son, Brexton. That @mmschocolate Toyota is looking good. Having fun at @foxandfriends . #RowdyNation pic.twitter.com/QNd7d0vgER — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) November 24, 2015 Kyle also made a stop at SiriusXM and is heading to Facebook and ESPN later today. Monday: Media Day 1 After securing his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kyle Busch is making the media rounds to talk about his epic victory and comeback from injuries sustained at Daytona in the XFINITY Series opener. Busch capped off his Monday appearances by taking in the Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Me and my boy@bjanitz18 w the Patriots @espnmondaynight #Champ18ns pic.twitter.com/NA3kamdfMq — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) November 24, 2015 Prior to that, the 30-year-old taped an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that aired Monday night on CBS. The Sprint Cup champion and Colbert engaged in a Pinewood Derby race, titled "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Cinnamon Toast Crunch 400." Watch the video to see who won. Busch also taped a promo spot for "The Late Show" disclosing a different type of personal dream. Earlier Monday, Busch joined "The Dan Patrick Show" Monday morning to chat -- from his airplane somewhere "over Washington, D.C." nonetheless -- about the celebration, which started for him about seven hours after the checkered flag fell. "We did all of our photos; that takes quite a long time," Busch said. "I'm glad the race was actually over around 7, 7:30 because we were still taking photos and finally got done about 2 a.m. or so. My team guys were having a good old time. They were lit up a little bit so I joined them for a little while and continued on with them for some more celebration before getting a couple hours of sleep to get on an airplane this morning." Busch's long road to recovery certainly helped him flex his focus muscle -- but he did get a little help from something else in the closing laps of Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 . "The last 60 laps or so, I kept thinking to myself … 'oh, man, this is going to be cool; this is awesome.' But then I was like, 'dude, you've got 60 to go; stop thinking about it.,' " Busch said. "So I just had to start singing a child's song. One of my kid's (Brexton) favorite TV shows, it's a 3-minute little skit … it's called 'Vocabulary' and I was just kind of singing the intro song to that in my head and just trying to make laps." Busch's tour on Monday also included appearances on ESPN's SportsCenter, FS1 RaceHub and NBCSN's NASCAR America. Early Tuesday morning, Busch made appearances on FOX and Friends and Live! With Kelly and Michael. And will be making stops at SiriusXM, Facebook and ESPN. Early Tuesday morning, Busch made appearances on FOX and Friends and Live! With Kelly and Michael. And will be making stops at SiriusXM, Facebook and ESPN.
NASCAR has partnered with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a recently formed alliance of major sports leagues, associations, media networks and educators created to promote diversity and equality through sports. NASCAR Chairman Brian France will help steer the new initiative, established by Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross, as a founding member of the RISE Board of Directors, serving alongside the commissioners of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, and other top sports executives. The board will convene for its first meeting today. "I applaud Stephen Ross for launching RISE and am honored to serve on the Board of Directors. Diversity is one of our top priorities at NASCAR and we have made tremendous strides in recent years," said France. The partnership reinforces NASCAR's overall commitment to diversity and inclusion during what's been a strong year for the sport. The national series now feature three driver graduates of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity development program including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson and pair of NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers -- Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr . -- who are in competition for 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. In addition, more than 25 NASCAR Drive for Diversity crew member alums have pitted for national series race teams this season. On Saturday, Mike Russell, jackman for the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing team, could become the first African-American graduate to win a national series title as Chris Buescher tries to clinch the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. "The NASCAR Drive for Diversity program has produced some of our sport’s top drivers and crew members, and the RISE partnership will have a tremendous impact on our continued expansion in the long-term," said France. "Perhaps most importantly, we look forward to working with all of the other major sports leagues and television networks to lead on this important social issue." Ross' vision for RISE focuses on leveraging the power of sport -- and prominent voices across the sports landscape -- to build a "nation of understanding, respect and equality." The non-profit organization seeks to create meaningful dialogue around racial relations and timely issues, as well as educational programming that will help athletes, coaches and executives promote racial sensitivity. LeBron James and Tom Brady are among the top tier athletes pledging support for RISE, and multiple stars appear in a national public service announcement campaign on RISEtoWin.org . "We are pleased to have NASCAR join the unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues and organizations, media networks, educators and athletes that have joined RISE. Together we will work to harness the unifying power of sport to advance race relations and we are grateful for their partnership and support," said Ross.
