Camping World Truck Series:
This season, the Championship for the Camping World Truck Series is extremely close, with only twelve points separating the top three drivers. James Buescher, Timothy Peters and Ty Dillon are all neck and neck heading into Homestead with Peters trailing Buescher by 11 and Dillon trailing by 12. Point’s leader Buescher has four wins this year, Peters with two and Dillon with one. Buescher, Dillon and possible contender Parker Klingerman were all involved in wrecks at Phoenix that had a drastic effect on the point’s standings. Klingerman’s wreck cost him a chance at the Championship, leaving him 4th in points and 37 behind Buescher. Each of the three drivers has a chance at winning their first Championship and it really is anybody’s game.
Heading into Phoenix, the Nationwide Series Championship was tied between two drivers, defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Elliott Sadler. As we head into the final race of the season, Sadler is now twenty points behind Stenhouse Jr and rookie Austin Dillon is only five points away from second place. Sadler definitely has the most experience going into this final race. He has made 12 starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has an average finish of 28th. Stenhouse has two starts at Homestead, finishing second last season and 4th in 2010. Dillon has not made any starts in the Nationwide Series at Homestead but he has in the Truck Series. Dillon was also took home the Championship last season in the Campingworld Trick Series. If Stenhouse can keep on the path he has been, running well and finishing well, he could easily take home his second consecutive Nationwide Series Championship. Stenhouse would have to have a pretty bad day for Sadler to take is away from him and Dillon would have to win and finish 15 or more places ahead of Stenhouse and Sadler to win. Both of those scenarios are not out of the question but the racing gods will have to be focusing all of their energy on the rookie for him to take the trophy. My prediction is that Stenhouse will walk away with yet another shiny trophy and Sadler will yet again be left in the dust. I wouldn’t count Dillon out for 2013 though; he is, after all, the grandson of Richard Childress.
Sprint Cup Series:
As we head in to the final race of the season, the Chase has gone from 12 to 2: Brad Keselowski versus Jimmie Johnson. Going into Phoenix, it was anybody’s Chase Johnson led Keselowski by seven points and third place Clint Bowyer still had a shot at stealing the Championship away from both drivers. After the mayhem and craziness of Phoenix, Keselowski now has a 20 point lead on Johnson, Bowyer is now fifth in points, and anyone third and below is mathematically eliminated from contention. Keselowski has a pretty good chance of taking this Championship from Mr. 5-time himself. In order for Johnson to win his 6th Championship, Keselowski will have to finish below 15th and not lead a lap. In other words, Keselowski will have to have a day like Johnson did in Phoenix and vice versa. It is entirely possible though. In 2010, Johnson went into Homestead 15 points behind point’s leader Denny Hamlin. Johnson finished second and won his 5th Championship. Taking the track at Homestead, Jimmie Johnson has nothing to lose; he can take risks, try different strategies and go for all or nothing. Brad Keselowski doesn’t have that option. He needs to be consistent and play it safe. One wrong move and his Championship hopes could go down the drain. Johnson has never won at Homestead and finished second twice yet his average finish is 13.45. Keselowski on the other hand only has 2 top 20s and his average finish is 20.25. Keselowski has had extremely good luck during this Chase. He has avoided accidents
like it’s no one’s business. Some of his best finishes in the Chase have come on tracks where he wasn’t predicted to get a top 10. His luck is bound to run out some time, and it just might be this weekend at homestead. Johnson, on the other hand, has had to overcome a few accidents and fight his up from a few bad qualifying positions. His rally back to a ninth place finish after rear-ending the wall at Kansas is proof that this team is not going down without a fight. Even though he is 20 points behind, I still have my money on Johnson for this Championship. Chad Knaus and the 48 team are way too good to let 20 points stop them.