Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Ryan Preece Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Preview

 

RYAN PREECE

Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum

No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

 

Event Overview

 

●  Event:  Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum

●  Time/Date:  5 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 5

●  Location:  Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

●  Layout:  Quarter-mile oval

●  Format:  150-lap Feature with a 27-car field set by Heats and Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ)

●  TV/Radio:  FOX / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

●  Note:  Heats and LCQ are broadcast live from 5-7 p.m. EST. Feature airs live at 8 p.m. EST.

 

Notes of Interest

 

●  United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI), the largest equipment rental company in the world, is serving as the primary sponsor of Ryan Preece and the No. 41 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for select NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023, beginning with the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum Feb. 4-5 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. United Rentals has an integrated network of 1,449 rental locations in North America, 13 in Europe, 27 in Australia and 19 in New Zealand. In North America, the company operates in 49 states and every Canadian province. The company’s approximately 24,700 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. The company offers approximately 4,700 classes of equipment for rent with a total original cost of $19.3 billion. United Rentals is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Barron’s 400 Index and the Russell 3000 Index® and is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Additional information about United Rentals is available at UnitedRentals.com.

 

●  Perseverance has paid off for Preece. SHR promoted the 32-year-old racer from Berlin, Connecticut, from his reserve driver role with the organization to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023 where he will drive the team’s No. 41 Ford Mustang. Preece had spent 2022 performing simulator work while running a mix of races across each of NASCAR’s top-three national touring series – Cup, Xfinity and Truck – a schedule punctuated by a Truck Series win from the pole June 24 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, his second straight at the 1.333-mile oval near Music City.

 

●  One of the NASCAR Cup Series races Preece ran last year was the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum. Preece drove for Rick Ware Racing and advanced into the 150-lap main event. It was a herculean effort for the small team, and Preece played a key role even from outside of the racecar. To simply have a car ready for the race, Preece worked side-by-side with his mechanics in the days and nights leading into The Clash building the racecar, a rarity in the ultra-specialized world of NASCAR’s premier division.

 

●  Preece made a name for himself on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – NASCAR’s oldest division and the only open-wheel series sanctioned by NASCAR. Preece won the Tour championship in 2013 and worked hard to leverage that title into additional opportunities in the Xfinity Series – NASCAR’s stepping-stone division to the elite Cup Series. After spending all of 2016 in a scrappy effort with an underfunded team that delivered a best finish of 10th, Preece mortgaged his house to secure two races with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in 2017. In equipment finally befitting his talent, Preece finished second in his JGR debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and then won in his very next start at Iowa Speedway in Newton. In his next five Xfinity Series starts, Preece never finished outside of the top-10, a run capped with a second victory in April 2018 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

 

●  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is filled with short tracks, so competing at a quarter-mile oval – the shortest track the NASCAR Cup Series will compete on in 2023 – is nothing new for Preece. That experience will prove incredibly useful because only 27 cars can line up for the 150-lap feature. Getting to the main event is a process. Here's how it works...

 

●  On Saturday, Feb. 4, NASCAR Cup Series competitors will take to the track for practice prior to single-car qualifying to determine the starting order for four heat races. On Sunday, Feb. 5, on-track action will begin with four, 25-lap heat races consisting of 10 cars each. Below is a breakdown on how the heat races will be filled out:

 

    ●  The top-four fastest qualifiers from Saturday’s single-car qualifying session will be on the pole for each heat race, while cars that qualified fifth through eighth will make up the other half of the front row in each heat.

 

    ●  The remainder of each field will be filled using this methodology: Heat one will be made up of cars with qualifying positions of one, five, nine, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37.

 

    ●  The top-five finishers (20 total cars) from each heat race automatically advance to the Busch Light Clash, with the winner of heat one winning the pole and the winner of heat two earning the outside pole.

 

    ●  The winners of heats three and four will fill out the second row, with the remaining order being determined in the same manner.

 

    ●  The remaining finishing positions from each heat that did not advance will continue to one of two 50-lap Last Chance Qualifying (LCQ) races. Below is a breakdown on how the LCQ will be filled out:

 

    ●  The starting order for these two events will be determined based on finishing positions in the heat races.

 

    ●  Those who did not advance from heats one and three will make up the first LCQ race. The second race will be made up of those from heats two and four.

 

    ●  The sixth-place finishers from heats one and two will be on the pole in their respective LCQ races. The sixth-place finishers from heats three and four will be on the outside pole.