As Jeff Gordon 's full-time Sprint Cup Series career comes to a close on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway , tributes have been pouring in for the Hendrick Motorsports driver via #24Ever. Here are some of the best across NASCAR Nation. It's been great racing with you, and learning from you. Great competitor and exceptional ambassador for @ NASCAR . pic.twitter.com/KMmdAiVIWn — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) November 22, 2015 U were my idol growing up. Never did I think I’d race against u for wins. Congrats on a great career @JeffGordonWeb pic.twitter.com/ysKMzOfsaj — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) November 22, 2015 Thank you for EVERYTHING @jeffgordonweb . It's hard to believe this is it... Get it done bro! #24ever pic.twitter.com/ztrH2d2T2Y — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 22, 2015 #24ever pic.twitter.com/L2Bi8bsA0n — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) November 22, 2015 I'm excited to watch @JeffGordonWeb 's last thrilling ride tomorrow. He’s a great friend to me and to the @ClintonFdn . Best of luck #Team24 ! — Bill Clinton (@billclinton) November 21, 2015 Jeffrey (left) handmade both of these guitars & will make 24 total. @JeffGordonWeb getting one on the right! #24Ever pic.twitter.com/sGk8jGocqa — NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 21, 2015 93 WINS. 1 FINAL RIDE. Thanks for the memories, @JeffGordonWeb ! #24EVER https://t.co/YQoVbXbxT1 — NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 20, 2015 . @JeffGordonWeb CAN do it all! @DarylMotte looks back on the 4-time champ's seat swap w/ @jpmontoya . # NASCAR #24Ever https://t.co/2tJ4fXdYUF — AtTheBuzzer (@TheBuzzerOnFOX) November 21, 2015 Richard Petty was HONORED to THANK @JeffGordonWeb for his contributions to the sport. #24Ever pic.twitter.com/YPaNgZMoBw — RPMotorsports (@RPMotorsports) November 21, 2015 The 2️⃣4️⃣ crew, past and present. #24ever pic.twitter.com/wWsOphz0Ix — #TheChase (@ NASCAR ) November 21, 2015 What an awesome tribute to @JeffGordonWeb by @HomesteadMiami ! #24ever pic.twitter.com/62LLu9fvN9 — Axalta Racing (@AxaltaRacing) November 20, 2015 Not taking our time on the track with @JeffGordonWeb for granted this weekend. #Grateful #24ever pic.twitter.com/BQL1acsuw2 — Team Lowe's Racing (@LowesRacing) November 20, 2015 . @JeffGordonWeb still owes Eldora $10.... #24Ever (Thanks to the Baltes & Schmitmeyer families for finding this.) pic.twitter.com/xjJ5ev2CcV — Eldora Speedway (@EldoraSpeedway) November 20, 2015 I have been a 24 fan since I was a kid, so it's surreal to race against him, and now-to be in his last race. #24ever https://t.co/4vsN5iC8XT — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) November 19, 2015 If this campaign was good enough for D. Jeter, then it sure as hell is good enough for Jeff Gordon . #24ever # nascar pic.twitter.com/hZQwQ0512c — nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) November 19, 2015 They. Are. BACK! @JimmieJohnson ’s yellow 48’s take the track once again this weekend to celebrate #24ever . pic.twitter.com/1iQOlrqspn — Team Lowe's Racing (@LowesRacing) November 17, 2015 . @JeffGordonWeb 's @USACNation racing days remembered in tribute video. # NASCAR #24ever https://t.co/4rKIGjrLn0 — FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) November 16, 2015 One race left. Thank you, Jeff. We'll see you in the Hall. #24ever https://t.co/WDFnKCFKod — Richmond Raceway (@RIRInsider) November 16, 2015 23 years of greatness in ☝️ place. Do yourself a favor and check it out: https://t.co/WzwT6FrXIW #24ever pic.twitter.com/YNAxM9l7JL — #TheChase (@ NASCAR ) November 15, 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2015) -- NASCAR ® fans have more ways than ever to watch as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ champion is crowned in this year’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway SM. Innovative new broadcast and digital outlets from NASCAR and NBC allow viewers to follow both the full driver field and the CHAMPIONSHIP 4® in the ultimate multi-screen experience during the Ford EcoBoost 400 . Live coverage begins on Sunday with Countdown to Green at 1:30 p.m. ET followed by the Ford EcoBoost 400 at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC. Viewers can also tune-in for NBCSN Hot Pass, a simultaneous live feed with up to three different camera angles trained on each of the remaining four drivers. Closely watch every pass, pit stop and burn out from defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kevin Harvick , Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex, Jr. as they vie for the trophy in Miami. Coverage