The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 36th and final race of the 2011 season, the Ford 400. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, November 20, 2011; 3:15 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high around 81; wind out of the ESE at 12 mph. There is a 10% chance of precipitation.
The Track: Homestead-MiamiSpeedway
Homestead is a 1.5 mile oval. It has medium 18, 19, and 20 degree banking on the turns.
Key to Race: A ROUSHSPEEDWAY
Roush has dominated at Homestead. The “Cat in the Hat” had the winning car last year, had two cars in the top three in 2008, four cars in the top 10 in 2007, three cars in the top 10 in 2006 and swept the top four spots during the 2005 race. Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart will obviously battle hard on Sunday as well.
48 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. Cars not in the top 35 in the 2011 owner point standings will have to qualify based on speed. Starting positions 1-43 are determined during qualifying on Friday, November 19 at 2:40 pm/et.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards won the 2011 and 2009 editions of the Ford 400. He has finished in the top eight the past six races at the track and is our pick to win on Sunday.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has two career wins at Homestead and six top ten finishes. We all know that Stewart would love nothing more than to win on Sunday and take home the championship.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has had more success at Homestead than Stewart or Edwards: five top fives, eight top 10s and an average finish of 6.7. He is going to be tough to beat.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has finished in the top three in three of the past five races at Homestead, including a win in 2009.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has had past success at Homestead in the past and he will race very hard this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has won three of the past seven Homestead races. If there is ever a time to use the No. 16 car it is this weekend.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has nine top ten finishes in 12 career starts at Homestead. He is a great choice this weekend.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth dominated the 2007 edition of theHomesteadrace. He is a great option this weekend.
No. 22 Kurt Busch: Busch has four top five finishes in 10 career starts at Homestead, including a win in 2004. He should finish in the top 10 this weekend.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has been very good atHomestead. He is a terrific value pick.
11 to 20
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Busch has finished 18th, 8th, 19th, 20th, 38th and 41st in his career at Homestead. He will be a factor in this race, but hopefully it isn’t for causing an accident or using his middle finger.
No. 5 Mark Martin: Martin has averaged an 11.3 finish the past six races at Homestead. He will finish just a tad bit worse than his average this trip to South Florida.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has three top 10 finishes in seven career starts. He is a decent third driver on most fantasy teams this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has top 25 finishes in both of his starts at Homestead. He will be good again Sunday.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman tasted his first success at Homestead last year. He will be doing well to crack the top 15 this trip to the track.
No. 33 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has been hit-or-miss atHomesteadduring his career. There are a few less risky options this weekend.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton is usually very fast at Homestead. A top 20 finish is expected.
No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: Dinger has cruised to fifth and a 10th place finishes at Homestead the past two seasons. He should flirt with another great finish.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano has driven decent lately. A top 15 finish wouldn’t surprise us.
No. 6 David Ragan: Ragan has had one good race and three okay races at Homestead during his career. He will finish in the top 25, but we don’t think he will crack the top 15.
21 to 30
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has struggled at Homestead. He isn’t a great choice.
No. 00 David Reutimann: Reutimann has finished outside the top 25 just one time at Homestead. He will be decent again this weekend.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has never finished better than 13th atHomestead. He will miss the top 20 again this weekend.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard career average at Homestead is 25th. He should finish right around there this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has had some tough times at Homestead during his career. There are better sleepers for those in deep leagues.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has averaged a 19th place finish at Homestead during his career, but he has struggled at the track lately. He is only worth taking a gamble on for those of you in the deepest leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose qualified third and led four laps at Homestead in 2010, but he was below average last year. We expect a top 25 car this weekend.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte won the 2003 race at Homestead, but he will be doing well to crack the top 30 on Sunday
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: Bayne has had success in the races he has run this year. He is worth using as a fifth driver in all leagues.
No. 83 Brian Vickers: Vickers is the last of the true viable options for Sunday.
No. 78 Regan Smith
No. 34 David Gilliland
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 7 Reed Sorenson
No. 36 Geoff Bodine
No. 51 Landon Cassill
No. 55 J.J. Yeley
No. 38 Travis Kvapil
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 46 Scott Speed
No. 71 Andy Lally
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 37 Mike Skinner
No. 35 Dave Blaney
No. 84 Cole Whitt
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 92 Dennis Setzer
No. 93 Grant Enfinger
- Carl Edwards
- Tony Stewart
- Kevin Harvick
- Denny Hamlin
- A.J. Allmendinger
- Trevor Bayne
Bust of the Week:
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.