The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to South Florida for the Ford EcoBoost 400 in the highly anticipated championship finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
At 55-feet wide, the 1.5-mile asphalt oval features an even 1,760-foot backstretch and frontstretch with 18-20 degrees of variable banking in each turn. The progressive banking and grip-filled asphalt surface will make navigating various grooves and controlling tire wear a constant challenge for drivers.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart won the inaugural Monster Energy Series race at the track on Nov. 14, 1999. Homestead-Miami Speedway has hosted the season finale since every year since 2002.
Cars at Homestead-Miami will run a 550 horsepower tapered-spacer engine and be equipped with aero ducts. After the race at Atlanta, the original 2019 rules package was updated to include aero ducts at Pocono, Darlington and for the championship in Miami.
Teams will have three sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway radials for practice, one set for qualifying and 12 sets for the 400-mile race (11 race sets plus one transferred from practice or qualifying). With 12 sets of race tires, tire management will be extremely important to teams throughout the entire race. Maintaining track position while managing increased tire fall-off will most likely make pit stops a vital factor in deciding this year’s champion. Race fans should expect to see four tire stops all day.
“Homestead is one of the highest tire wear tracks that we have on the NASCAR circuit,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “We have a new tire set-up for Homestead, and it is the same one we ran at both Chicagoland and Darlington earlier this season. The compounds we will be running provide plenty of grip, but also offer the endurance needed on Homestead’s track surface. These high wear tracks put on some of our best races, and the past several years at Homestead have proven that.”
– Denny Hamlin is the only driver to make the playoffs more than 10 times and not win a Cup Championship.
– Martin Truex Jr. won at Martinsville and made it to the Championship 4 for the fourth time in the last five years. In two of the last three years, the Martinsville winner has gone on to secure the series title.
– Each driver in the Championship 4 has won a race at Homestead-Miami. Hamlin is the only driver with multiple wins at the track.
– Kevin Harvick has won at least one playoff race each of the last eight seasons — the longest active streak. Jimmie Johnson holds the all-time record, winning in 13 consecutive. Harvick’s last win at Homestead came in his 2014 championship-winning season.
– Joe Gibbs Racing is the only organization in series history to have three drivers in the Championship 4. JGR drivers have won five of the nine playoff races this season (Truex Jr.-3, Hamlin-2).
– The last five champions have also won the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Harvick-2014, Kyle Busch-2015, Johnson-2016, Truex Jr.-2017 and Joey Logano-2018).
Source: Racing Insights
Catch the 2019 Monster Energy Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway live Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBC and the NBC Sports App. Listen in to live radio coverage provided by MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Also, follow along on NASCAR.com for live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the live leaderboard, Drive (featuring in-car cameras) and RaceView (subscription: in-car audio, stats, more). Be sure to set your lineup in Fantasy Live and make your picks in the Props Challenge.
2018 RACE WINNER
Joey Logano outpaced the field at Homestead last season, leading the most laps (80) and securing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title for the first time in his career.
ACTIVE HOMESTEAD-MIAMI WINNERS
Denny Hamlin (two); Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick (one each).