will also be available online via NBC Sports Live Extra. Fans have a myriad of digital options in addition to the live broadcast, including the NASCAR Mobile™ app and RaceBuddy™, which will feature in-car cameras from each of the CHAMPIONSHIP 4 drivers. RaceBuddy offers 10 live HD race views, with backstretch and pit road cameras, while NASCAR Mobile features six in-car video feeds, a live leaderboard, in-car audio and a track position dashboard to easily follow favorite drivers during the championship race. "Presenting new and engaging race content in a live format allows us to deliver greater value to our fans by amplifying their opportunities to consume NASCAR events," said Tim Clark, managing director, digital platforms, NASCAR Digital Media. "With the multitude of options from both NASCAR and NBC, fans can watch from numerous viewpoints at the same time, giving them a front-row seat to what will certainly be an action-packed championship race." Viewers can follow @ NASCAR and #TheChase or #Championship4 for real-time updates via social media on the most critical moments throughout the Ford EcoBoost 400 . Jeff Gordon fans can also supplement the race broadcast by following along with the four-time champion’s final ride via a live stream of his in-car camera this Sunday on the NASCAR YouTube page. Tune-in to NBC at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 22, check out NBC Sports Live Extra, or listen to live coverage on Motor Racing Network (MRN) or SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, to find out who the next champion will be in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway .
Going into the final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , members of the NASCAR .com editorial team make predictions for who will win the 2015 Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway ( Ford EcoBoost 400 3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Zack Albert Jeff Gordon : One last dose of No. 24 magic? With Hendrick Motorsports devoting all possible resources to sending the legendary driver off in championship style, Gordon is not only a sentimental pick, but a well-reasoned one for a fifth title in his career finale. Holly Cain Jeff Gordon : While Gordon would be the overwhelming sentimental pick, this is one of the toughest championship battles to decide. All four drivers have hugely emotional backstories. These four make this one of toughest title picks ever so I'll take the sentimental option and go Gordon. Kenny Bruce Jeff Gordon : Sure it would be a great story, but Gordon's shown the speed here this weekend to make contending for the championship more than just a fantasy. Pat DeCola Kevin Harvick : Miami is Harvick' s race (and title) to lose. With seven straight top-10 finishes at the track we know he's going to be at the front of the pack -- and, more importantly, in front of Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr . RJ Kraft Martin Truex Jr .: The clock will not strike midnight on this Cinderella story. The 78 team has been strong at intermediate tracks all year and Homestead is statistically Truex's best track. The single-car Furniture Row Racing team and Truex will have a crowning moment on Sunday. George Winkler Jeff Gordon : This is one of those times when you don't look at the stats and you pick with your gut. After all, who wants to be the guy who goes against Gordon and watches sadly as the legend walks off into the sunset with his fifth career Sprint Cup Series championship? Don't be that guy. Taylor Starer Kevin Harvick : My heart is telling me to choose Jeff Gordon as the 2015 Sprint Cup Series champion, but my head is telling me Harvick. The reigning champ is comfortable heading into the final race of the season and has proven to be as cool as a cucumber under Chase pressure. Brad Norman Martin Truex Jr .: The spotlight (rightfully) is on Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick , but Truex loves Miami and he’s been sneaky fast on intermediates all year. I predict he gets a break -- broken part for a competitor? slow late pit stop? -- and stealthily assumes the lead, then powers his way to a victory … and a championship. Jessica Ruffin Jeff Gordon : While his cars may not have possessed the speed of Kevin Harvick 's or reached Victory Lane as many times as Kyle Busch this season, Gordon has one major component on his side; momentum. The four-time champion will close out his career with a bang on Sunday with a fifth and final championship. Kathy Sheldon Kyle Busch : Pressure and equipment will be the two biggest factors on Sunday, but sheer will is right up there. Kyle Busch has seen his career flash before his eyes this year; race pressure pales in comparison. He fought hard to get back in the car, in Victory Lane and now in the Chase Championship 4. And Joe Gibbs Racing cars still have plenty of power. Maggie MacKenzie Kevin Harvick : Harvick is thirsty to defend his championship title and with an impressive 12 top 10s in 14 starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway , the wheelman for the No. 4 races hard here. