2012 Ford EcoBoost 400

Clinch scenarios set for next weekend’s NASCAR finale at Homestead

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The clinch scenarios for the three NASCAR national series in next weekend’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway are pretty cut and dry.

Let’s start with Sprint Cup, where Jimmie Johnson now holds a 28-point lead over Matt Kenseth following the events of today’s Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (won by Kevin Harvick).

Johnson can earn his sixth Cup championship by fulfilling one of the following objectives in next Sunday’s Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead:

  • Finish 23rd or better.
  • Finish 24th or better with at least one lap led.
  • Finish 25th or better with the most laps led.

Harvick, by virtue of his win today at PIR, remains eligible for the Cup championship going into Homestead. He sits third in the Chase at 34 points behind Johnson.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will have the tightest championship battle in South Florida, as Austin Dillon holds an eight-point advantage over Sam Hornish Jr.

Dillon has a tough route to the NNS title but can pull it off in Saturday’s Ford Ecoboost 300 if he can do one of these things:

  • Finish third or better.
  • Finish fourth or better with at least one lap led.
  • Finish fifth or better with the most laps led.

The NNS owner’s championship is also up for grabs, with the No. 22 Penske Racing team only up by four points on the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team after Kyle Busch took the No. 54 to victory at PIR this weekend. The No. 22 can only guarantee a clinch of that championship with a win at Homestead.

Finally, Matt Crafton only has to start Friday’s Ford Ecoboost 200 to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. He currently leads by 46 points over Ty Dillon.

In the CWTS owner’s championship, Crafton’s No. 88 ThorSport Racing team leads the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team by 23 points. To secure that prize, Crafton must reach one of these goals:

  • Finish 18th or better.
  • Finish 19th or better with at least one lap led.
  • Finish 20th or better with the most laps led.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski