Denny Hamlin snuck in during the final moments to capture the pole for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Friday night, but the four drivers with a chance to win NASCAR’s title are all in good position.
Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. will race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Truex Jr. qualified in second place Friday while Kyle Busch was close behind in third. All four of the remaining playoff drivers are still in range of the championshp though as Keselowski qualified fifth and Kevin Harvick in ninth.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 begins at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 19, and can be seen on NBC and the NBC Sports app.
The rules are simple: The highest-finishing driver from among the four finalists wins the title. There will still be three stages of racing, but in-race points will not be awarded. The four title-contending drivers’ points were reset to 5,000 for the final race. (Same goes for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series which will also determine their 2017 champions this weekend at the South Florida track.)
Truex is the only driver not to win a previous title, but he is the favorite to join the others Sunday as six of his seven wins this year have come on 1.5-mile tracks similar to Homestead-Miami Speedway with an incredible 2.7 average finish and a 4.7 average running position this season.
The weather forecast for Sunday in Homestead calls for a high in the low to mid-80s with relatively low humidity and only a 10 percent chance of rain.
Also of note from Friday’s qualifying, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is retiring after Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, qualified 24th. However, he will start from the rear of the field because of an engine change during opening practice.
NASCAR Cup Series playoffs standings
Kyle Busch (win)
Kevin Harvick (win)
Martin Truex Jr. (points)
Brad Keselowski (points)