Come Sunday at Homestead – Miami Speedway the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy of Jimmie Johnson will start the Ford Ecoboost 400 with a 28-point advantage over Matt Kenseth. If he just finishes the race in 23rd place or better then he will claim his sixth NASCAR Championship. Or as it known around racing circles the ” Six Pack.”
Meanwhile, Kenseth the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota knows all he can do is drive hard, try to win or at least finish near the top of the field and hope Johnson has some sort of mechanical trouble. He also has to keep a look out for the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy of Kevin Harvick who trails Johnson by 34 points and Kenseth by only six points.
During a press conference on Thursday Kenseth spoke about his challenge: “I think Jimmie could run 28th through the grass or with three wheels on,” Kenseth said with a laugh. “He’s going to have to have a mechanical problem or crash to make something happen. We’ll have to be up in the top five to hold on to second or to overtake Jimmie if he has a problem.”
On the Nationwide side the title will come down to the wire.
Austin Dillon holds an eight-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. entering Saturday’s Ford 300. No other driver has a mathematical chance at the title.
The championship would be the first in the series for both Dillon or Hornish. Dillon won the 2011 Truck championship but has yet to win in the Nationwide Series this season. He could become the first driver to win a NASCAR national series title without a race victory.
The championship will be the first for Crafton, first for ThorSport Racing and fourth driver’s title for Toyota in their 10 years of competition in the series.