First off I would like to thank all of you loyal readers for sticking with us this year. I know there were times when the DGG had some glitches and we had to work through them and we are all looking forward to next season and having a smoother time with the game. Thanks also for the kind words you have passed along to me about my article. Hopefully I helped most of you out in at least a small way and made your season a little more enjoyable.
FORD ECOBOOST 400
The field is set for the 2019 championship race and we will not have a repeat champion this year as Joey Logano was eliminated by the win by Denny Hamlin at Phoenix last week. Kyle Busch took the last spot on points and Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick had already won races in this round to secure the other two spots.
This week the series heads to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for championship weekend culminating in the running of the Ford EcoBoost 400. This is another of the mile and a half tracks that make up the majority of the NASCAR schedule. This track also has progressive banking which makes it more like Las Vegas Motor Speedway than most of the other intermediate tracks, but that really doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference to the drivers.
Kevin Harvick: I am going to pick Kevin to win this race and the second championship of his career. He has finished in the top four here in each of his last five starts including winning this race in 2014 in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing. He has really run well towards the end of the year and his win at Texas a couple of weeks ago should give him some confidence heading into this weekend.
Martin Truex Jr.: It won’t be a walk in the park for Harvick because Martin has run well at the end of the season also. He won three races during the playoffs and has been strong on the intermediate tracks for the past three seasons. He finished first and second in his last two starts here and I think he is going to give Harvick a real battle. Pit crews might decide this championship.
Kyle Busch: With four straight top six finishes here including a win at the end of the 2015 season to win his first championship, Kyle can’t be counted out. The only thing that concerns me a little bit is that this team hasn’t performed well in the second half of the season, so they really need to come with their A game if they want to compete for the win this weekend.
Denny Hamlin: Denny has won here twice, the last coming in 2013. He sat on the pole for this race the last two seasons and that is huge because you get to pick the best pit stall and that can win you a championship on a late race caution when everyone pits. You can get out first and track position on a restart could decide the champion too.
Joey Logano: Joey might be out of contention, but he won this race last year and has finished in the top six in each of his last four starts here. I’m sure he is a bit disappointed that he won’t be able to defend his championship, but he can still go back to back races here with wins. This team will do whatever it takes to win another race and set themselves up for a nice off-season.
Chase Elliott: Chase has only run three races at this track and hasn’t finished worse than eleventh. Now that the pressure is off this team until next year they can relax and have fun this weekend and that might be what Chase needs to get back to running like he did before the start of the playoffs. He’s young and will use this season to learn as he heads into next season.
Kyle Larson: For most of the season this team ran into some bad luck, but then they started to turn that around and they have been running well for a while now. Kyle has only run six races at this track and has three top five finishes to show. He has also won three of the last four stages at this track, so he should come with a great car once again this weekend.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has finished in the top seven in six of his last seven starts here. This team struggled once they got to the playoffs, but this is the last race of the season and every driver wants to win it so it makes the off-season seem shorter and they really have something to look forward to next year. Look for Brad to compete this weekend or do something drastic with strategy to try and get that win.
Aric Almirola: Aric has run really well on this type of track all season and should have another good car once again this weekend. He finished in the top ten in this race last year in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing and could very easily improve on that ninth place finish from last year.
Clint Bowyer: Clint has finished in the top ten here in five of his last eight starts. This team hasn’t been as consistent as I thought they might be this year and that will be their next challenge. Next year I look for them to have better communication between all of the crew members and start running more consistently. This week could be a step in that direction.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game Group B
- Aric Almirola
- Clint Bowyer
- william Byron
- Alex Bowman
Driver Group Game Group C
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Chris Buescher
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Denny Hamlin
- Joey Logano
- Kyle Busch
Dark Horse: Kyle Larson
Stay Away From: Daniel Suarez
Big 18: Kevin Harvick