Can you see the Checkered Flag coming off Turn 4? The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is coming to a close. On Sunday evening, NASCAR will crown a new champion and the end of the Jimmie Johnson era have ended. Are you getting excited? As NASCAR fans, we were apart of history. Who knows if a driver winning five in a row will happen again.
This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes to the 1.5 mile oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. The track has been the last race of the season since coming November 1999. NASCAR will run the Ford 400 on Sunday, November 20, 2011. Here is a look at five significant facts and records that could have an impact on the results of the race finish.
Best Average Finish and Most Wins:
Current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader, Carl Edwards, has the best average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway with 5.7. While his Roush-Fenway Racing teammate, Greg Biffle, has the most wins at the track with three. For Edwards to be able to hoist the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy after the race, a win is what he needs.
Most Top-Fives and Most Top-Tens:
Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon tie for the most top-five finishes at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Both drivers have five each. Jeff Gordon has the most top-tens at the track with nine.
Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of Harvick’s favorite tracks. When asked about the track while at Phoenix International Raceway, Harvick said “it’s one of those tracks that you don’t know when it’s going to stop aging. It seems like every time we return to the track it loses a little grip, which is a good thing. Since they repaved the track a few years back it has become one of my favorites. You can move all around trying to find a groove that works for you. There are a lot of different places where you can make your car work. For me it has been a lot of fun to race on.”
Fastest Qualifying Speed:
2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner, Jamie McMurray holds the track record for the fastest qualifying speed. In 2003, McMurray ran a 181.111 mph. Could the record be broken this weekend?
Last Win at Texas Motor Speedway:
Homestead-Miami Speedway is only ran at the end of each year. Last year, Carl Edwards went to Gatorade Victory Lane, while Jimmie Johnson celebrated his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. A win this weekend for Edwards and Roush-Fenway Racing can clear a spot in the trophy case for the Cup. Roush-Fenway’s last Sprint Cup championship was in 2004 when Kurt Busch drove the No. 97 Sharpie car.
Most Laps Led:
Carl Edwards has led the most laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway with 441. All stats are pointing to Edwards to end up in Victory Lane this weekend, but will he? His last victory was in the NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2011.
Qualifying for the Ford 400 from Homstead-Miami Speedway is Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm EST on SPEED, while the race is on Sunday afternoon starting with the NASCAR Countdown on ESPN at 2pm EST. NASCAR is looking to drop the green flag at 3:15pm EST.
Alright fans, now it’s your turn to speak out. Who do you think will end up in Gatorade Victory Lane after the race? More importantly, who do you think will end up as the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion? I’m picking Tony Stewart to win the championship and the race. Momentum has definitely been on his side as of lately. Can’t wait to read who you have picked.