Race: Ford EcoBoost 400
Date: November 18th
Venue: Homestead Miami
2017 Winner: Martin Truex Jr (3:02:11)
Broadcast: NBC (Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Steve Letarte)
Homestead Miami Speedway. Home to the final race of the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series (since 2002), this 1.5 mile asphalt oval speedway opened in 1995. The turns are 18-20 degrees in banking and the straightaways are 3 degrees. Sam Hornish set the track record here in 2006. The course features aqua, purple and silver colors, mimicking the nearby south beach ambiance. The stadium holds 46,000 seats, last year they got to watch Jimmie take his 7th career Series win here last year.
Power Rankings (among the final four contenders)
1) Martin Truex Jr. (8th selection this year). Maybe I’m being overly nostalgic but I think he can do it again this year. As the only driver in the final four who has not won a playoff race it would be all too fitting for him to sneak in the win at the very end.
2) Kyle Busch (7th selection this year). A clear favorite to win it all given how well he’s going this year. He has the most wins in the playoffs and has looked like the most dominant racer at a number of stretches this year.
3) Kevin Harvick (8th selection this year). He started the playoffs slow and has had some ups and downs as it has progressed, I don’t feel as confident in him winning as I did a month ago. Tied with Kyle Busch at 8 wins a piece this year, he has re-written a few records at his age.
4) Joey Logano (10th selection this year). He’s sitting in the top spot and Martin swore he won the race but would NOT win the war, was he right? If he is down the final stretch against Martin it will be must watch TV.
Favorites: avg finish 10th (27th percentile)
High Risk/Reward: avg finish 15th place (41st percentile)
Dark Horse: avg finish 19th place (49th percentile)