Homestead: News of note, schedule

Keys To Victory Homestead-Miami Speedway "The key to Homestead is to have a car that will run well in the middle and on top. It seems like the grooves move up with the extra banking, as the track gets older it will keep moving higher and...

Keys To Victory

Homestead-Miami Speedway

"The key to Homestead is to have a car that will run well in the middle and on top. It seems like the grooves move up with the extra banking, as the track gets older it will keep moving higher and higher. So you have to have a car that will still roll around the middle and be able to get under people and finish the pass." - Matt Kenseth

"Homestead is a unique track on its own because it's got its own combination in the banking. You can run high and you can run low there also, as much as you can run all over the race track. It's also been a fuel-mileage race the past couple years. Those are the key things you have to look at when you go there." - Robbie Reiser

In The Loop: Gordon Has Pre-Race Edge Over Johnson at Homestead

If Jeff Gordon were to make a monumental charge past points leader Jimmie Johnson, Homestead might be the place to do it -- so says the pre-race Loop Data statistics.

In the last three races this season -- all wins by Johnson -- Johnson held the advantage in pre-race Driver Rating. Obviously the trend continued, as Johnson finished ahead of Gordon in each race.

But this time, Gordon holds the edge.

The statistical tale of the tape favors Gordon in almost every key category over the last two Homestead races:

While all eyes will most likely be trained fully on the Hendrick Motorsports teammates, drivers such as Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) could pose "spoiler" threats.

Biffle, winner of three consecutive Homestead races, is the most obvious threat. Over the last two Homestead races (NASCAR began using scoring loops embedded in the track for statistical purposes in 2005), Biffle has the top Homestead Driver Rating (126.1), the second-best Average Running Position (5.4), the most Fastest Laps Run (79) and the second-most Laps in the Top 15 (512 of 535).

As for Kahne, Homestead seems like a good place to snap a slump. Kahne, who has not won a race this season after winning six last season, has a Homestead Driver Rating of 114.1 (second-best), a series-best Average Running Position of 5.0, 62 Fastest Laps Run (second-best) and a series-high 521 Laps in the Top 15.

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup contender Martin Truex Jr. finished second last year, notching a Driver Rating of 114.6, an Average Running Position of 7.2 and ran 98.1% of the Laps in the Top 15.

NNCS, Etc.

#@Montoya Looks To Wrap Up Top Rookie Honors

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) holds a 21-point lead over David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Ford) with one race left in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season.

Montoya has led the standings a majority of the season. His win at Infineon Raceway helped give him a lead that Ragan has been unable to catch. Ragan had pulled within 14 points following the LifeLock 400 at Kansas Speedway, but Montoya was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in four of the following six races to secure his lead. Montoya has been the top rookie in 16 of the 35 races this season.

Paul Menard (No. 15 Menards Chevrolet) is third, 45 points behind Montoya, David Reutimann (No. 00 Burger King Toyota) is fourth, 64 points back and AJ Allmendinger (No. 84 Red Bull Toyota) is fifth, 74 points out of first.

Speediatrics Unveils Homestead Location

Betty Jane France, chairwoman of the NASCAR Foundation, will unveil a new Speediatrics unit at Homestead Hospital on Friday, November 16. Homestead will join Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach as the only two locations with the racing-themed children's emergency room.

France will be joined by Darrell Waltrip and Francisco Medina, M.D., medical director of children's emergency services at Homestead Hospital, for Friday's unveiling. The eight-bed Children's Emergency Room at Homestead Hospital is decorated with checkered flags, race cars and cartoon characters to help ease the hospital experience for thousands of children. More than 13,000 patients are treated in the emergency room each year.

Chevrolet Sets Modern Era Record With 26th Win

The dominance of Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon has helped lead Chevrolet to a Modern Era record for wins in a season. Johnson's Phoenix win gave Chevrolet its 26th win in 2007, breaking the tie it held with Buick, which had 25 wins in 1982.

Chevrolet has already locked up its record 31st Manufacturers' Championship. Ford is second with 15 championships. Ford has the edge at Homestead-Miami Speedway with four wins, including Biffle's three in a row. Dodge and Chevrolet each have one. Pontiac won the first two races at the track.

Hampton Continues Chase Tracker Climb

A year after winning the inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Celebrity Chase Tracker, Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Hampton has slowly crept back into contention for this year's title thanks to his friend Jimmie Johnson.

Hampton picked Johnson to lead the point standings each of the past two weeks and has picked up 17 points. He will earn 20 points if Johnson repeats as champion, as Hampton predicted.

Hampton is currently in seventh place in the Chase Tracker standings with 90 points behind NASCAR artist Sam Bass (118 points), John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting (99), Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark (95), Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch (95), Country music artist Brandon Kinney (94) and Professional bowler Danny Wiseman (93).

In addition to predicting Johnson as the 2007, Hampton predicted Gordon as the runner-up. If the top two stay as they are in the standings, Hampton stands to pick up 30 points.

Hampton won last year's Chase Tracker thanks in part to Johnson's championship. Hampton was in Homestead to celebrate Johnson's title him. The two became friends through former Braves infielder Marcus Giles, with whom Johnson went to school.

The Race: Ford 400

The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Nov. 18
The Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: ABC, 3 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN; SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Channel 128

The Track: 1.5-mile oval
The Distance: 400 miles, 267 laps

The Purse: $5,310,336

2006 Winner: Greg Biffle
2006 Pole: Kasey Kahne Series

Pre-Race Schedule (local/ET time)
Friday -- Practice, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Qualifying, 3:10 p.m. Saturday -- Practice, 11-11:50 a.m. and 2:50-3:50 p.m.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Hendrick Motorsports