By the numbers: The 2013 Chasers at Homestead

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In February, it all began at Daytona. This weekend, it all ends four hours south in Homestead.

Championship Weekend is fast-approaching, with the Chase for the Sprint Cup set to conclude this Sunday in the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson opened the 2013 season with a win in the Daytona 500, which caused me to wonder if a sixth Cup title was coming to him this year. At that point in time, he was confident that he’d have a strong year. Now, he’s on the cusp of writing his name into the record books once again.

Matt Kenseth (-28 points) and Kevin Harvick (-34 points), his remaining rivals in the championship, have no control over their fates; they can dominate and win on Sunday, but they also need Johnson to collapse.

A lot of things have to happen in order for someone other than Johnson to raise the Cup after 400 miles on Sunday. But it’s not over yet. We’ve been surprised a few times in this Chase. Perhaps, the racing gods have one more in store.

As provided by NASCAR, here are the Homestead-Miami statistics for each of the 13 Chase competitors.

JIMMIE JOHNSON (Leader – 2,384 Points)
· Four Top-5s, seven Top-10s
· Average Finish: 15.3 in 12 races
· Average Running Position: 13.8, ninth-best

MATT KENSETH (Second, -28 points)
· One win, three Top-5s, five Top-10s
· Average Finish: 17.6 in 13 races
· Average Running Position: 9.3, third-best

KEVIN HARVICK (Third, -34 points)
· Five Top-5s, 10 Top-10s
· Average Finish: 7.9 in 12 races
· Average Running Position: 10.6, fourth-best

KYLE BUSCH (Fourth, -57 points)
· One Top-5, two Top-10s
· Average Finish: 23.1 in eight races
· Average Running Position: 15.8, 15th-best

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (Fifth, -63 points)
· One Top-10
· Average Finish: 22.1 in 13 races
· Average Running Position: 20.8, 22nd-best

JEFF GORDON (Sixth, -80 points)
· One win, seven Top-5s, 11 Top-10s
· Average Finish: 10.6 in 14 races
· Average Running Position: 13.0, seventh-best

GREG BIFFLE (Seventh, -83 points)
· Three wins, four Top-5s, five Top-10s
· Average Finish: 14.4 in 11 races
· Average Running Position: 15.2, 13th-best

CLINT BOWYER (Eighth, -87 points)
· Two Top-5s, four Top-10s
· Average Finish: 12.1 in seven races
· Average Running Position: 12.0, fifth-best

JOEY LOGANO (Ninth, -97 points)
· Average Finish: 24.0 in four races
· Average Running Position: 22.2, 24th-best

KURT BUSCH (10th, -99 points)
· One win, four Top-5s, five Top-10s
· Average Finish: 19.8 in 12 races
· Average Running Position: 23.8, 29th-best

RYAN NEWMAN (11th, -125 points)
· One Top-5, four Top-10s
· Average Finish: 17.0 in 11 races
· Average Running Position: 13.6, eighth-best

KASEY KAHNE (12th, -132 points)
· One Top-5s, four Top-10s
· Average Finish: 15.4 in nine races
· Average Running Position: 12.5, sixth-best

CARL EDWARDS (13th, -134 points)
· Two wins, five Top-5s, seven Top-10s
· Average Finish: 6.0 in nine races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 7.1
*Series-best Driver Rating of 119.0
*Series-high 264 Fastest Laps Run
*Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 162.674 mph
*Series-high 1,881 Laps in the Top 15 (88.0%)

Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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