2016 NASCAR Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Race: Ford EcoBoost 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps)
Sunday, Nov. 20 2:30 p.m. ET TV: NBC, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300
Homestead-Miami Speedway Distance: 301 miles (200 laps)
Saturday, Nov. 19 3:30 p.m. ET TV: NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway Distance: 201 miles (134 laps)
Friday, Nov. 11 8 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

MIAMI BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 17: The NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy sits on display during media day for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Credit: 322735Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

The NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy sits on display during media day for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida.

2016 Completed Chase Grid - Championship 4

2016 Completed Chase Grid – Championship 4

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#1 Seed: JOEY LOGANO – Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS

1 – Number of top fives Joey Logano has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway (fourth place, 2015).
2 – Number of times Joey Logano has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Chase format (ties with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch for the most among the Championship 4) – Logano finished fourth in the 2014 Chase standings after finishing 16th in the race.
3 – Number of wins Joey Logano has posted during the 2016 season; including two during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (Michigan International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Phoenix International Raceway).
4 – Joey Logano’s career-best finishing position at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2015).
5 – Number of top-five finishes Joey Logano has posted during the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
7 – Number of top-10 finishes Joey Logano has posted during the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
7.9 – Logano’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase
10.7 – Logano’s average finish during the 2016 season.
15 – Number of top-five finishes Joey Logano has posted this season.
17.7 – Logano’s career average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway (third-best among the Championship 4)
25 – Number of top-10 finishes Joey Logano has posted this season.
72 – Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Joey Logano.
83.5 – Joey Logano’s career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (fourth-best among the Championship 4).
107.1 – Joey Logano’s driver rating during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase.

Anniversary Could Be Truly Golden For Penske
Team Penske owner Roger Penske began 2016 with a grand celebration honoring his 50th anniversary in racing. Now, he looks to end it with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

It would be the culmination of an outstanding year for one of NASCAR’s legendary owners.

His drivers Brad Keselowski (four wins) and Joey Logano (three wins) combined for seven wins and two berths in the Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup. Keselowski was eliminated from the Chase following the Round of 12.

On the IndyCar side, Penske captured the championship with Simon Pagenaud, who – coincidentally – also drives the No. 22.

If Logano can capture the title on Sunday, it would be Penske’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The first came in 2012 with Brad Keselowski and the No. 2.

#2 Seed: JIMMIE JOHNSON – Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS

1 – Number of times Jimmie Johnson has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Chase format.
2 – Number of runner-up finishes Jimmie Johnson has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway; it also is the career best-finish Johnson has posted at HMS (2004 and 2010).
3 – Number of top-five finishes Johnson has posted during the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
4 – Number of wins Jimmie Johnson has posted during the 2016 season; including two during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway).
5 – Number of top-10 finishes Jimmie Johnson has posted during the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
6 – Number of previous NASCAR Sprint Cup titles Jimmie Johnson has won (2006-2010, 2013).
10 – Number of top-five finishes Jimmie Johnson has posted this season.
11.7 – Johnson’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase.
14.1 – Johnson’s career average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway (second-best among the Championship 4)
14.3 – Johnson’s average finish during the 2016 season.
15 – Number of top-10 finishes Jimmie Johnson has posted this season.
96.8 – Jimmie Johnson’s career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (second-best among the Championship 4).
99 – Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Jimmie Johnson.
107.2 – Jimmie Johnson’s driver rating during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase.

#Se7en On The Horizon
As the sun sets at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson hopes to hoist the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy a record seventh time to tie NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. Johnson notched five consecutive titles from 2006-10 and his most recent in 2013.

If Johnson were to win the title this weekend in Miami, 10 seasons after his first championship, it would be the shortest period of time between first and seventh titles out of the three. Petty was crowned champion for the final time in 1979, 15 seasons after his first title (1964); Earnhardt captured his seventh championship in 1994, 14 seasons after his first (1980).

The number seven also marks Johnson’s spot on the all-time Sprint Cup Series wins list; his 79th career victory came at Martinsville this fall and vaulted him into the Championship 4.

