After four hours of hype, and a week full of fines, point dockings, and probation’s that won’t count for anything, The Ford EcoBoost 400 got underway Sunday afternoon at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, and other than Jimmie Johnson receiving only 19 lug nuts on his lap 214 pit stop, had very little excitement. A surprise winner in Victory Lane and the crowning of a new Sprint Cup Champion put an end to an otherwise pretty boring race.
Congratulations have to go out to Brad Keselowski and his Miller Lite team, for winning his first Championship in only his second full season, and to a proud owner, Roger Penske, who has been waiting since 1972 for this day. Keselowski finished in 15th position a lap down to claim the title. Congratulations also go out to Jeff Gordon, driving his Hendrick Motor Sports Chevy in a retro paint scheme, back to victory lane for the second win of the season, and the 87th time in his storied career, which began 20 years ago this week.
If you don’t think Jimmie Johnson is the best driver on the planet, and Chad Knaus is not the best crew chief in Nascar, maybe you need to re-visit your opinion. Knaus had a game plan for a championship run that had me worried for Keselowski. The Kobalt Chevrolet team was on a mission to do everything they could on Sunday, to win a championship. And without some bad luck falling in their lap, had a chance to pull it off.
There is no one in Nascar better than Chad Knaus at planning a fuel stratagy to win a race. With Johnson going to the front to lead the race, and with the fuel stop plan in place, they put the pressure squarely on the Miller Lite Team to not make a mistake. They did everything they could to give the five time champion an opportunity, but bad luck prevailed.
Clint Bowyer, who finished in second place 1.028 seconds behind race winner Jeff Gordon, needs to be commended for not taking the opportunity to ruin Gordon’s day after what transpired last weekend in Phoenix. With the bad luck plaguing the #48, Bowyer moved up to second place in the final standings, and had he not been wrecked last week, might have been in position to put some pressure on the Blue Duece. At least he would have had shot at the title.
Pole winner Joey Logano started from the rear in a back-up car after a crash in practice and finished 14th in his last race for Joe Gibbs Racing… Matt Kenseth ran 18th in his last ride at Roush Fenway Racing… Tony Stewart finished 17th in the 500th Cup start of his career.
Nascar really needs to re-visit the the whole Race For The Chase situation. I can’t imagine watching the Super Bowl last year, and seeing The New York Giants win the football game, but the San Franciso 49ers wining the championship because they won the most games. My idea would be to take the top 20 drivers in points, go to an exciting track like maybe Daytona, and drop the green flag for all of the marbles. I’ll bet that race would not be a snoozer to end your season.
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