 

    ●  This pattern will continue to fill out the remaining cars in each LCQ.

 

    ●  The top-three finishers (six total cars) from both LCQ races will advance to the Busch Light Clash, filling out positions 21-26 of the 27 available positions.

 

    ●  The final spot in the Busch Light Clash will be reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2022 points standings who does not transfer on finishing position in their heat race or in their LCQ race.

 

    ●  All other drivers will be eliminated from competition for the remainder of the event weekend. 

 

Ryan Preece, Driver of the No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang 

 

You won the second LCQ race last year to advance to the Busch Light Clash. Talk about that LCQ race and how frantic the final laps were, and how your poise earned you the win, even after crossing the stripe in second place. (Ty Dillon was originally declared the winner, but NASCAR determined he jumped the final restart. He was disqualified. Preece, who had finished second to Dillon, was awarded the win and the final transfer spot to the Clash.)

“Going there with Rick Ware Racing and having to race our way in, we knew it was going to be tough. It was a level playing field for the most part just because not many people had been testing with the NextGen car, so it was all still pretty new. I felt like we had a pretty decent car right away and we just kind of tuned on it and we were able to make it into the big show. That was huge for that team, and I come from quarter-miles, so it was nice to be a part of it and get some experience.”

 

Which was tougher – advancing to the Clash via the LCQ or just getting your car ready to compete at the L.A. Coliseum. Rumor has it you built your own NextGen car to race at the Clash. Is that true?

“I didn’t completely build it, but I did help at times, and after the B-main (LCQ), I had to get in there and do a little bit of work just because we were short-handed. It’s always nice to get your hands dirty and be a part of the process, but at this level, there are so many smart people, and people who are seasoned and knowledgeable, so it’s nice to be at SHR and have the opportunity to lean on my teammates.”

 

You’re a bit old school in that you’ve always worked on your own racecars. Talk about growing up with that mentality and how it has helped you get back to the NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing.

“The one takeaway you really have from being old school and working on your own racecars is that it teaches you the will to win. It teaches you to be a fighter. It teaches you how to make things possible. Racing, as much as it is a competitive sport and it’s about winning, there are so many life lessons that come along with it. I’m proud of my grassroots, weekly racing background and from where I come from. It’s rewarding to be back and have this opportunity.”

 

When it comes to the primary partner on your racecar, United Rentals, you’re pretty hands on with them too. You know your way around all the equipment they provide. Is it a badge of honor to be able to jump on a scissor lift or a forklift, or to grab a generator or an air compressor and just know what you need to do with them? 

“My father, he owns an HVAC company, and you’re using forklifts or scissor lifts, really all of United Rentals’ equipment all the time. It’s really a natural fit for me. When some guests from United Rentals show up and I get to talk to them, I can have a genuine conversation with them, even if it’s not about their equipment or what they’re doing. Those are the types of people and partners that I really enjoy working with. Getting to meet all of the different contractors that they bring and hearing their stories.”

 

For a guy who is used to working on his own stuff and making parts and pieces for his racecars, is there any better place to be than at a race team that’s co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart and Haas Automation founder Gene Haas?

“I’m really excited about this because Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, they’re both innovators. They’re racers. Tony’s a racecar driver and just look at everything Gene Haas has built, this empire he has created with Haas Automation. It’s a great opportunity that I have to race for this team and this organization and, hopefully, we’ve done a good job preparing and we can go out and have an extremely successful year.”

 

In regard to the actual racing at the Coliseum, how did reality line up with your expectations, and what are your expectations for this year’s Clash?

“We surpassed our expectations at The Clash last year. For every race, my expectation is to show up and try to win, but just making that race was a big deal for me and for that team. I felt like we could’ve had a top-10 effort but, unfortunately, we had a brake failure. As far as our goals and what we have set for this year, I know what my goal is and that’s to win. I feel really strongly about the relationship that I have with Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and what we’re capable of doing together.”

 

-SHR-

Friday, November 4, 2022

Phoenix NASCAR Betting Preview: 2022 Season Finale

 


NASCAR Cup Series Championship Picks, Predictions, Odds

After Sunday’s Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway, a champion for the 2022 season will be crowned. Four drivers are eligible to win the championship, but for the first time in 10 years, we may have a different race winner from the season winner. 

The reason?