#3 Seed: Carl Edwards – Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS

1 – Number of times Carl Edwards has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Chase format.
2 – Number of wins Carl Edwards has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2008 and 2010) – most among the Championship 4
3 – Number of wins Carl Edwards has posted during the 2016 season; including one during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – (Bristol-1, Richmond-1 and Texas-2).
5 – Number of top-five finishes Carl Edwards has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
6 – Number of Coors Light poles Carl Edwards has posted during the 2016 season (series-most).
7 – Number of top-10 finishes Carl Edwards has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
9 – Number of top-five finishes Carl Edwards has posted during the 2016 season.
9.2 – Edwards’ average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway (best among the Championship 4)
13.3 – Edwards’ average finish during the entire 2016 season.
14.9 – Edwards’ average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
18 – Number of top-10 finishes Carl Edwards has posted this season.
93.0 – Carl Edwards’ driver rating during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase.
109.4 – Carl Edwards’ career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (best among the Championship 4).
568 – Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Carl Edwards (leads the series).

Edwards Looking For Redemption In Miami
Carl Edwards heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway attempting to win his first career Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with redemption on his mind.

During the 2011 season, Edwards was denied the title in one of the most exciting season finales in NASCAR history. Edwards finished second in the race to Tony Stewart, but the duo ended the season tied in points. In a heart-breaking tiebreaker, Stewart won the championship after recording the most wins in the season of the two (Edwards had one to Stewart’s five).

And 2016 is a different story – points and tiebreakers don’t matter on Sunday. Edwards just needs to post the highest finish among the Championship 4 drivers to earn his first championship.

Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Racing Get Chance To Repeat
If Carl Edwards wins his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it will be the second-consecutive title for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. JGR captured its fourth Sprint Cup Series crown last season with Kyle Busch, while Toyota captured its first driver championship.

#4 Seed: KYLE BUSCH – Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS

1 – Number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles Kyle Busch has won (2015).
1 – Number of wins Kyle Busch has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway – 2015 (second-most among the Championship 4)
2 – Number of times Kyle Busch has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Chase format (tied with Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano for the most Championship 4 appearances).
2 – Number of top-five finishes Kyle Busch has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
4 – Number of wins Kyle Busch has posted during the 2016 season; none during the Chase (Martinsville-1, Texas-1, Kansas-1 and Indianapolis).
4 – Number of top-10 finishes Kyle Busch has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
7.3 – Busch’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
11.6 – Busch’s average finish during the entire 2016 season.
17 – Number of top-five finishes Kyle Busch has posted during the 2016 season (most among the Championship 4).
21.1 – Busch’s average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway (fourth-best among the Championship 4)
24 – Number of top-10 finishes Kyle Busch has posted this season.
95.5 – Kyle Busch’s career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (third-best among the Championship 4).
103.3 – Kyle Busch’s driver rating during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase.
278 – Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Kyle Busch (second-most among the Championship 4)

Back-to-Back
After winning the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, Kyle Busch is looking to become just the 11th driver in series history to repeat as title holder.

The most recent driver to do so? Busch’s Championship 4 foe Jimmie Johnson, who won five consecutive titles from 2006-10. Busch would join Johnson as the only drivers to go back-to-back since the Chase was implemented in 2004.

Busch would be joining prestigious company:
Jimmie Johnson (2006-10)
Jeff Gordon (1997 & 1998)
Dale Earnhardt (1986 & 1987, 1990 & 1991, 1993 & 1994)
Darrell Waltrip (1981 & 1982)
Cale Yarborough (1976-78)
Richard Petty (1971 & 1972, 1974 & 1975)
David Pearson (1968 & 1969)
Joe Weatherly (1962 & 1963)
Lee Petty (1958 & 1959)
Buck Baker (1956 & 1957)

Calling The Shots
The man atop the pit box for the No. 18 M&M’s Core Toyota, Adam Stevens, is chasing history alongside his driver. Stevens would be the second crew chief since the advent of the Chase in 2004 to win consecutive championships.

The other? His Championship 4 rival down pit road – Chad Knaus with Jimmie Johnson.

