NASCAR Finale – Blake Smith’s Pick for the Cup!
No, it is not Hank Williams, Jr. pictured with Blake. You” have to wait to see who Blake picks as the winner after his preview of the season finale:
Season Finale Preview: Ford EcoBoost 400
After a controversial finish to last week’s Advocare 500K in Phoenix, only 2 drivers remain mathematically in contention for the 2012 Championship. Going into this weekend’s race at Homestead, Brad Keselowski leads the 5-time champion, Jimmie Johnson by 20 points. Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer, who find themselves in 3rd and 4th in point standings, are 50+ points back from the leader.
According to NASCAR, since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin) and last season Tony Stewart (made up three points on Carl Edwards).
In 4 races at the southern Florida track, Brad Keselowski has a 20.4 place finishing average with an average running position of 21.3. Jimmie Johnson, who has raced 11 times at the track, averages a finishing position of 13.5 with a running position of 14.2. Both teams have had extremely impressive mile and a half programs throughout the 2012 season.
Brad Keselowski and crew chief, Paul Wolfe will be bringing Chassis # PRS-830, which Keselowski drove to an 11th place finish last month in Charlotte. The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge this weekend at Homestead is “In It 2 Win It.” With only Sunday’s race remaining, Keselowski must finish 15th , 16th with one lap led or 17th with the most laps led to win the first Sprint Cup Championship for Roger Penske and the Miller Lite brand. If Keselowski wins the championship, this will be the first championship for Dodge since 1975.
Chad Knaus and company will bring Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #728 for this weekend’s race. This chassis last ran at Kansas where Johnson finished 9th. This chassis has also been used at both Dover races, Chicago and the Brickyard 400. In the case of an accident during the weekend where the team would need to bring out the backup car, the backup is Chassis #720 which has 2 race wins during the 2012 season.
Hendrick Motorsports has yet to win a Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I think that will change after Sunday.
My pick for this week’s race is the #48 of Jimmie Johnson. Even though my pick for the race is the 48, my pick to win the championship is Brad Keselowski. Look for the #2 team to run a safe race and finish in the top 10 on Sunday.
Coverage for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 begins at 1PM on WBKR and WBKR.com. For a complete wrap-up of this weekend’s race, tune into NASCAR Live with Eli Gold on Tuesday at 6pm. Our next NASCAR preview will be for the Championship Awards Banquet on November 30th. Happy Thanksgiving!