All cars are now equal with 670 horsepower. No Championship 4 cheats with extra horsepower as we’ve had the last nine seasons. The scales aren’t tilted now, but I don’t think the sportsbooks know this as the odds to win odds are super heavy on the Championship 4 drivers obviously due to past history.

The NextGen car is an equal opportunity monster that had 19 different winners on the season and Martin Truex Jr and Ryan Blaney weren’t one of them. Those two outsiders should be bet as if they can win this week.

CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING RESOURCES

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2022
Venue: Phoenix Raceway
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Distance: 312 miles
Laps: 312
Network-Time: NBC - 3:00 p.m. ET
Defending Champion: Kyle Larson

CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP PICKS & PREDICTIONS

Here’s a look at what I’m thinking for Sunday’s Phoenix race with odds order courtesy of BetMGM sportsbooks:

CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS 

Chase Elliott (5/2) - The 2020 Cup Champion, won by him at Phoenix, is the favorite to win because of his savviness, and his calm, cool, and collected nature. For his resume, I would state he led the series with five wins this season and none were on any of the six road course tracks. The NextGen car was tough to figure out, but they did it best with the most wins. My only problem is that I’m charting an 11th at Phoenix in March, 14th at Richmond in April, runner-up at New Hampshire, and fifth at the fall race at Richmond. Consistent and good but not great as he’s been at other types of tracks. 

Chase Elliott will likely close as the betting favorite for Sunday's race. (Getty)

Christopher Bell (7/2) - He’s the hard-charging Toyota that showed off his skills again last week at Martinsville, but I think most important is his win at New Hampshire in July. Phoenix-Richmond-New Hampshire, that’s the drill for this week and every week at those tracks forever. He won an Xfinity Series race at Phoenix in 2018. And now he can be a Cup Champion. Bizarre, so fast, so young, and we’ve got two of them racing for the title.

“What a dream come true to be racing in the Final 4,” Bell said. “I’m so honored to be in this position and hope to bring home another championship to JGR.” 

Joey Logano (4/1) - The 2018 Cup Champion is a two-time winner at Phoenix with seven top-fives and 721 laps led. This is a great track for him. He was eighth in the March Phoenix race, one of the early races using the NextGen car. The last comparable track most recently raced at was Richmond in August and he finished sixth after leading a race-high 222 laps. 

Ross Chastain (4/1) - Is this his time? A NASCAR Cup Championship? In his first season racing for Trackhouse Racing? Chastain the champion? He was runner-up in the spring race at Phoenix. I think before we bet him to win we have to ask ourselves if all his scores are settled. He’s drawn the ire of at least 10 drivers for his over-aggressive driving. He’s dialed it down and hasn’t won since Talladega in April, but he’s quite aware of the damage done. The question is whether a driver is willing to exact revenge during the championship race. Who would have the nerve to do this? But at the same time, it’s the best time because his actions caused the problem so why let him win the title? If you don’t do anything as a driver who has been harmed by his aggression, you’re allowing it to happen again by not doing anything. He needs to drive with more respect, but man I love the way he rolls.  

Kyle Larson (12/1) - He won this race last season and I feel like he’s more comfortable with the NextGen car than ever right now in race No. 36. He has a 12.4 average finish in 16 starts with six top-fives and 181 laps led.

Denny Hamlin (16/1) - He is the last driver to win a Season Finale that didn’t win a season title with it. That was at Homestead in 2013. This is a track that fits him well – two wins, 16 top-fives, and 854 laps led. It’s in line with him having lots of success at Richmond and New Hampshire. The NextGen car didn’t allow him to crush the smaller tracks as he usually has done throughout his career. Sure he’d love to win his first season title and time is running out, but he has three Daytona 500 wins, and Cup Champions Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart both never won NASCAR’s biggest race.    

“We’re obviously disappointed to not have a shot at the championship, but we have a lot to be proud of,” Hamlin said. “It’s been a crazy season for us with a lot of things being thrown at us and I feel like we fought through a lot. We did all that we could last weekend to give ourselves a shot and just missed out by a few points. We still have a lot to race for this weekend. We’re fifth right now in the drivers’ and owners’ points, so we want to hold on to that. With Christopher (Bell) in the Championship 4, we want to do what we can to help him and the 20 team, so it’s definitely still an important weekend for us and JGR as a whole to finish off strong.”

