Coming into the homestretch at Homestead

Steve & Evan Davies - Special to Speedway Digest Thursday, Nov 13 1791

Who’s the odd’s on favorite?

So with the last race coming up next week at Homestead, it looks like we’ll have a first time champion. Of the four finalists, only Hamlin has won at Homestead in the past, including last year and in fact, he’s the only Toyota driver to win there.

Of the four drivers, two drive a Chevy, one a Ford and one a Toyota. All four drivers drive for a different team with Legano driving for Penske, Hamlin for Joe Gibbs, Newman for Richard Childress and Harvick for Stewart-Hass. Of the owners, Richard Childress has six championships, Joe Gibbs has three, Stewart-Hass has one and Penske has none.

Richard Childress’s win have all came with Dale Earnhardt, Joe Gibbs championships with Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart while Stewart-Hass’s came with Tony Stewart. What makes Stewart’s unique was that he is an owner and driver. The last owner driver to win a championship was Alan Kulwicki in 1992. Unfortunately, he died the following season in a plane crash.

So who’s been at this the longest?

For Harvick, this is his fourteenth season but first with Stewart-Hass. He first started driving in 2001, at the age of 25. Next is Newman, who’s been driving for thirteen years and with three different teams including Penske, Stewart-Hass and now Richard Childress.

Following Newman is Hamlin with 9 years of driving, all with Joe Gibbs. In fact, he lost the championship to Jimmie Johnson in 2010. He had the points lead coming into the final race but failed to beat Johnson. Last is Logano with Six years, this is his second year at Penske with four at Joe Gibbs prior to that.

And the winner is…

Joey Logano is definitely the underdog since he has not been around as long as the other drivers. All of them have never won a championship. Newman hasn’t won a race all year and is winless for the last 53 races. Hamlin has won at Talladega, Harvick swept both Phoenix races, as well as, won at Darlington.

Let’s just say, “Gentlemen, start your engines”!