Thursday, November 14, 2013

Homestead-Miami Preview: 2013 Ford EcoBoost 400

Jimmie Johnson using his winning Texas chassis this week at Miami
Jimmie Johnson will find himself in another familiar position at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday of not having to race hard while nursing his point lead. He's never won at Homestead over his career because in past situations there, he's just trying to stay out of trouble. On Sunday, all he has to do is finish 23rd or better and he'll win his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title in eight seasons.

The likelihood of Johnson winning the title is so great that the LVH SuperBook in Las Vegas has taken their championship odds off the board, citing Johnson's lead too large. Last week with only a seven point lead, he was 1-to-5 (Bet $100 to win $20). What would his odds be with a 28-point lead over Matt Kenseth? Maybe 1-to-25?

However, there is small window of hope if rooting for Kenseth or Kevin Harvick who sits third, 34-points back. Johnson's last two races at Homestead didn't go very well, finishing 32nd there in 2011 and 36th last season while battling Brad Keselowski for the Championship. It's unlikely that Johnson will fare as poorly, but it's still something that has to be dangling around in his head.

Winning the Sprint Championship is inevitable, but winning the race is unlikely, just because he'll be in cruise control mode with no intentions of mixing it up with the leaders. He'll play it safe and keep himself in position to always be out of harm’s way.

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