NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Ford 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, November 20th
SITE: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1999) -- Homestead, Florida
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 1,760 feet (Frontstretch); 1,760 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 65,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 13th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3 p.m. (et)/Green Flag: 3:16 p.m. (et)
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (Finished 6th)
LAPS: 267
MILES: 400.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Jamie McMurray, 2003 (181.111 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Tony Stewart, 1999 (140.335 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,247,828 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $356,823; 2nd Place - $279,503; 3rd Place - $229,151
2010 Finish
1Carl Edwards26Kasey Kahne1
2Jimmie Johnson67Ryan Newman23
3Kevin Harvick288Tony Stewart31
4Aric Almirola249Matt Kenseth17
5AJ Allmendinger510Greg Biffle27
2010 Ford 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 126.585 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 9 minutes, 50 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.608 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 10 for 41 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 22 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (176.904 m.p.h.)
Past Ford 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Carl Edwards (2nd) -- Ford -- 126.585 m.p.h.
2009 -- Denny Hamlin (38th) -- Toyota -- 126.986 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (4th) -- Ford-- 129.472 m.p.h.
2007 -- Matt Kenseth (4th) -- Ford -- 131.888 m.p.h.
2006 -- Greg Biffle (22nd) -- Ford -- 125.375 m.p.h.
2005 -- Greg Biffle (7th) -- Ford -- 131.431 m.p.h.
2004 -- Greg Biffle (2nd) -- Ford -- 105.623 m.p.h.
2003 -- Bobby Labonte (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 116.868 m.p.h.
2002 -- Kurt Busch (1st) -- Ford -- 115.462 m.p.h.
2001 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Dodge -- 117.449 m.p.h.
2000 -- Tony Stewart (13th) -- Pontiac -- 127.480 m.p.h.
1999 -- Tony Stewart (7th) -- Pontiac -- 140.355 m.p.h. (race record)
NOTE: Formerly called Pennzoil 400 (1999-2000), Pennzoil Freedom 400 (2001).
Past Ford 400 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- Kasey Kahne -- 6th
2009 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 5th
2008 -- David Reutimann -- 20th
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 7th
2006 -- Kasey Kahne -- 4th
2005 -- Carl Edwards -- 4th
2004 -- Kurt Busch -- 5th
2003 -- Jamie McMurray -- 9th
2002 -- Kurt Busch -- 1st
2001 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
2000 -- Steve Park -- 8th
1999 -- David Green -- 22nd
Last Race Results
RACE: Kobalt Tools 500 (November 13th)
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway -- Avondale, Arizona
MILES: 312
LAPS: 312
WINNER: Kasey Kahne
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
THIRD: Tony Stewart
FOURTH: Jeff Burton
FIFTH: Ryan Newman
POLE WINNER: Matt Kenseth (Finished 34th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 45 minutes, 47 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 112.918 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.802 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 30 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 7 drivers
LAP LEADERS: M. Kenseth 1-35; T. Stewart 36-42; J. Yeley 43; M. Kenseth 44-45;
T. Stewart 46-94; M. Kenseth 95-97; T. Stewart 98-157; M. Kenseth
158-166; C. Edwards 167-181; T. Stewart 182-221; Kurt Busch
222-278; C. Edwards 279-290; T. Stewart 291-294; B. Keselowski
295-298; K. Kahne 299-312.
Ford 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
4Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Toyota/Red Bull
5Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS My Choice
7Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Dodge/Speed Energy
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Stanley
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/Hard Rock Vodka
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M/Novec
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Crown Royal
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Interstate Batteries
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Duracell
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/TBA
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/Street King
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/TBA
35Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
36Geoffrey Bodine (Chemung, NY)Chevrolet/Luke & Associates
37Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Ford/Max Q Motorsports
38Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/Vampt
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army Veterans Day
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Best Buy
46Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Green Stuff Absorbant
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Reese Towpower
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Security Benefits
55J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Ford/Aloft Hotels
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/TRG Motorsports
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
84Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Toyota/TBA
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
92Dennis Setzer (Newton, NC)Dodge/TBA
93Grant Enfinger (Fairhope, AL)Chevrolet/Hewe's Polishing
99 *Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Aflac
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Carl Edwards------14th4th8th5thWon7thWon
Jimmie Johnson8th3rd2nd40th9th7th15th5th2nd
Kevin Harvick20th2nd10th8th5th19th2nd3rd3rd
Kasey Kahne------38th16th4th24th6th17th6th
Ryan Newman6th37th30th7th23rd18th21st23rd7th
Tony Stewart18th7th4th15th15th30th9th22nd8th
Matt Kenseth40th43rd19th3rd6thWon25th13th9th
Greg Biffle25th35thWonWonWon13th18th14th10th
Martin Truex Jr------32nd---2nd6th10th9th11th
Clint Bowyer------------10th39th5th11th12th
Brad Keselowski------------------------13th
Denny Hamlin---------33rd3rd3rd13thWon14th
Mark Martin4th33rd11th2nd18th9th---12th16th
Kurt BuschWon36th5th---43rd2nd43rd4th18th
Paul Menard------------17th35th30th26th19th
Jamie McMurray22nd9th7th18th35th14th3rd18th21st
Dale Earnhardt Jr21st24th23rd19th19th36th41st28th27th
Jeff Burton3rd14th36th25th14th8th40th2nd31st
Kyle Busch---------41st38th20th19th8th32nd
Juan Pablo Montoya------------34th15th17th38th35th
Jeff Gordon5th5th3rd9th24th4th4th6th37th
David Reutimann---------------25th20th15th38th
Joey Logano---------------------24th39th
Brian Vickers---34th18th43rd21st42nd32nd20th---
Mover of the Week
Ryan Newman - Started in the 30th position and finished 5th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Darkhorse - Kurt Busch
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 14th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jeff Burton) - Finished 4th
The season-ending Ford 400 will once again decide the "Chase for the Sprint Cup" championship, as Carl Edwards leads Tony Stewart by a mere three points. That's it, no season-ending heroics by Jimmie Johnson, just Edwards versus Stewart.

