Only One Can Be Champ.
Four drivers enter South Florida battling for the 2016 Championship this weekend. The Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be the season finale, and the final four contenders reset to zero going into the race. Winner take all.
Virtually anything can happen, so it’s tough to speculate. Here’s what we know:
17 top 5’s
24 top 10’s
The defending champ’s skill and determination aren’t up for debate. However, his temperament on the track can be…unpredictable, to say the least. He’s only been involved in three crashes resulting in DNF’s during the 2016 season, but other drivers have been caught in crashes that some would say he caused (I.E. Matt Kenseth, Can-Am 500 at Phoenix). Despite the fact that he’s the only driver advancing by points (no wins in the Round of 8), he clinched the 2015 championship with a dominating win at Homestead-Miami Speedway. All things considered, not a bad argument for Sunday.
9 top 5’s
18 top 10’s
The closest Edwards has come to a championship was 2011, before the Chase format. He tied Tony Stewart in points at the end of the year, but the title fell to Stewart on overall season wins. His long-awaited dream of Sprint Cup glory is 400 laps away- at a track where he has two wins and 568 total laps led. With a dominant team in Joe Gibbs Racing, Edwards has shown time and again that he has the intelligence and durability to win when it most counts. At Homestead-Miami, it’s going to count.
15 top 5’s
25 top 10’s
After an incredibly dominant 2015 season, Logano was a clear favorite to claim last year’s championship. His contention was wrecked (along with his car) when he was infamously and intentionally taken out at Martinsville by Matt Kenseth. Looking for redemption with a level head and one hell of a victory burnout, the young driver took the checkered flag at Phoenix International’s Can-Am 500 to advance to the final race. He thrives under the Chase format, with seven wins in 29 total Chase races. There’s only one race left in 2016, and Logano thinks it’s all his.
10 top 5’s
15 top 10’s
The historical implications are immense. Winning Homestead-Miami will make Jimmie Johnson a seven-time Sprint Cup champion, tying him with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson is arguably the greatest driver of his era, and he looks this Sunday to become one of the greatest of all time. The odds are stacked against him; Johnson has never won at Homestead, and only holds a humble 100 total laps led. Additionally, Johnson had a quiet season leading up to the Chase. But his confidence is on fire after his Goody’s Fast Relief 500 win at Martinsville, and his momentum is rolling. It's going to take a monster to stop him.
Who's your pick to win Homestead-Miami and claim the 2016 Spring Cup Championship?