Richard DeLong-84-KNW

Richard DeLong-84-KNW

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While his teammate Martin Truex Jr. took home the serious medal Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Erik Jones 21st place finish is enough to wrap up the Rookie of the Year trophy for the 21-year-old driver. Jones finished the race two laps down, only 12 drivers finished on the same lap as the leader and only three drivers were one lap down. Fellow rookie of the year candidate Daniel Suarez who entered the night 14 rookie points behind Jones finished the race in 34th after having a problem with brakes with 34 laps to go.

Jones came close to scoring a win in his rookie season a couple of times, most notably at Bristol where he dominated until a last lap pass by Kyle Busch pushed him back to second. In his sophomore season the young driver will be eyeing that first win, but even before that happens his currently last 18 race record of more than 50% top-10 finishes will keep him a great value from week to week.
Nov 19 - 11:21 PM

Ryan Newman took home his first top-10 since his second place finish at Talladega. Newman advanced 11 positions for his starting spot of 21 to complete the top-10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Newman fell out of playoff contention after the first round and outside of his Talladega finish did not finish better 13th during the playoff run before tonight, which was a sharp fall in finishing position after his four race run of sixth or better in the final four regular season events. This will force the Richard Childress racing to hone in on his 'bull-dog' like personality to try to find early success in 2018.
Nov 19 - 11:09 PM

After starting on the pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway Denny Hamlin fell back to a ninth place finish. Martin Truex Jr. started beside Hamlin and would take the lead on the first lap as the #11 driver slowly fell out of contention. This was Hamlin's fifth top-10 in a row at Homestead stretching back to his 2013 win.

Hamlin's car improved as the night came and the track cooled during qualifying, leading many to think Hamlin could put himself in the position to battle for the win late. Last week, Hamlin was close to grabbing the final transfer spot into the round of four before his multiple race rivalry with fellow round of eight contender Chase Elliott ruined his chances when the young driver crashed Hamlin at Phoenix. With all the drama around the final four races, Hamlin will enter the early races of 2018 with a vengeance to prove that he can rise about the drama, that he races clean, and most importantly that he can continue to win.
Nov 19 - 10:53 PM

The Ford 400 was Matt Kenseth's final race as a full-time NASCAR driver. His eighth place finish was his seventh top-10 at the track in his last eight attempts making him the second best finishing current driver behind Kyle Busch. After not advancing to the round of eight, Kenseth has recorded a win, two top-fives and three top-10 proving that there was still a lot of racing left outside of the playoff structure.

Kenseth was among the two oldest drivers; the other being also retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr., in the field this season but his age did not show fatigue but instead experience. Kenseth was one of the few drivers to make it into the playoffs on points without a win. Clearly, that was not enough for the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, Kenseth put the cherry on top his final season by winning at Phoenix in the penultimate race last weekend.
Nov 19 - 10:41 PM

Brad Keselowski was the lowest finishing playoff driver, crossing under the checkered flag seventh in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. At some point in the race every playoff driver was in the position of clinching the championship. Keselowski only led one lap but he ran in second behind Kyle Larson and ahead of his three fellow playoff contenders for a long stay.

Keselowski barely made it into the round of four, Matt Kenseth beating fellow playoff contender Chase Elliott to the line at Phoenix drastically helped the driver of the #2. Keselowski ran a good race by all standards but could not make it back up to the front when it counted. While he fell short of his 2012 championship run, this year was an improvement over 2016 when he was knocked out of the playoffs after the second round.
Nov 19 - 10:23 PM

Joey Logano advanced 13 positions to finish sixth in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This was his third top-10 finish at Homestead, he came in fourth in 2016 and 2015.

Logano completed the 2017 season without a non-encumbered win. In what was a shaky season for the once playoff contender, Logano finished on a three race top-15 streak. The #22 Penske team will have to use the off-season to access the program and see how they can approve and become a championship contender again.
Nov 19 - 10:14 PM

Chase Elliott was the second-best non-playoff driver in the Ford 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway with a fifth.

After not advancing to the final stage of qualifying Elliott started back in 18th and moved forward 13 spots to capture his sixth top-five of the 10 race playoffs. Last year in his first attempt at the track the then rookie finished just outside the top 10 in 11th. "Second-place Chase," a nickname the young driver hopes to soon lose will start the 2018 season in the No. 9, his father's old car number. Elliott will be on a mission to capture a quick win to prove his standing with the sports best drivers.
Nov 19 - 7:03 PM

Kevin Harvick finished fourth in the Ford 400 at Homestead and third in the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Championship.