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver is also coming off a run with back-to-back top-three results at Texas and Phoenix so despite having the worst qualifying seed out of the Championship 4, "Happy" will find a way to get out front -- and stay there.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- As Carli Lloyd sat for an interview behind the XFINITY stage set-up just outside the Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday morning, a long, committed and excited line of assorted people waited for her autograph, a chance to meet one of the United States' all-time most accomplished soccer players. Joking a bit about the extreme South Florida humidity, Lloyd, 33, was gracious and truly as interested in learning about NASCAR as sharing her incredible personal story as one of the world's greatest soccer players. "When the World Cup finished, my agent busy with a lot of requests, and my first big-time commercial was with XFINITY , and I thought it was so well done and I really enjoyed it," Lloyd said. "That was the start of the partnership between us. And then this came up and I was thrilled. I said I'd love to do this. "What's great about what happened from the World Cup is I've gotten to get out of the bubble of just soccer and gotten to experience so many different things, meet different people and go to different events. When would I have ever gotten the chance to see something like this?" Lloyd was surprised at the number of people waiting on the other side of our interview area for a chance to meet her and get an autograph. Minutes earlier, she played a little soccer with current XFINITY Series championship leader Chris Buescher -- part lesson, part shootout. In the end, Buescher beat her 4-1 -- kicking shots into a much larger goal. "It was really cool chatting with him about his preparation and how he trains and then kick it around with him," Lloyd said. "The first shot he used his toe and I was like, 'Hey, you've got to use the inside of your foot.' Then he started killing it. I was thinking, 'I shouldn't have given him any pointers.' "I said, 'Have you ever kicked a soccer ball?' He said, 'Yeah, when I was four.' " Lloyd said she mostly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Buescher, who leads defending XFINITY Series champ Chase Elliott by 18 points entering Saturday's season finale. "You don't realize how cool these races are until you actually come and see these things, see the pits, how fast they change tires, see the drivers and their training and preparation," Lloyd said. "They are really fit and it takes a lot to drive the car around the track, you don't just hop in and go. It's been really cool, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be here. "Just doing our Q&A, it's really fascinating to see the parallels, even though they are different sports. The mental aspect of his sport ... if he switches off, something terrible could happen on the track. It's the same thing with us. If you're not mentally prepared, you could risk being injured on the field." After finishing up her time at NASCAR's season finale -- she was Saturday's official starter, as well -- Lloyd and her team will return to the field for four more matches as part of the World Cup-winning team's U.S. Tour. Then in 2016 it's time to start preparing for the Olympics -- the nation solidly behind them "We're in November and the World Cup happened in July and people are still wanting to come see us and I think that speaks volumes," Lloyd said. "If something isn't going to be around and popular, it fizzles out in a month or so. That's not happening and that's a really good sign. "It's really cool people are here in their uniforms and want autographs on their soccer balls. I think it's great. I'm enjoying being able to do different things and be a part of this. "I think we captivated a nation and inspired not only young girls, but boys and even adults. That's just what it's all about. I want people to hear my story, the ups and downs. You can't pick things out of successful moments and get better. The moments people don't see, what they don't realize is it takes a lot of hard work, ups and downs and obstacles to get to this point. That's the message I'm trying to get out."