Overall in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, only 10 other crew chiefs have helped their driver hoist the championship trophy in back-to-back seasons:

Chad Knaus (Jimmie Johnson, 2006-10)
Ray Evernham (Jeff Gordon, 1997 & 1998)
Andy Petree (Dale Earnhardt, 1993 & 1994)
Kirk Shelmerdine (Dale Earnhardt, 1986 & 1987, 1990 & 1991)
Herb Nab (Cale Yarborough, 1976 & 1977)
Dale Inman (Richard Petty, 1971 & 1972, 1974 & 1975)*
Jake Elder (David Pearson, 1968 & 1969)
Bud Moore (Joe Weatherly, 1962 & 1963)*
Lee Petty (Lee Petty, 1958 & 1959)*
Carl Kiekhafer (Tim Flock, 1955 & Buck Baker, 1956)

Coach Joe Gibbs led the Washington Redskins to Super Bowl titles in 1983, ’88 and ’92. His Joe Gibbs Racing stable has won NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships with Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002, 2005) and Kyle Busch (2015). Toss in a NASCAR XFINITY Series crown in 2009 with Kyle Busch, and you can state a good case that he has had a second hall-of-fame-worthy career.

Coach Gibbs has two cars in the hunt for the title in Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Additionally, JGR drivers Daniel Suárez and Erik Jones are in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship 4 racing Saturday.

My picks to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in order of winning
1. Car 48 Jimmie Johnson Kobalt Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
2. Car 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
3. Car 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford Team Penske
4. Car 19 Carl Edwards Stanley Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing

MIAMI BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/AAA Ford, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Arris Surfboard Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Core Toyota talk to the media during media day for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Credit: 322736Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

(L-R) Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/AAA Ford, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Arris Surfboard Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Core Toyota talk to the media during media day for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida.

NASCAR XFINITY Series

MIAMI BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 17: The NASCAR Xfinity trophy sits on display during media day during media day for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Credit: 322734Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

The NASCAR Xfinity trophy sits on display during media day during media day for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida.

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Inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase Culminates In Miami
For the first time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ 34-year existence, the title will be decided at the culmination of the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, a four round elimination-style playoff that will name the series’ 27th different champion in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The first of the Championship 4 drivers to cross the finish line at Homestead will become the 2016 series driver champion. Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suárez, Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier are the Championship 4 and have competed all season for the chance at the title in the Ford EcoBoost 300 (Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Championship 4 (By car number):

NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship 4 Bios

Elliott Sadler (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)
A veteran driver from Emporia, Virginia, Elliott Sadler has the chance this weekend to win his first NASCAR XFINITY Series championship and bring home the second driver title in three years for JR Motorsports (Chase Elliott, 2014). Sadler is no stranger to the championship pressure as he has finished in the top three in the series driver standings in three of the last five seasons; including two runner-ups (2011, 2012).
Sadler and the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro team will be without their crew chief Kevin Meendering this weekend at Homestead. Last weekend at Phoenix the No. 1 car did not pass post-race lug nut inspection, and as a result, Meendering was suspended from participating in the season finale. Instead serving as crew chief this weekend will be JR Motorsports race operations manager Mike Baumgardner.
“We let Kevin (Meendering) ultimately make this decision because it’s his team,” said JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “Kevin chose Mike to sit in the crew chief’s seat and for good reason – he is experienced atop the pit box and very dependable. We have a great deal of confidence in Mike to give Elliott his best opportunity to win on Saturday.”
At the age of 41, Elliott Sadler can become the second oldest driver in series history to win the title behind Sam Ard, who won the title in 1985 at the age of 48 years, 9 months, 29 days. If Sadler wins the title this weekend he will be 41 years, 6 months and 20 days. Sadler would join Tommy Ellis (Richmond) as the second series champion from the state of Virginia.
Breakdown by Round of Elliott Sadler’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 12: Sadler quickly locked himself into the Round of 8 by winning the first race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Kentucky. He followed up Kentucky with a seventh-place finish at Dover and a runner-up showing at Charlotte.
Round of 8: Sadler kicked the Round of 8 off with a solid second-place finish at Kansas, and then posted a sixth-place finish at Texas and a 13th at Phoenix last weekend. Sadler accumulated the second most points in the Round of 8 to earn a spot in the Championship 4.
Elliott Sadler Fast Facts:
– In 2016, Sadler has posted three wins, 13 top fives and 28 top 10s (series-most).

