News & Media


Homestead scenarios: How championships will be won

November 17, 2011, Mark Aumann, NASCAR.com

There may be no guarantees in life, but there are a couple of exceptions in the battle for the Sprint Cup championship in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Chase conclusion


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If Carl Edwards wins the race, he wins the championship outright. If Tony Stewart wins the race -- even if Edwards finishes second -- he wins the championship, because he holds the tiebreaker, which is number of wins.

Actually, it couldn't be any simpler for Edwards. Because he holds a three-point lead heading into the season's final race, if he finishes in front of Stewart, he wins his first Cup title.

For Stewart, it's a little more complicated. Remember Multiplication Rock, where "three is a magic number?"

Stewart needs to make up three points on Edwards in some form or fashion. If neither one leads a lap or they both do, Stewart has to finish three or more positions ahead of Edwards to become the 2011 champion.

If Edwards leads a lap and Stewart doesn't, the differential is four positions. If Edwards leads the most laps and Stewart fails to get the lap-leader bonus, it's five.

• If Edwards finishes ahead of Stewart, Edwards win the championship.
• If Stewart wins the race, he wins the championship.
• If Stewart ties Edwards, Stewart wins the championship.
• If Edwards leads a lap, Stewart needs to finish four spots ahead of him if Stewart doesn't lead a lap.
• If Edwards leads the most laps, Stewart needs to finish five spots ahead of him if Stewart doesn't lead a lap.
• If Stewart leads a lap, he needs to finish two spots ahead of Edwards if Edwards doesn't lead a lap.
• If Stewart leads the most laps, he needs to finish one spot ahead of Edwards if Edwards doesn't lead a lap.
• If both Stewart and Edwards lead a lap, Stewart needs to finish three spots ahead of Edwards.
• If both Stewart and Edwards lead the most laps, Stewart needs to finish three spots ahead of Edwards.
• If Stewart leads the most laps and Edwards leads a lap, Stewart needs to finish two spots ahead of Edwards.
• If neither Edwards or Stewart lead a lap, Stewart must finish three spots ahead of Edwards.

On the other hand, if Stewart leads and Edwards doesn't, Stewart needs to finish two or more spots ahead. And if Stewart leads the most laps and Edwards never gets to the front all race, the only thing Stewart has to do is finish in front of the No. 99 and he takes the trophy.

Nationwide Series

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will clinch the Nationwide Series championship with a finish of 37th or better at Homestead; or 38th or better with at least one lap led; or 39th or better with most laps led.

Only one point separates the points leading No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the owners' standings.

Only one finish guarantees the No. 18 a championship -- a victory in Saturday's Ford 300.

Both teams have eight wins on the season, but the No. 60 has nine second-place finishes (the No. 18 has five) -- giving the No. 60 the tie-breaker.

The No. 60 would win the owners' title by gaining one or more points on the No. 18 on Saturday.

Camping World Truck Series

Austin Dillon owns a 20-point lead over Johnny Sauter heading into the Camping World Truck Series finale. James Buescher also remains in title contention, 28 points behind Dillon. Ron Hornaday Jr., 48 points behind Dillon, will be eliminated as soon as Dillon starts at Homestead.

Dillon guarantees himself his first championship by finishing 16th or better in Friday night's Ford 200; or 17th or better with at least one lap led; or 18th or better with the most laps led.

Kevin Harvick Inc.'s No. 2 Chevrolet clinched the 2011 owners' championship last week at Texas Motor Speedway. It was KHI's third owners' title.