Harvick ran near the front all day but never made the pass for the lead. The one-time Champion went into the final race with an impressive stat for Homestead; Harvick has led the most laps on 1.5 mile tracks since 2014. In Saturday practice, Harvick was the slowest of the championship contenders. Harvick locked himself into the final four with a win at Texas, he put himself in position to shine on one of his favorite tracks. In the last three years, Harvick has finished in third in 2016, second in 2015, and won it in 2014 at Homestead. This fourth-place was his worst since finishing 10th in 2013.
Nov 19 - 6:56 PM

Kyle Larson was the highest finishing non-playoff driver in the Coke 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. For a while it seemed like Larson was going to play the role of spoiler as he led 145 laps and captured both stage wins. Larson's third-place finish came after four DNF's in a row starting with his playoff ending afternoon at Kansas.

Larson will enter 2018 with a clean slate after being kicked out of the playoffs due to an engine failure at Kansas at the end of the second round. Larson was on a vast majority of fantasy teams to make it all the way to Homestead to fight for the championship and an equally impressive percentage of experts and fantasy players saw him winning the whole thing. The 25-year-old driver has a long future in the sport but will be antsy to capture more wins and have the opportunity to fight for the championship again in 2018.
Nov 19 - 6:48 PM

Kyle Busch found himself watching the championship from his front windshield, as Martin Truex Jr. beat him to the line in the Coke 400 at Homestead by four car lengths. Busch led 43 laps of the race and was made several runs on Truex in the late stages of the race before finishing second in the Ford 400.

While Busch had the fastest car of the playoff contenders for a large portion of the race, he found it hard stay out front for long. Look for Busch, along with the other three playoff drivers that did not walk away with the championship, to enter Daytona with a chip on their shoulders and a lot to prove in 2018.
Nov 19 - 6:40 PM

Martin Truex Jr. led 78 of the 267 laps that made up the Ford 400 at Homestead to secure the 2018 Championship and the race win.

The highest finishing playoff driver would be awarded the championship but with the level of drivers competing it was pretty clear that the only way to win was to win. Truex beat fellow playoff contender Kyle Busch to the line by 0.681 seconds. This is Truex’s first Monster Energy Cup Series championship, and his eighth win of the season. In a breakout season for the seasoned driver, Truex won four regular season races, one race in the first round of the playoffs, two in the second round, and the season’s finale. While the 2017 season is over Truex has given fantasy owners a lot to think about for 2018. The reigning champion will go into the Daytona red hot and ready to prove that this season was not a fluke.
Nov 19 - 6:33 PM

William Byron added two more superlatives to an already lengthy list – 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion and 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

The 19-year old is only the second driver to win the XFINITY Series championship in his rookie season (Chase Elliott, 2014). Following an extraordinary rookie campaign, the NASCAR Next graduate, who finished third, outlasted his Championship 4 competitors Elliott Sadler (eighth), Justin Allgaier (12th) and Daniel Hemric (34th) in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture his second NASCAR title. He also won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in 2015. Byron’s ascent to the top level of the sport will continue in 2018, as Hendrick Motorsports announced that he will drive the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.-NASCAR Media
Nov 18 - 8:45 PM

Christopher Bell, 22, completed an outstanding sophomore campaign by capturing the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship following Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

To capture the crown, Bell, who finished second, outdueled fellow Championship 4 contenders Johnny Sauter (third-place finish), Austin Cindric (fifth) and Matt Crafton (sixth) at the South Florida track. Scoring a series-high five wins and winning the regular season championship, Bell dominated the 2017 season to earn a second-consecutive spot in the Championship 4. Bell punched his ticket to the playoffs early, winning the second race of the season at Atlanta. Bell finished this season with five wins, and series highs in both top fives (15) and top 10s (21).-NASCAR Media
Nov 18 - 8:39 PM

Cole Custer (No. 00 Haas Automation Ford) won the Ford EcoBoost 300, his first victory in 38 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races.

This is his first 19th top-10 finish in 2017 and first top-10 finish in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in seven races at HMS. It is his third top-10 finish in 2017. William Byron (third) posted his first top-10 finish in his first start at HMS. William Byron is the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion. Byron is also the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Chevrolet is the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series manufacturer's champion. The 2017 season has seen 18 different winners tying the series record set back in 1988.
Nov 18 - 8:26 PM

Kyle Busch posted the quickest 10-lap average in final practice for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 164.681 mph in his first circuits on the track.

Like Martin Truex Jr., he was equally fast in the morning session, so it appears he will be Truex’s main competitor for the championship. His worth to fantasy owners is minimized by the risks they will have to take among bargain drivers, however.
Nov 18 - 3:24 PM


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