– Sadler’s average finish during the 2016 season is a 6.9.

– During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted one win, four top fives and six top 10s.

– Sadler’s average finish during the 2016 Chase is 5.2.

– During the Chase, Sadler posted a driver rating of 103.1 and an average running position of 7.8.

– At Homestead, Sadler has made 10 starts posting one top five, four top 10s and an average finish of 16.3.

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)
After a two-season stint in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Justin Allgaier returned to the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season, and instantly jumped into title contention form. The Riverton, Illinois, native has a solid shot at the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship for the first time in his career as the series heads into Homestead-Miami. Allgaier’s previous best series standings finish was third in 2011. This season Allgaier, like Sadler, has the opportunity to bring home the second series driver title for JR Motorsports in three years (Chase Elliott, 2014).

“When the news broke in the middle of the off-season that we (NASCAR XFINITY Series) were going to have a Chase format, you know, for me it was something I was super pumped about,” said Allgaier. “Going to a new team, new crew chief, new cars, and coming back to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, I felt like the old format lent itself to making sure you were good all season and carrying it all the way through. For us, the new format gave us time to get acclimated to get to know our new guys and our new program, and I think that helped us out tremendously.”
Competing alongside Allgaier this season is crew chief Jason Burdett. The 2016 season is just Burdett’s second full season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series; he worked with driver Regan Smith and the No. 7 JRM team last season, finishing fourth in the series standings.

“It doesn’t matter what series you’re in, if you’re in a NASCAR Home Tracks series, or any of the top three national series, it doesn’t matter what you run, to make it and have an opportunity to go for a championship means the world to all of us,” said Allgaier.
If Allgaier is to win this season’s title, he will become the first series champion from the state of Illinois.

Breakdown by Round of Justin Allgaier’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 12: Allgaier made it to the Round of 8 on the heels of three solid top 10 finishes. The JRM driver posted a ninth-place finish at Kentucky, a third at Dover and a sixth at Charlotte. Allgaier accumulated the third most series driver points during the Round of 12 and as a result Allgaier advanced to the Round of 8.
Round of 8: Allgaier’s consistency slipped at the beginning of the Round of 8 when he was caught in an accident at Kansas that relegated him to a 14th-place finish. But the No. 7 team’s championship hopes were not deterred as they answered with a 10th-place finish at Texas which put Allgaier in fifth place in the Chase standings just outside the Championship 4 cutoff. Allgaier and team performed well at Phoenix last weekend, posting a fourth-place finish which netted him the fourth and final slot in the Championship 4.

Justin Allgaier Fast Facts:
– In 2016, Allgaier has posted 13 top fives and 26 top 10s.

– Allgaier’s average finish during the 2016 season is an 9.2.

– During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted two top fives and five top 10s.

– Allgaier’s average finish during the 2016 Chase was 7.7.

– During the Chase, Allgaier posted a driver rating of 104.3 and an average running position of 6.5.

– At Homestead, Allgaier has made six starts posting a career-best finish of 11th (twice: 2012 and 2010) and an average finish of 17.0.

Daniel Suárez (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)
The 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Daniel Suárez has the opportunity to become the first international driver to win a national series title. The Monterrey, Mexico, native became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR XFINITY Series race this season when he took the checkered flag at Michigan, and then again during the Chase at Dover. Now the Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next program graduate can not only become the first driver from Mexico to win a series title, but he can also bring home the second series driver title for Joe Gibbs Racing and the first since Kyle Busch, who won it in 2009.
“I’m super excited for my team, and I’m super excited for myself,” said Suárez. “Homestead is going to be a race I am going to enjoy a lot. My family is going to be there and a lot of my friends are going to be there. It is going to be a huge party for me. Hopefully we can win the thing and have a good vacation as champions.”
One thing working in Suárez’s favor this weekend at Homestead in the championship finale is crew chief Scott Graves. While Suárez doesn’t have any championship race experience, yet, in this series, Graves led his former team and driver Chris Buescher to the series championship last season. Graves now has the opportunity to become the first crew chief since Mike Kelley (2011-2012) to win back-to-back titles. Graves could also become the first crew chief since Steve Bird (1995, Johnny Benson and 1996, Randy LaJoie) to win consecutive titles with two different drivers.
Suárez can also help bring the series Bill France Performance Cup, which is the award given to the manufacturer champion in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. If the top finishing Toyota finishes 17th or better, Toyota will lock up the title for the first time since 2010.

