So here we are, about to close the book on another NASCAR season. And all I can say is wow. Think about it, we started with a driver smashing into a jet dryer on the track at the Daytona 500 and last week we had a driver running through the garage in a full on sprint. Quite a year.
So now this weekend, we will crown the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion. It looks like it Brad Keselowski's to lose, he comes into the final race at Homestead with a 20 point lead in the standings.
"You know if you go out there and run well, at least from my position, that it all takes care of itself," said Keselowski said. "With maybe the exception of the last lap or two, I've got a pretty good idea of where I'm at on the racetrack, or I should, and that stuff works its way out if we're in a good position."
A good position for sure, of course it would be better if it was anyone other than Jimmie Johnson 20 points back. He is the best in the business now, and he has come to Homestead in contention many times before, as the hunted and the hunter.
"I've learned is that regardless of how experienced anyone is in this championship battle, at some point the magnitude of it hits you," said Johnson "At some point, he may be very comfortable and calm now, it may not happen until he's in the car, but at some point that magnitude hits, and I've lived through it five times. That's a turning moment, and we'll see how he responds."
Johnson also the monster mentalist. Here's the thing about Homestead, it's not a great race for either driver. Keselowski does not have a single top 10 at the Florida track and an average finish of 20th. Johnson is a little better, with an average finish of 13th and has a seven times finished in the top 10, four in the top 5.
"Well, I've been going for the championship all my life, and specifically this particular one for the last nine races," said Keselowski. "So Homestead pays the same amount of points as Chicago did and the same amount of points that Martinsville did when Jimmie won. It's the same, and there's no reason to change that approach, and that's why I feel that way."
As for who might actually win this race, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle have history on their side. Each has three wins at Homestead. Other active drivers with wins at this track, Carl Edwards (2), Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Bobby Labonte and Matt Kenseth.
The Backstretch Blog: Storybook Endings
Story Book Enddings (November 18, 2012)