Ford 400 Preview and Pick

Race: Ford 400
Date: Sunday November 22, 2009
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Time: 2:30 pm ET
Channel: ABC

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As we head into the final race of the season, there’s no denying that this has been a great year for some and a wake up call for others. We’ve seen Mark Martin rise to the occasion driving for Hendrick this year, edging oh so close to the championship yet again but just out of reach. We’ve seen Jimmie Johnson drive some amazing cars and show why he is headed towards NASCAR history with 4 championships in a row. We’ve seen scandals in Jeremy Mayfield’s drug stories. We’ve also seen some more team jumping as Truex preps to head to MWR, with Jamie McMurray taking over the head spot at EGR next year.

With only one race left, though, everyone’s eyes are on Hendrick. He’s got the top 3 spots in the points virtually wrapped up pending some major disaster. Jimmie Johnson is going probably going to do something that even the great Jeff Gordon has yet to accomplish by winning 4 consecutive Sprint Cup championships. That ain’t too bad on the resume I guess.

The only thing about this weekend is that there’s a chance that Jimmie may not win the race. Hard to believe, I know. Carl Edwards is the defending champion, but I don’t see him in victory lane this year. Greg Biffle actually has one 3 times here, with teammate Matt Kenseth also having strong runs at this particular track.

Based on how things have gone this year, I’d have to say that I don’t see any of those guys in victory lane. They are strong at this track but have had many hurdles this season in terms of teamwork and equipment. They have not been up to par whatsoever.

My Pick: Jimmie Johnson

I know, I know. That’s the easy way out but why would I give you someone who doesn’t have a shot? With Jimmie’s consistency and his determination to win, I think that he can accomplish his first win at this track in the same year that he creates NASCAR history by winning 4 championships in a row. Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin may be 2 to watch this weekend as they generally run strong on these types of tracks, but I truly think it’s Jimmie’s turn to win.

Here are your current top 12 in the points as of Phoenix:

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Mark Martin
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Kurt Busch
5. Tony Stewart
6. Juan Montoya
7. Greg Biffle
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Ryan Newman
10. Kasey Kahne
11. Carl Edwards
12. Brian Vickers

Johnson has a 108 point lead over second-place Mark Martin. Assuming nothing extremely out there happens this weekend, it’s a safe bet to say that Jimmie will walk away with the trophy. It’s impressive, to say the least, to have 3 of the 4 Hendrick drivers in the top 3 spots in the points. Poor Jr. needs to have a good run this weekend. He’s at a critical point in my opinion in terms of what he’s going to do next in his career.

This weekend is the last race of the season. Brace yourselves for a long 2.5 months of no NASCAR. Hopefully the ball games will be good until then. For now, take a seat and enjoy the season finale as we head into Miami for the last race of the year.