Breakdown by Round of Daniel Suárez’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 12: Suárez quickly ushered himself into contention to make to the Round of 8 by finishing second at the Chase opener in Kentucky. He then sealed the deal on his advancement to the next round by winning the second race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Dover. He followed his win up at Dover with a third-place finish at Charlotte.

Round of 8: Suárez’s championship quest continued in the Round of 8 by posting a solid third-place finish at Kansas, and then back-to-back fifth-place finishes at Texas and Phoenix last weekend.
Daniel Suárez Fast Facts:
– In 2016, Suárez has posted two wins, 18 top fives, 26 top 10s and two poles.

– Suárez’s average finish during the 2016 season is an 8.2.

– During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted one win and six top fives.

– Suárez’s average finish during the 2016 Chase was 3.2.

– During the Chase, Suárez posted a driver rating of 121.0 and an average running position of 4.3.

– At Homestead, Suárez made his series track-debut last season starting second and finishing sixth.

Erik Jones (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)
Erik Jones’ rookie season has been one of the most impressive in series history. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate has set a rookie record for poles with nine this season. The 20-year-old driver has also posted four wins this season – the most for a rookie since Greg Biffle’s five wins in 2001. Now Jones heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway with the opportunity to become the second Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship (Chase Elliott, 2014). Like Suárez, Jones also can bring home Joe Gibbs Racing’s second series driver title and first since Kyle Busch won it in 2009.

Jones also has the opportunity to become the third youngest driver in series history to win the title at the age of 20 years, 5 months and 20 days (on Saturday, Nov. 19); behind Chase Elliott (18 years, 11 months and 18 days) and Brian Vickers (20 years, 0 months and 22 days).
“It’s pretty special for me, having a shot to go to Homestead again this year to win a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Jones. “It would be awesome to win back-to-back championships in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series.”

If Jones wins the title this weekend he will become the fourth driver in NASCAR national series history to win a title in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2015) and the NASCAR XFINITY Series; joining Greg Biffle (NCWTS, 2000; NXS, 2002), Johnny Benson (NCWTS, 2008; NXS 1995) and Austin Dillon (NCWTS, 2011; and NXS, 2013). If Jones accomplishes the feat, he will be the only driver of the four to do it in consecutive seasons.

Breakdown by Round of Justin Allgaier’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 12: Jones’ entire 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase has been an uphill climb. Jones started the Chase with an accident at Kentucky that saw him finish 28th. He then followed that up with a 16th at Dover. The two finishes outside the top-10 had Jones facing elimination heading into Charlotte, but the young rookie standout prevailed, posting a fifth-place finish and enough points to move inside the top eight in the Chase standings and on to the next round.
Round of 8: Jones’s bad luck continued in the first race of the Round of 8 when he finished a lap down at Kansas in 15th. Jones and the No. 20 JGR team mustered up a fourth-place finish at Texas and then for the second time in this season’s Chase, Jones was faced with elimination and he overcame the odds to finish 10th at Phoenix.
Erik Jones Fast Facts:
– In 2016, Jones has posted four wins (most among Chasers), 15 top fives, 19 top 10s and a rookie record nine poles.

– Jones’ average finish during the 2016 season is an 11.7.

– During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted two top fives, three top 10s and two poles.

– Jones’ average finish during the 2016 Chase was 13.0.

– During the Chase, Jones posted a driver rating of 115.5 and an average running position of 5.1.

– At Homestead, Jones made his series track-debut last season starting seventh and finishing third.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

MIAMI BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 17: The Camping World Truck Series trophy sits on display during media day for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Credit: 322729Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

The Camping World Truck Series trophy sits on display during media day for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida.

