ThatsRacin

NASCAR Ford EcoBoost 400 preview in 3 minutes

Jeff Gordon signs autographs for fans during Saturday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The highest finisher among the four Chase finalists - Kyle Busch, Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. - wins this season’s Cup championship.
Jeff Gordon signs autographs for fans during Saturday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The highest finisher among the four Chase finalists - Kyle Busch, Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. - wins this season’s Cup championship. Getty Images

Everything you need to know about Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in three minutes:

Three things to watch

1. The highest finisher among the four Chase finalists – Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. – wins this season’s championship.

2. As it has for much of the Chase, the weather might be a factor Sunday. There’s an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday everything possible will be done to ensure the race is finished Sunday. Last week’s race at Phoenix was delayed by seven hours, then was shortened by rain. The Martinsville race three weeks ago was barely squeezed in during a rainy afternoon. And the Charlotte race was postponed a day due to rain.

3. Although many people have said that the Chase champion will likely have to win the race to earn the title, the past two races have been won by non-Chase drivers – Jimmie Johnson at Texas and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Phoenix.

Observations

▪  The four Chase drivers spent much of the week saying how much they respect each other. We’ll see if that respect carries over to the track if the race – and the championship – is on the line for any of them.

▪  Six non-Chase drivers have won at Homestead: Greg Biffle (three), Tony Stewart (three), Carl Edwards (two), Denny Hamlin (two), Kurt Busch (one) and Matt Kenseth (one).

▪  Chevrolet has already clinched the manufacturers’ championship, winning it last week at Phoenix.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Kevin Harvick: Came to Homestead in 2014 and won the race and the championship. Is in position to duplicate that.

Jeff Gordon: Has been able to spend last two weeks (since winning at Martinsville) getting his No. 24 Chevy ready for Sunday’s race.

Joey Logano: Fastest in practice Saturday, would love nothing more than to win and let the four Chase drivers sort themselves out behind him.

He said it

“If you think about what one individual has meant to so many, and for him to go out, I would say it would be the most important one we’ve ever won.” – Team owner Rick Hendrick on the the significance of a potential Gordon championship.

N@SCAR

Getting there

Race facts

Ford EcoBoost 400

Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.

Track type: 1.5-mile paved oval.

Race distance: 400.5 miles, or 267 laps.

Green flag: 3:15 p.m.

Weather: High of 80; 80 percent chance of thunderstorms.

TV: NBC.

Radio: Motor Racing Network.

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