Kevin Harvick (18/1) - There is no one better at Phoenix Raceway’s 1-mile layout ever. That’s all-time. He is a walking statue at Phoenix Raceway, the place he visited often in his early years of racing. In 39 Cup starts at Phoenix, he leads all drivers with an 8.7 average finish, nine wins, 18 top-fives, and 1,663 laps led. He won his 2014 Cup Championship by winning the Finale at Homestead. What does winning a championship say about you, Mr. Harvick?

“I think it says a lot about our team,” Harvick said. “For me, leaving RCR and coming to SHR was a huge risk, and breaking out of my comfort zone and being open-minded to new people and new cars and new things is something I’ve always looked back on and said, ‘That’s why that change was good.’ Don’t ever give up on the evolution and the change of what you need to do to progress with the sport because our sport has an incredible progression rate, as far as how the car progresses, how the rules progress, how the tires progress, how the team progresses, how your driving style progresses – it’s kind of evolve or die, and I think that’s important to remember.”

Ryan Blaney (18/1) - He is the beneficiary of no extra horsepower given to the Championship 4 drivers. He had the best car in the spring race leading a race-high 143 laps and finishing fourth. Four top-fives in 13 Cup starts with 320 laps led. He’s good here. The last two seasons of Season Finale’s at Phoenix have seen Championship 4 drivers 1-2-3-4 in 2020 and last season they were all top-fives with Blaney crashing the party in fourth-place and leading 33 laps with less car. All equal now and Blaney has a list of names all in this race he owes a shove or punt to. There were 19 different drivers to win a race this season and Blaney wasn’t one of them. Blaney was passive, and let terms be dictated to him without retaliation. He’s built this up all season and now it's his time to do the dictating. Crash this Championship party like no one has done in 10 years. The best price I’ve seen on him to win is 20-to-1 at William Hill sportsbooks. Blaney’s revenge, let’s go!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

All eyes on Phoenix Raceway for Championship Weekend

The anticipation and intensity that has been building over the last 35 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season will culminate this Sunday (Nov. 6) in the Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Four drivers have earned their way into the series’ Championship 4 Round. Two are former Cup champions – Joey Logano (2018) and Chase Elliott (2020) – and the other two – Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain - are hoping to etch their name on the NASCAR Cup Series champions list for the first time.

It was announced in March of 2019 that the NASCAR Cup Series would be moving its Playoffs’ Championship Race from Homestead-Miami Speedway, where it had resided since the inception of the Playoffs in 2004, to Phoenix Raceway for the first time in 2020. Prior to the 2020 season, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs season finale for 16 seasons (from 2004-2019). Phoenix Raceway is just the second track to host the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race in the Playoffs.

2022 marks just the third year the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race will be held at Phoenix Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona (2020-2021). Since the inception of the Playoffs in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2004, Phoenix Raceway has occupied three different positions on the postseason schedule. In 2004, Phoenix Raceway hosted the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – the event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. Then from 2005 – 2019 (15 seasons), Phoenix Raceway has hosted the penultimate race (ninth) in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

A total of 11 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Phoenix Raceway. Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff race wins at Phoenix Raceway with four victories (2006, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Since hosting the series’ Championship Race, the winner of the race has also won the NASCAR Cup Series title - Chase Elliott won at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 8, 2020 and Kyle Larson won at Phoenix on Nov. 7, 2021.


NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Race No.

Phoenix

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, November 7, 2004

34

Phoenix

Kyle Busch

Sunday, November 13, 2005

35

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 12, 2006

35

Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 11, 2007

35

Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 9, 2008

35

Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 15, 2009

35

Phoenix

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 14, 2010

35

Phoenix

Kasey Kahne

Sunday, November 13, 2011

35

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 11, 2012

35

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 10, 2013

35

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 9, 2014

35

Phoenix

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, November 15, 2015

35

Phoenix

Joey Logano

Sunday, November 13, 2016

35

Phoenix

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, November 12, 2017

35

Phoenix

Kyle Busch

Sunday, November 11, 2018

35

Phoenix

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 10, 2019

35

Phoenix

Chase Elliott

Sunday, November 8, 2020

36

Phoenix

Kyle Larson

Sunday, November 7, 2021

36

 

Four non-Playoff drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway:

 

  • In 2005, Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was ranked 19th in the point standings at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2011, Kasey Kahne won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was ranked 14th in the point standings at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2015, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was seventh in the point standings at the time of the win. Earnhardt Jr. had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

  • In 2017, Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was seventh in points at the time of the win. Kenseth had made the Playoffs in 2017 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway by a driver that went on to win the title that same season was 38th by Jimmie Johnson in 2016. Phoenix occupied the penultimate event of the season in 2016.

