Race: FORD ECOBOOST 400 Predictions to Win
Date: Sunday November 20, 2016
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Time: 2:30 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
Drum roll, please! We are entering the final race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and it’s going to be one for the record books! The final spots were gained after a crazy finish at Phoenix last weekend, leaving Joey Logano the winner of the race. Honestly, for those Matt Kenseth fans out there, cover your eyes and ears. Logano winning this race is NAS-karma at its finest. I don’t understand everyone’s issues with the Penske drivers, but Kenseth taking out Logano last year when he wasn’t even a championship contender and Logano had it in the bag was complete crap. Yes, I said crap. That was one of the most ridiculous moves by a driver that I’ve seen in a very long time. The fact that NASCAR allowed Kenseth to get away with a slap on the wrist was crap too. Regardless, the beauty is that Kenseth managed to get himself wrecked at the end, while Logano charged to victory lane, securing his berth for the Championship race at Homestead. Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five at Phoenix.
Kevin Harvick needed to win in order to move on, but he just didn’t have the car handling right throughout the majority of the race. Truthfully, I was impressed with his top 5 run with the way that his car ran. Kyle Busch fought a hard battle and earned the last spot for the 4 drivers that will battle it out at Homestead. The interesting part to this race is that it’s literally whoever bests everyone else to take home the trophy. These guys are all going in under a clean slate with the same amount of points. There is no bonus for leading a lap or leading the most laps. It’s truly a free for all in some respects. Again, the drivers and teams will have to contend with risk versus reward when it comes to decisions. The ultimate goal is always to win the race, but there’s a fine line of contention with winning and simply staying ahead of the remaining 3 guys you’re battling with. That being said, we’re safe to assume that there will be some pretty heavy racing at the front of the pack. The goal for Sunday is to stay out of trouble but race to the front and stay there.
Homestead is a pretty cool track. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend trying to make this race at least once. The weather is pretty awesome down there this time of the year as well (plus the tourists are gone!). This place is a relatively cookie-cutter intermediate speedway. The oval comes in at 1.5-miles with progressive banking through the turns varying from 18-20 degrees. The straights are fairly flat with only 3 degrees of banking. Track position is everything here. I find it amusing because there are a lot of other reviewers who counter that theory. While, it’s possible to pass and move to the front based on strategy, it’s also a track where getting out front means you pull away from the field. It’s hard to catch the leaders at times as they can gain multiple seconds worth of a lead from the second place car. There’s a lot of racing surface throughout the entire track, so we often see drivers 3 wide and regularly see them 2 wide for the entirety of the race.
When we consider winners coming into Homestead, it’s a very hard thing to do. We have four outstanding drivers competing for the championship. I truly believe that anyone in this championship round is capable of winning. Logano has the power with the Penske setups. Edwards is very good on intermediates and actually has a strong record at Homestead. Jimmie Johnson, well, he’s Jimmie Johnson. Kyle Bush is aggressive enough yet smart enough to pull a win out of anywhere. Overall, I really think that Johnson will pull out the championship. He is going for 7 championships. This is where history will be made and he will be joining the ranks of Richard Petty. He’s too smart of a driver and too motivated for this championship to mess up this weekend. Overall, the Hendrick garage has successfully gained some momentum throughout the last part of this season, with Johnson leading an enormous amount of laps on the intermediate tracks in the Chase, not to mention his win at Charlotte. Let’s take a look at your potential winners for this final race of the 2016 season:
V’s Picks to Win the EcoBoost 400
Pick to Win: Jimmie Johnson
Middle of the Road Pick: Austin Dillon
Dark Horse Prediction: Alex Bowman. Bet your pick to win the Ford EcoBoost 400 using your credit card at the most trusted betting site on the net: Bovada Sportsbook. They’ll give you an additional 50% on top of your deposit up to $250 FREE!
Bowman surprised everyone with how well he ran at Phoenix. He led a ton of laps and stayed in contention for the majority of the race. This kid has gained so much experience this year and has proven that he’s going to be one to watch in the years to come. While many questioned putting such a green driver in the car, I think it’s clear that there was a method to the madness. This weekend, he should easily come away with another solid finish. Austin Dillon is another one to watch. He’s definitely a dependable pick for the intermediate tracks and has fared well with the exception of the bad luck. Looking at his runs at tracks like Texas, this is another driver to have in your back pocket for Sunday’s race.
Here are your current top 4 after last week’s race:
1. Joey Logano
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Carl Edwards
4. Kyle Busch
Remember, this race is a free for all. There is nothing that will benefit these guys more than a win, well, other than the other three drivers wrecking out. Stranger things have happened. I think that we are going to see some pretty aggressive driving as these guys will march to the front of the pack and try to stay out there. They will also have to contend with lap cars and the other 36 drivers simply trying to finish out the season strong. Stay tuned for an awesome afternoon of racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the 2016 Champion will finally be crowned! Another great place to bet on NASCAR races is MyBookie. They too will give you an additional 50% on top of your first deposit!
Ford EcoBoost 400 Betting Odds (Driver to Win)
|Martin Truex Jr.||12/5|
|Field (Any Other Driver)||4/1|