Who is hot and cold entering the Sprint Cup season finale


Only two of the drivers in the Championship 4 have won at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

They both receive a paycheck from Joe Gibbs Racing.

Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch have combined to win on the 1.5-mile track three times, with Busch winning last year to clinch his first Sprint Cup title.

Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson, who has won 79 times in his Sprint Cup career, has never won the final race of the season. Homestead represents one of four tracks the six-time champion has yet to conquer in 15 starts. He’s finished second twice, but not since 2010.

The fourth piece of the Championship 4 puzzle is Joey Logano. If the 26-year-old driver wins on Sunday in the Ford EcoBoost 400, it would be the first win for Team Penske at the 1.5-mile track. It and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are the only active Sprint Cup tracks Penske has not won at.

Logano’s best finish in seven starts is fourth last season.

Here is who is hot and cold entering the 2016 Sprint Cup season finale.

Who’s Hot

Kyle Busch

  • Finished in the top five in every Round of 8 race.
  • Finished top 10 in nine of last 10 races.
  • Seventeen top-five finishes this season, most of all drivers and tied for his most in a season.
  • Has not won since the Brickyard 400 in July.

Carl Edwards

  • Only three top 10s in last 11 races but won at Texas to earn spot in Championship 4.
  • Three wins this season are his most since winning nine in 2008.
  • Despite two wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway, had finished outside the top 10 in last four visits.

Joey Logano

  • Won at Phoenix International Raceway to clinch Championship 4 spot.
  • Finished top 10 in 19 of last 23 races.
  • Two top 10s in last seven visits to the 1.5-mile track, all came in last three seasons. Led 72 laps last year.

Jimmie Johnson

  • 468 laps led in the 2016 Chase, 266 in the regular season.
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of four winless tracks. Has finished second there twice.
  • Finished ninth in the last three visits.
  • Finished 38th at Phoenix after a pit penalty and radiator damage on a restart accident.

Who’s Cold

Tony Stewart

  • Only one finish better than 13th in last 13 races.
  • Finished 17th or worse in last three season finales.
  • Only led 36 laps this season, 60 laps in last two seasons.

Martin Truex Jr.

  • One top five in last six races.
  • Finished last twice in last four races (Phoenix, Talladega).
  • Average finish of 13.3 is down from 12.2 last season.

Kurt Busch

  • Only five top-10 finishes in the last 14 races after earning 14 of the first 16 races of the season.
  • Was eighth in Round of 8.
  • Has led 238 laps this season after leading 788 in 2015.

Brad Keselowski

  • Finished 14th at Phoenix for fourth finish outside top 10 in last five races.
  • Despite four wins, led only 549 laps this season, down from 1,185 in 2015 and 1,540 in 2014.
  • Average finish of 10.8 is best since 10.1 in 2012 when he won the championship.

Other notes of interest ahead of the Ford EcoBoost 400:

  • Race winner has won the championship three times: Stewart (2011), Harvick (2014) and Kyle Busch (2015).
  • Leader of the most laps has failed to win last five races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart lead all drivers with three wins at the track.
  • Jeff Gordon is only driver to have competed in first 17 races on the track. This will be the first without him.