The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 36th and final race of the 2012 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 18, 2012; 3:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Mostly sunny with a high around 77; wind out of the NNW at 8 mph. There is a 10% chance of precipitation.
The Track: Homestead-MiamiSpeedway
Homesteadis 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 in 2010, had two cars in the top four last year, 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.
44 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has had past success at Homestead and he will race very hard this weekend. Expect Mr. 5-Time to take a few more chances than usual.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards finished second last year, won the 2010 and 2008 races at Homestead. He has finished in the top eight the past seven races at the track. He has struggled a bit lately and is a decent choice this weekend.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has three career wins at Homestead and seven top ten finishes. He has the potential for another top five finish this weekend.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has had decent success at Homestead: five top fives, nine top 10s and an average finish of seven. He is going to be tough to beat.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has finished in the top three in three of the past six races at Homestead, including a win in 2009.
6 to 10
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has won three of the past eight Homestead races. This weekend is a good time to sneak the No. 16 onto your roster.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon, the newest addition to the NASCAR naughty list, has 11 top 10 finishes in 14 career starts at Homestead. If he can avoid the No. 15 is an okay choice this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has top 25 finishes in all three of his starts at Homestead. He needs a top 15 finish to clinch the championship and we expect he will have no problem accomplishing it.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth dominated the 2007 edition of the Homestead race and finished fourth last year. He is a good option this weekend in his Roush finale.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has four top 10 finishes in eight career starts. He has driven fantastic lately and is a great pick.
11 to 20
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has been very good atHomestead. He is a terrific value pick.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Busch has finished 19th,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.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has never finished better than 11th at Homestead. He will miss the top 10 again this weekend.
No. 55 Mark Martin: Martin has averaged a top 15 finish the past seven races at Homestead. He will finish just a tad bit worse than his average this trip to South Florida.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch has driven great since switching to the No. 78 car. He has four top five finishes in 11 career starts at Homestead, including a win in 2004. He should finish in the top 20 this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman tasted his first success at Homestead the past two years. He will be doing well to crack the top 20 this trip to the track.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has been hit-or-miss at Homestead during 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 Aric Almirola: Almirola has been consistently a top 20 finisher the past few months. He should continue his success.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano has driven decent lately. A top 15 finish wouldn’t surprise us.
21 to 30
No. 10 David Reutimann: Reutimann has finished outside the top 25 just one time at Homestead. He will be decent again this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has struggled at Homestead. He isn’t a great choice.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard career average at Homestead is 24th. He should finish right around there this weekend.
No. 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse has three top 20 finishes in four career starts this season. He is a great sleeper pick.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: Bayne has had okay success in the races he has run this year. He is worth using as a fifth driver in all leagues.
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 top 25 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 the past two years. We expect a top 30 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. 22 Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish has been very mediocre since the Sylvania 300. We don’t like his chances.
No. 51 Regan Smith
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 36 David Blaney
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 32 Ken Schrader
No. 33 Stephan Leicht
No. 83 Landon Cassill
No. 79 Reed Sorenson
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 91 Jason Leffler
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 37 J.J. Yeley
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 23 Scott Riggs
No. 26 Josh Wise
- Jimmie Johnson
- Carl Edwards
- Tony Stewart
- Kevin Harvick
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Trevor Bayne