It’s been a pretty good year for the final four 2016 Sprint Cup title contenders. In my last blog post I went over season stats for each driver, and to be honest I think any one of them could win the race and the season. For my own pick, I couldn’t decide on one driver. So, I’m going to cheat. “The Head,” my logical choice; and “The Heart,” my emotional choice.
Late in his career, Edwards knows he's running out of time to claim his first championship. But he is certainly deserving of one; in 13 years he’s amassed 28 wins and 6,089 total laps led. The Gibbs driver is known for performing under pressure and grabbing victories when the conditions get tough (wet tracks, hot temperatures, etc.) and other drivers fall off.
He had a moderately successful regular season with two wins and seven top 5’s, but wasn’t a top pick for anyone in terms of potential title contenders. He managed to skate into the Round of 8 by points before capturing the rain-shortened AAA Texas 500 victory that pushed him into the final round. Needless to say, his 2016 regular season isn’t what convinced me. But the regular season means crap now. It’s all about South Florida…and South Florida has been historically good to Carl Edwards.
If his Homestead-Miami Speedway career stats don't impress you, compare them with the other contenders:
In 12 races:
5 top 5’s
9.25 avg finish
568 laps led
In 11 races:
2 top 5's
21.09 avg finish
278 laps led
In 7 races:
1 top 5
17.71 avg finish
72 laps led
In 15 races:
4 top 5's
14.07 avg finish
99 laps led
If I was a betting man ( I am), my money's on Carl for the win and/or Championship this weekend.
There's not much to say here that hasn't been said by everyone else. Whether or not you're a fan of Jimmie Johnson shouldn't even be a factor. If he can tie Petty and Dale Sr. for all-time championships, he's making history. And that will give him the opportunity to get eight(+) championships before he retires, which will break history. We are simply lucky to bear witness to something so epic.
If your children are NASCAR fans, they'll tell their grandchildren about Johnson's 2016 Sprint Cup Championship. Remember that.
Regardless of who comes out on top this weekend, the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead is going to be a damn good time.