Everything you need to know about the 2014 Chasers at Homestead

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The final battle awaits.

Four drivers – Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Newman – will enter Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway with an opportunity to win their inaugural Cup championships.

These four have had their points reset ahead of their final run for glory, and no bonus points for leading a lap or the most laps will be on offer for them. The one that finishes the highest will be crowned champion.

And what a Championship 4 we have. Two of them, Harvick and Logano, were chosen by many to be in this situation when the Chase began in September. Between them, they’ve captured nine wins and have been among the fastest drivers all year long.

The other two, Hamlin and Newman, are underdogs that are still standing. Hamlin has only taken one checkered flag, and Newman hasn’t won at all. But here they are thanks to their own clockwork consistency and setbacks for their Chase rivals.

The quartet has managed to survive all the twists and turns that this post-season has delivered. For them, their hard work has come down to this.

Courtesy of NASCAR’s public relations and statistics teams, here’s everything you need to know going into the 10th and final race of the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup – the Ford Ecoboost 400…

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

1 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7
2014 Rundown
· One win, seven top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 14.5
· Led 17 races for 313 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 11.2 in nine races
· Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 93.4, eighth-best
· 88 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· Series-high 826 Green Flag Passes
· 1,406 Laps in the Top 15 (58.5%), 11th-most

2 – Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.7
2014 Rundown
· Five wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.2
· Led 22 races for 993 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top 10; one pole
· Average finish of 20.8 in five races
· Average Running Position of 19.5, 19th-best
· Driver Rating of 71.2, 22nd-best

3 – Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.1
2014 Rundown
· Four top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.0
· Led 7 races for 41 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, four top 10s
· Average finish of 17.0 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 84.8, 13th-best
· 696 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· 1,520 Laps in the Top 15 (63.2%), ninth-most
· 426 Quality Passes, third-most

4 – Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s; eight poles
· Average finish of 13.3
· Led 26 races for 2,083 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· Five top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 8.1 in 13 races
· Average Running Position of 10.9, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 99.1, fourth-best
· 83 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· 681 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 161.857 mph, fifth-fastest
· 1,805 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), fourth-most
· 398 Quality Passes, sixth-most

5 – Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.6
2014 Rundown
· Six wins, 16 top fives, 19 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 12.9
· Led 27 races for 1,540 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top 10
· Average finish of 17.0 in six races
· Average Running Position of 16.8, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 80.3, 16th-best

6 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.4
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 14 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 10.4
· Led 25 races for 922 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 10.6 in 15 races
· Average Running Position of 12.5, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best
· 91 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 678 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 161.852 mph, sixth-fastest
· 1,734 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), sixth-most
· 442 Quality Passes, second-most

7 – Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.8
2014 Rundown
· 13 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 13.4
· Led 20 races for 529 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, six top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 16.5 in 14 races
· Average Running Position of 8.6, third-best
· Driver Rating of 109.8, third-best
· 123 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 162.160 mph, third-fastest
· 1,984 Laps in the Top 15 (82.5%), second-most
· 364 Quality Passes, 10th-most

8 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.7
2014 Rundown
· One win, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 17.0
· Led 15 races for 453 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, three top 10s
· Average finish of 21.3 in nine races
· Average Running Position of 14.8, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 93.4, seventh-best
· 122 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,579 Laps in the Top 15 (65.7%), seventh-most
· 396 Quality Passes, seventh-most

9 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4
2014 Rundown
· Two wins, seven top fives, 14 top 10s
· Average finish of 14.5
· Led 11 races for 135 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 6.6 in 10 races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 8.0
· Series-best Driver Rating of 115.5
· Series-high 266 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 162.432 mph
· Series-high 2,057 Laps in the Top 15 (85.6%)
· 382 Quality Passes, eighth-most

10 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.7
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 12 top fives, 20 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.1
· Led 17 races for 383 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, two top 10s
· Average finish of 20.7 in 14 races
· Average Running Position of 19.1, 18th-best
· Driver Rating of 76.9, 19th-best
· 134 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 815 Green Flag Passes, second-most

11 – AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Hungry Jack Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 71.1
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 19.6
· Led 5 races for 68 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, two top 10s
· Average finish of 15.4 in five races
· Average Running Position of 20.0, 21st-best
· Driver Rating of 77.6, 17th-best

12 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.5
2014 Rundown
· Three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 15.7
· Led 7 races for 110 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 15.2 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 15.6, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 88.7, 12th-best
· 103 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· 798 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 161.629 mph, 11th-fastest
· 1,280 Laps in the Top 15 (53.2%), 12th-most
· 302 Quality Passes, 12th-most

13 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.5
· Led 17 races for 1,310 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· Four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.8 in 13 races
· Average Running Position of 13.0, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 96.6, fifth-best
· 84 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 161.978 mph, fourth-fastest
· 1,775 Laps in the Top 15 (73.8%), fifth-most
· 402 Quality Passes, fifth-most

