Race winner: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 National Guard Ford from Roush Racing. Top-five race finishers: Biffle, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick.
Nextel Cup Series Champion: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports. Final points order for the 10 Chase contenders: Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Hamlin, Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Kahne, Mark Martin and Kyle Busch.
Race recap: While Greg Biffle won the Ford 400 for the third consecutive year and for his second victory of the season, most of the focus went to the newly crowned Champion Jimmie Johnson. After finishing second twice in the series title chase, Johnson prevailed on Sunday night where he had to finish 12th or better to win, no matter what the other contenders did. So, Johnson's ninth-place slot put him 56 points ahead of Kenseth for the prize.
It didn't come easy for Johnson and his team. Early in the race, a chunk of debris put a hole in the radiator and when he pitted to have tape put on it, they couldn't find the tape and he had to re-pit. He had a loose lug nut from a pit stop that was caught before he pulled out, and he dodged the spinning car of Robby Gordon.
One thing he did do was copy the Goodyear tire strategy taken by his closest foe Kenseth. When Kenseth changed only right side tires during a pit stop, so did Johnson--twice.
A red-flag eight-minute delay came out with 15 laps to go after former F-1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya crashed hard, followed by an engine failure in Casey Mears car that set up a two-lap shootout.
Next on the NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule is the annual Champion's Week festivities and banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Dec. 1, with the 10 Chase finalists and millions of dollars in award money and trophies.
Goodyear quote from Phil Holmer, marketing manager for stock cars: "Our engineers picked the perfect new Goodyear tire combination for competition this weekend and the performance was fantastic. The right side tire code, used once earlier at Chicagoland in June, was paired with a proven left side tire. We're glad our product contributed to the great show put on for the NASCAR fans at Homestead and around the globe. Expect more of that in 2007."
Friday night's Craftsman Truck Series finale saw Todd Bodine, 42, finish in 21st position in his #30 Toyota Tundra and collect the first NASCAR championship trophy for his family, which includes his brothers/former NASCAR drivers Geoff and Brett. Johnny Benson was second in points.
Meantime, Mark Martin snagged the race victory, his seventh in the truck series, as he crossed the line 2.613 seconds ahead of Brendan Gaughan. He took the lead at lap 113 and held on through closing lap 134. Rounding out the top five were Erik Darnell, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Jack Sprague. Martin led a race-high five times for 57 laps. There were five cautions for 17 laps and 14 lead changes among eight drivers.
The Busch Series closed its 25th season on Saturday night under cool Florida skies with Matt Kenseth taking his third win of the season in the series and the 21st of his career. Kevin Harvick celebrated his official Busch Series championship, which he clinched last month. The two-time titleholder also had that role in 2001. He had accumulated an 824-point championship margin over runner-up Carl Edwards.
Kenseth took the race lead from Edwards with 11 of the 200 laps remaining and crossed the finish line under caution. The race averaged 126.523 mph with 15 lead changes among 11 drivers and through eight cautions for 32 laps. The remaining top five were Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley.
-credit: goodyear racing