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.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)