14 – Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.8
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 19.2
· Led 14 races for 219 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, five top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 19.8 in 13 races
· Average Running Position of 22.9, 25th-best
· Driver Rating of 72.0, 21st-best

15 – Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.3
2014 Rundown
· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 17.8
· Led 12 races for 218 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, four top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.2 in 10 races
· Average Running Position of 12.9, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 90.0, 10th-best
· 106 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 763 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 161.658 mph, 10th-fastest
· 1,470 Laps in the Top 15 (61.1%), 10th-most
· 370 Quality Passes, ninth-most

16 – Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.1
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 21.5
· Led 5 races for 23 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, two top 10s
· Average finish of 15.5 in four races
· Average Running Position of 18.0, 15th-best
· Driver Rating of 80.5, 15th-best

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Homestead-Miami Speedway Track Data
Race 36 of 36
1.5-mile oval
Banking, turns: 18-20 degrees
Banking, straights: 4 degrees
Frontstretch/backstretch length: 1,760 feet
Race length: 267 laps, 400.5 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Homestead
Carl Edwards, 115.5
Martin Truex Jr., 110.0
Matt Kenseth, 109.8
Kevin Harvick, 99.1
Jimmie Johnson, 96.6
Jeff Gordon, 96.5
Kyle Busch, 93.4
Denny Hamlin, 93.4
Clint Bowyer, 92.7
*Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (9 total) among active drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Qualifying/Race Data
2013 pole winner: Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 177.667 mph (30.394 seconds), 11.15.2013
2013 race winner: Denny Hamlin, TOyota, 130.693 mph (3 hours, 3 minutes, 52 seconds), 11.17.2013
Track qualifying record: Jamie McMurray, Dodge, 181.111 mph, 29.816 seconds, 11.14.2003
Track race record: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 142.245 mph (2 hours, 48 minutes, 56 seconds), 11.18.2012

Homestead-Miami Speedway History

· Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993.

· The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett.

· The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s layout.

· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999 – won by Tony Stewart.

· 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track.

Homestead-Miami Speedway Notebook

· Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin) and Tony Stewart in 2012 (made up three points on Carl Edwards).

· There have been 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one per season since 1999.

· 113 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead; 89 in more than one.

· Two drivers have made all 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon.

· David Green won the first Coors Light pole at Homestead in 1999 at a speed of 155.759 mph (34.669 sec.).

· There have been 11 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each.

· Youngest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Joey Logano (11/18/2012 – 22 years, 5 months, 25 days).

· Oldest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days).

· Jamie McMurray (November, 2003) and David Reutimann (November, 2008) won their first career Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

· There have been nine different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami; three have won more than once, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart with three each. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin (two each) are the only other drivers with multiple wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

· Of the three drivers with multiple wins at Homestead, Tony Stewart is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Pontiac (1999, 2000) and Chevrolet (2011).

· Two of the 15 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002).

· Five of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place.

· 10 of the 15 (66.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10.

· 5 of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position outside the top 10 – most recently – Jeff Gordon (15th-place starting position; 2012).

· Denny Hamlin won the 2009 race from the 38th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started at HMS.

· Two drivers have won consecutive races at Homestead-Miami: Tony Stewart (1999 – 2000) and Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006, three straight).

· Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 6.600; only two other drivers have an average finish inside the top 10: Kevin Harvick (8.078) and Martin Truex Jr. (9.222).

· Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Homestead with seven, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with five.

· Youngest Homestead winner: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days).

· Oldest Homestead winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days).

· Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead the series in runner-up finishes at Homestead with two each.

· Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Homestead with seven; followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick with five each.

· Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 11 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with eight.

· Eight of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Homestead-Miami participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart (1999) is the only driver to win at Homestead in his first appearance.

· Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 14.

· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead was the (4/10/2010) race won by Greg Biffle with a MOV of 0.017 seconds.

· Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season; starting 24th and finishing 20th.

NASCAR in Florida

· There have been 176 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among eight tracks in Florida. 135 of them have been run at Daytona International Speedway, followed by 15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, 10 at the Daytona Beach and Road Course, seven at Palm Beach Speedway (West Palm Beach), six at Speedway Park (Jacksonville), and one apiece at three other facilities.

· 173 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Florida.

· There have been 10 race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series.
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Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway

· Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 11th Chase event.

· The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era once: Tony Stewart (2011).

· Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards with two (2008, 2010).

· The worst finish in a Chase race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th (three times), Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.

· Chase Contenders have won seven of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Two non-Chase contenders have won a Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).

· Four of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead the eventual series champion has finished in the top five.

· Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with six, including five consecutive: Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006), Matt Kenseth (2007) and Carl Edwards (2008).