ChaseGrid-NCWTS2016-nov-19-318888Championship 4 Weekend Kicks Off With Camping World Truck Series Showdown
The inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 race kicks off what promises to be a thrilling weekend in Miami, NASCAR’s title town. Friday night’s race wraps up a four round elimination-style playoff that will crown one of four drivers as the champion in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The first of the Championship 4 drivers to cross the finish line at Homestead will become the 2016 series driver champion. Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters are the Championship 4 and have competed all season for the chance at the title in the Ford EcoBoost 200 (Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Championship 4 (By truck number):
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 Bios

Christopher Bell (No. 4 JBL Toyota)

The young upstart in the Championship 4, 21-year-old Christopher Bell, will attempt to keep the NASCAR Camping World Series driver’s title at Kyle Busch Motorsports for another year by achieving the same feat Erik Jones did last season – winning the series crown as a rookie.

In his lone start at Homestead last season, Bell finished 25th after running out of fuel on the 131st of 134 laps.

“Racing against three veterans that have made a bunch of laps at Homestead is going to be a tough battle – nothing can replace that experience,” said Bell, who is competing against Matt Crafton, Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter for the series championship. “I feel like where I have the advantage is that I’m driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. They are so competitive and have their stuff together and week in and week out when I show up to the track I know that I’ll have a Tundra that is capable of winning. I’ve only won once this year, so I need to keep piecing that puzzle together – but there’s no better place to start than this weekend at Homestead.”

Bell boasts a 7.4 average finish in six starts during the Chase. He has finished no worse than 11th.

In 22 starts this season, Bell owns one win, nine top fives and 16 top 10s.

Breakdown by round of Christopher Bell’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 8: Bell registered a 4.7 average finish in the Round of eight, placing second (New Hampshire), sixth (Las Vegas) and sixth (Talladega) to easily advance to the Round of 6.

Round of 6: Bell put himself in good position to move on in the Chase by placing fourth at Martinsville, but hit a road block with an 11th-place showing at Texas. His Kyle Busch teammate William Byron suffered mechanical issues at Phoenix, a situation Bell took advantage of to sneak into the Championship 4 with a seventh-place showing.

Christopher Bell Fast Facts:
· In 2016, Bell has posted one win, nine top fives and 16 top 10s.

· During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted two top fives and five top 10s.

· Bell’s average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 6.0.

· During the Chase, Bell posted a driver rating of 103.7 and an average running position of 7.4.

· At Homestead, Bell made his series track-debut last season starting ninth and finishing 25th; four laps down due to running out of fuel.

Timothy Peters (No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota)

A model of consistency, Timothy Peters is the one driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 without a victory this season.

The No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota driver has advanced by registering eight top-five and 15 top-10 showings for an average finish of 9.1. In the Chase, he has posted four top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 6.8.

“I love that place, worn out race track, you can go run up by the fence,” Peters said about Homestead-Miami Speedway where he will race Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Christopher Bell for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. “If that isn’t working, you can go down to the bottom. There’s a lot of characteristics to that race track that can help your balance. I’m ready.”

Peters has logged a top-10 championship finish in each of his eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons. His best championship showing was a runner-up result in 2012.

The Providence, North Carolina, native has never won at Homestead, but has three top fives and six top 10s in nine starts there.

For his career, Peters claims 10 wins, 56 top fives and 117 top 10s.

Breakdown by Round of Timothy Peters’ 2016 Chase:
Round of 8: Peters breezed through the Round of 8 with a fifth-place showing at New Hampshire, ninth-place effort at Las Vegas and third-place result at Talladega.

Round of 6: Peters started the Round of 6 off well with a fifth-place performance at Martinsville, but almost doomed his title aspirations with a 14th-place showing at Texas. He bounced back with a fifth-place showing at Phoenix to earn his bid to the Championship 4.

Timothy Peters Fast Facts:
· In 2016, Peters has posted eight top fives, 15 top 10s and a pole.

· During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted four top fives and five top 10s.

· Peters’ average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 6.8.

· During the Chase, Peters posted a driver rating of 97.6 and an average running position of 7.8.

· At Homestead, Peters has made nine starts posting three top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 9.3.

Johnny Sauter (No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet)
No driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is on as big of a tear as Johnny Sauter lately. The No. 21 GMS Racing driver boasts two wins and a runner-up in his last three races entering Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Asked after the Phoenix race if he thought he was the favorite to take home the series title, Sauter said:

“Absolutely (joking). I mean I’d like to think so. Anything can happen. Someone just asked me down on pit road, ‘What’s your strategy to win the championship?’ I said, ‘Try to win the race, that’s the best way to do it. You’re going to have to go down there and be aggressive and also be a little bit smart. I’m not sure. It’s new for everybody. I don’t think anybody really knows what the official strategy is, but I think you’re going to have to be fast. With the way people are running and the guys who are in the Chase, I wouldn’t be surprised if the champion won the race.”

In nine career Homestead starts, Sauter claims one win (2011), two top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

Sauter, whose only victory in the regular season was the opener at Daytona, has upped his performance in the Chase. In seven Chase races, he’s posted two wins, three top fives, six top 10s and a 4.7 average finish. He leads the Championship 4 in each of the aforementioned statistical categories.

Sauter’s best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship finish was a runner-up showing in 2011.

On the season, the Wisconsin native boasts three wins, 11 top five, 18 top 10s and a pole.

Breakdown by Round of Johnny Sauter’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 8: Sauter started the Chase off solid with a 10th-place finish at New Hampshire. He followed up the performance with seventh-place efforts at Las Vegas and Talladega to advance to the Round of 6.

Round of 6: Sauter clinched his berth in the Championship 4 by leading 50 laps on his way to Victory Lane at Martinsville. He won the next race at Texas for good measure and registered a runner-up showing at Phoenix.

Johnny Sauter Fast Facts:
· In 2016, Sauter has posted three wins, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s and a pole.
· During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted two wins, three top fives and six top 10s.
· Sauter’s average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 4.7.
· During the Chase, Sauter posted a driver rating of 107.5 and an average running position of 7.3.
· At Homestead, Sauter has made nine starts posting one win, two top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

Matt Crafton (No. 88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Toyota)

Advantage Matt Crafton in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway?

Sure looks like it.

In the last three years he has dominated the intermediate tracks on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit. In the series’ last 25 starts at tracks ranging from 1.5-1.54 miles, Crafton boasts seven wins, 17 top fives, 22 top 10s and a 5.76 average finish.

Crafton’s been decent in his career at Homestead with one win (last season from the pole), three top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

“I have no friends,” Crafton said about the intensity of Friday’s race. “All my friends are going to come in yellow firesuits with Menards on them. We’re going to take the gloves off. I promise you that. We’re going to have no friends going into that race and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”

The No. 88 Menards Toyota driver will be racing for his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. With another title he can join Jack Sprague for second-place all-time with three Truck Series championships. Ron Hornaday holds the series record with four titles.

When asked if the pressure was off him Friday because he knows what it’s like to race for a championship, Crafton spoke with supreme confidence.

“Yeah, without a doubt,” he said. “I have nothing to lose to be honest. I have nothing to lose.”

On the season, Crafton has two wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s and one pole.

Breakdown by Round of Matt Crafton’s 2016 Chase:
Round of 8: Crafton started the Chase off hot, finishing third at New Hampshire and eighth at Las Vegas. He stayed out of trouble at Talladega, earning a 22nd-place finish to transfer to the Round of 6.

Round of 6: Crafton rebounded from a rough 17th-place result at Martinsville with results of second at Texas and third at Phoenix to clinch his spot in the Championship 4.

Matt Crafton Fast Facts:
· In 2016, Crafton has posted two wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s and a pole.
· During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted three top fives and four top 10s.
· Crafton’s average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 9.2.
· During the Chase, Crafton posted a driver rating of 91.4 and an average running position of 9.4.
· At Homestead, Crafton has made 15 starts posting one win (last season from the pole), three top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

NASCAR
http://www.nascar.com
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR

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