In total, Phoenix Raceway has hosted 52 NASCAR Cup Series races producing 26 different pole winners and 28 different race winners. The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway was held on November 6, 1988 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Alan Kulwicki.

Ryan Newman (2002, 2003, 2004, 2008) and Kyle Busch (2006, 2012, 2016, 2019) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Phoenix Raceway with four each. Of the 26 NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway pole winners, 10 are active this weekend.

 

Active Phoenix Pole Winners

Poles

Seasons

Kyle Busch

4

2006, 2012, 2016, 2019

Ryan Blaney

3

2017, 2019, 2022

Kevin Harvick

2

2015, 2018

Martin Truex Jr

2

2009, 2018

Denny Hamlin

2

2005, 2014

Kyle Larson

1

2021

Chase Elliott

1

2020

Joey Logano

1

2017

Alex Bowman

1

2016

Brad Keselowski

1

2014

 

A total of 28 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Phoenix Raceway, and 13 of the 28 have won multiple times at 1-mile track. Eight of the 28 NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway winners are active this weekend, and two of the eight are Championship 4 contenders – Joey Logano and Chase Elliott. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Phoenix Raceway with nine victories.

 

Active Phoenix Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Kevin Harvick

9

2018, 2016, 2015, 2014 sweep, 2013, 2012, 2007 sweep

Kyle Busch

3

2019, 2018, 2005

Joey Logano

2

2020, 2016

Denny Hamlin

2

2019, 2012

Chase Briscoe

1

2022

Kyle Larson

1

2021

Martin Truex Jr

1

2021

Chase Elliott

1

2020

 

All the NASCAR Cup Series on-track activity will start with practice on Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET, and the Busch Light Pole Qualifying will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. ET and both can be viewed on the USA Network.

 

A deep dive into the NASCAR Cup Series season finale

When it comes time to win or go home, there is no bigger stage in NASCAR than the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Championship Race. Below is a look at the performances in the season finale during the Playoff Era (2004-2021).

A total of 13 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race during the Playoff Era (2004-2021). Greg Biffle leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Championship Race wins with three victories (2004, 2005, 2006 – all at Homestead-Miami Speedway). Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) lead all active drivers in NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race wins with two each.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Homestead

Greg Biffle

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Homestead

Greg Biffle

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Homestead

Greg Biffle

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Homestead

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Homestead

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Homestead

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Homestead

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homestead

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Homestead

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homestead

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Homestead

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homestead

Kyle Busch

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Homestead

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Homestead

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Homestead

Joey Logano

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Homestead

Kyle Busch

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Phoenix

Chase Elliott

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Phoenix

Kyle Larson

Sunday, November 7, 2021

 

Since the inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2004, the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series season finale race has won the championship nine times, including the last eight consecutive: 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

 

o   In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the 15th starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and as a result secured his third-career NASCAR Cup Series championship in the closest points battle in series history – tied with Carl Edwards – Stewart won the title by virtue of the tiebreaker: most wins.

 

o   In 2014, Kevin Harvick won from the fifth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the first year of the elimination-style format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, as a result he won his first series title.

 

o   In 2015, Kyle Busch won from the third starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the second year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, as a result he won his first series championship.

  

o   In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the 14th starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the third year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he tied NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the series-most championships with seven each.

 

o   In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won from the second starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fourth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.

 

o   In 2018, Joey Logano won from the fifth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fifth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.

 

o   In 2019, Kyle Busch won from the fourth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the sixth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he became just the second active driver at the time with multiple titles (20115, 2019) joining seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

  

o   In 2020, Chase Elliott won from the first starting position at Phoenix Raceway in the seventh year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship. Worth noting, Elliott was served a pre-race penalty and as a result of serving the penalty he actually started the race from back of the field and still won.

 

o   In 2021, Kyle Larson won from the pole position at Phoenix Raceway in the eighth year of the elimination-style format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.

 

The worst finish in a championship race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway was 15th (three times): Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.

 Two non-Playoff drivers have won the Homestead-Miami Speedway season finale Playoff race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).