· Ford leads the series in Chase wins at Homestead with six; followed by Chevrolet with two.

· The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Carl Edwards’ victory in 2010. He posted a Perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 and led 190 of the 267 laps (71.1% of his laps completed) – most by a Chase race winner at Homestead.

SuperMotocross: Ken Roczen urgently needed change

Roczen change
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Change can be frightening, but it is often exhilarating and Ken Roczen, a rider in his ninth season on a 450 bike, it was urgently needed.

Roczen ended the 2022 Supercross season with his worst performance in five years. After finishing outside of the top five in seven of his last eight rounds in the stadium series, well down the points’ standings in ninth, he decided to put that season on hold.

How it ended was in stark contrast to how it began. Roczen’s 2022 season got off to the best possible start. He won the Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California by more than seven seconds over the 2021 champion Cooper Webb.

That would be his last podium and he scored only one more top-five in the Glendale, Arizona Triple Crown.

MORE: Ken Roczen sweeps top five in Anaheim 2 Triple Crown

Before 2022, Roczen was a regular challenger for the championship despite being plagued by major accidents that required surgery in 2017 and 2018. On his return, he was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, which presents with symptoms of heavy fatigue, muscle weakness and loss of appetite and last year he tested positive for COVID-19.

Against those odds, he finished second in the outdoor season in 2019 and third in 2020. In the Supercross series, he finished third in 2020 and second in 2021.

But the abbreviated season of 2022 signaled a need for change for Roczen.

“I needed the change urgently,” Roczen said in last week’s post-race press conference at Angel Stadium. “I did a pretty big change in general.”

Those comments came three races into the 2023 with him sitting among the top three finishers for the first time in 10 Supercross rounds. It was the 57th podium of his career, only six behind 10th-place Ryan Villopoto. It was also the first for Suzuki since 2019 when Chad Reed gave them one in Detroit 63 rounds ago.

Taking time off at the end of the Supercross season had the needed effect. He rejoined SuperMotocross in the outdoor season and immediately stood on the podium at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. Two rounds later, he won at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado. The relief was short lived and he would not stand on the podium again until this year.

Roczen Motocross Round 3
Ken Roczen won Round 3 of the outdoor season in 2022 at Thunder Valley after finished second in Moto 1 and first in Moto 2. Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Winds of Change

Roczen’s offseason was dramatic. Citing differences over his announcement to compete in the World Supercross Championship, he split with Honda HRC and declared himself a free agent. It wasn’t a difficult decision; Roczen was signed only for the Supercross season.

That change had the desired effect. Roczen won the WSX championship in their two-race, pilot season. More importantly, he proved to himself that he could compete for wins.

Late in the offseason, Roczen announced he would also change manufacturers with a move to HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki. He won the 2016 Pro Motocross title for Suzuki with nine wins in 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second. He easily outran the competition with an advantage of 86 points over second-place Eli Tomac.

“I just think change overall made it happen – and these overseas races – it’s really just a snowball,” Roczen said. “You start somewhere and you feel like something works out and I got better and had more fun doing it. Working with the team as well and working on the motorcycle to get better and actually see it paying off. It’s just, it’s just a big boost in general.”

The return to Suzuki at this stage of his career, after nearly a decade of competing on 450 motorcycles, recharged Roczen. He is one of three riders, (along with Cooper Webb and his former Honda teammate Chase Sexton), with a sweep of the top five in the first three rounds of the 2023 Supercross season.

But last week’s podium really drove home how strong he’s been.

“I think we’re all trying to take it all in,” Roczen said. “I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere really, but before the season starts you think about – or I thought of how my whole last season went – and it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium.”

Roczen’s most recent podium prior to Anaheim 2 came at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland last August in Round 10 of the outdoor season. His last podium in Supercross was the 2022 season opener that raised expectations so high.

Supercross Round 1 results
Ken Roczen raised expectations with his season opening win at Anaheim but did not stand on the box again in the Supercross series. Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

The change Roczen needed was not just a different team and bike. More importantly, he needed the freedom to set his own schedule and control his training schedule.

“It’s long days, but I’m really into it at the moment,” Roczen said. “Overall, I felt [that] throughout this off season and now my health has been really well, really good, so that helps. It’s needed to get to the top. I’m pretty confident that we’re, we’re doing the right thing – that I’m doing the right thing.

“I’m doing all my training on my own and I’m planning out my entire week. And I feel like I have a really good system going right now with recovery and putting in some hard days. Right now, I don’t really have anybody telling me what to do. I’m the best judge of that.

“It’s really hard to talk about how much work we’ve put in, but we’ve been doing some big changes and riding a lot throughout the week, some really, really late days. And they’re paying off right now; we’re heading in the right direction. We’re all pulling on the same string, and that helps me out big time.”