Johnson's Sprint Cup reign came to an end last week, as he finished 14th, thus ending his bid for a sixth straight series championship. After race four of the Chase, Johnson was just four points back, but back-to-back 34th and 26th-place finishes did him in.

With just a three-point separation between them, Edwards and Stewart are the only drivers who remain in championship contention. Edwards has held the points lead in each Chase race since Kansas, but Stewart has turned the title fight into a thriller after winning at Martinsville and Texas and then finishing third at Phoenix.

Edwards should have the upper hand heading into the finale. Not only is he the defending race winner, but he owns series-best numbers in top fives (18) and top 10s (25). At Homestead, Edwards has been dominating as well, with two wins, four top fives and six top 10s in seven starts. In fact, he owns the top average finish (5.7).

Stewart has had wonderful success also in South Florida with two wins of his own, three top fives and six top 10s in 12 starts. His two wins came in the first two race at Homestead, in 1999 and 2000.

Although he didn't win the race last year, Johnson did capture the Sprint Cup championship for the fifth straight season. Johnson entered the 400-mile race at Homestead 15 points behind Denny Hamlin. He became the first driver in the seven-year history of the championship Chase to overcome a points deficit going into the season-finale. Just two drivers had overcome a points deficit in the last race of the season to win the championship since NASCAR revised its points system in 1975. Richard Petty accomplished the feat in 1979, and Alan Kulwicki turned the trick in 1992.

Johnson has yet to win at Homestead, but has scored seven top-10 finishes in 10 races there, including a second last year, a fifth-place finish in 2009, a seventh-place finish in 2007 and a ninth-place run in the 2006 event. In 2005, Johnson came to Homestead second in the Chase standings, 52 points behind Tony Stewart, but he crashed midway through the race and finished 40th. He ended the '05 season 127 points behind champion Stewart in fifth-place.

In 2009, Denny Hamlin raced to victory, defeating Jeff Burton by 2.632 seconds for his eighth career Sprint Cup victory and fourth of that season. Starting from the 38th position, Hamlin moved his way up and finally claimed the lead with just 45 laps remaining and held on to finish fifth on the final points list. With his fifth-place finish, Jimmie Johnson clinched his fourth consecutive championship.

Carl Edwards dominated the race in 2008, leading five times for a race-high 157 laps, as he defeated Kevin Harvick by 7.548 seconds for his 16th career Sprint title. Despite his ninth win of 2008, Edwards placed second behind Johnson in the "Chase."

In 2007, Matt Kenseth snapped Greg Biffle's three-year stranglehold on this race, as he led a whopping 214 laps en route to his 16th career Sprint Cup title. Kurt Busch finished second, just 0.852 of a second behind, while pole sitter Johnson placed seventh.

Greg Biffle captured his third consecutive Ford 400 in 2006, as he crossed the finish line just under one second ahead of Martin Truex Jr. The victory was the second of the 2006 season and the 11th of 16 career titles.

Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex, as the track was originally named, began August 24, 1993. The first race was a Nationwide Series race on Nov. 5, 1995. The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's layout. The first Truck Series race at Homestead was in 1996. In the summer of 1997, a reconfiguration project changed the turns from a quad-oval to a traditional, continuous-turn oval. The first Sprint Cup race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999. The track was reconfigured prior to the 2003 race. The banking in the turns was changed to a graduated tri-level culminating in a 20-degree banking on the outer level. Lights were also added for night racing.

There have been nine different pole winners, led by Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each. The race has been won from the pole twice: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002). In addition, the race has been won from a top-10 starting position nine of 12 times. Hamlin's win in 2009 from the 38th starting position, is the furthest back a race winner has started at Homestead. There have been eight different race winners, led by Greg Biffle with three.

The 2012 Sprint Cup Series begins February 26 at Daytona International Speedway with the 54th running of the Daytona 500. Trevor Bayne won the series season-opener this year.

11/15 18:45:56 ET

As of November 15, 2011, at 06:46 PM ET
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