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2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

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2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

2012 Ford EcoBoost 400:

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season concludes this weekend with the 2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Brad Keselowski is in the driver's seat for the Championship as he brings a twenty point lead into Homestead. Second place Jimmie Johnson will likely give his all on Sunday but even with a win it may not be enough.

This is what all the fuss has been about. Who will win the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship? We will all find out on Sunday.

Tickets:

Speedway ticket office (305) 230-RACE

The Track:

Homestead-Miami Speedway is a one and a half mile oval that features computer-designed progressive banking in the turns. This race track easily supports side-by-side racing all the way around the track which makes for a great show all day long. There are multiple grooves to choose from and the fast, wide race track is a fitting tribute to motorsports. This is a fabulous place to decide the Championship.

Race Distance:

267 Laps = 400.5 Miles

The Big Picture:

Last week Jimmie Johnson seemed to be in the driver's seat on his way to his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship before a tire problem and an untimely meeting with the wall put a damper on his 2012 Championship chances.

Now Brad Keselowski has a commanding lead for the title with only one race to go. Brad Keselowski's 20 point lead means he needs to finish fifteenth or better in order to clinch his first NASCAR Sprint Cup series title. If he leads one lap then he needs to finish sixteenth or better. If he leads the most laps then seventeenth will be good enough to win no matter what Johnson does.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Jimmie Johnson -20
  3. Kasey Kahne -50
  4. Clint Bowyer -52
  5. Denny Hamlin -62
  6. Matt Kenseth -74
  7. Greg Biffle -78
  8. Kevin Harvick -86
  9. Tony Stewart -87
  10. Jeff Gordon -90
  11. Martin Truex Jr. -111
  12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -160

Storylines:

Where do we even begin this week? This weekend's 2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 is jam-packed with stories.

At the top of the list is the Championship battle between Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson. This could well be Brad Keselowski's first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship or Johnson's sixth in seven years. Either way this will likely be the top story of the weekend.

We can't let last week's Phoenix mayhem pass though without recapping the intentional wreck, the fight and the red flag tweeting that each lead to penalties from NASCAR.

Were the penalties fair? We haven't heard from Jeff Gordon or Clint Bowyer since the incident. They won't be able to hide from the cameras this weekend.

Plus we have the 2012 season recaps, Dodge's farewell race, Chevrolet's 2012 manufacturer's title and a look back at 2011 to the best Chase finish in history when Tony Stewart became only the seventh driver in history to win the final race and the Championship.

Media Coverage:

TV: ESPN Sunday, November 18th, 2:00PM Eastern.

Radio: MRN and SIRIUS Satellite

Actual Race: 3:10 p.m. Eastern

Recent Events:

2011 Winner: Tony Stewart

2011 Polesitter: Carl Edwards

Previously...:

Last year the 2011 Ford 400 was everything that NASCAR fans could ever want in a Championship finish. Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards raced nose-to-tail for the win. If either driver won the race they would clinch the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.

Tony Stewart beat Edwards to the checkered flag for the win, tied Carl Edwards in points but was crowned the Champion by the tiebreaker.

Predictions:

Jimmie Johnson has never won a NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in Homestead. He hasn't needed to. However this weekend "Five Time" Jimmie Johnson will be out to get every single point that is available in order to maximize his chances of claiming his sixth crown. He has nothing to lose and one heck of a fast race car to exercise. Jimmie will be out for the win this Sunday and I certainly wouldn't bet against him.

My backup pick is definitely not going to the point leader. Brad Keselowski has little incentive to do anything other than keep his car safe and finish comfortably in the top fifteen. I'm predicting a tenth place finish for the soon-to-be 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series Champion.

My backup this week goes to the driver that leads all active drivers with a 5.2 average finish in Homestead. Carl Edwards has two wins in his eight Cup series starts and three more top fives including last year's near miss behind Tony Stewart.

Edwards has had a frustrating 2012 campaign and will be looking to finish up this season on a high note at a race track that he knows well.

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