NASCAR Preview

Last Updated Saturday, Nov 25, 2006 2:48 am, EST

Race Capsule

Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • What:

    Race 35 of 35 on Nationwide circuit

  • Where:

    Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL

  • When:

    November 18, 2006 7:10 pm EST

  • Laps:

    200

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    300.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $1,511,998

Drivers to Watch

Kevin Harvick Chase Points: 5,887 (6th) Took the worse hit of any Chase driver at Atlanta, where struggled to 31st place and dropped four spots to sixth in the standings; trails Kenseth by 121 points; still tracking an unprecedented double after capturing the Busch Series title three weeks ago, his second career Busch championship (2001); no driver has won the Nextel Cup and Busch titles in the same year; has been very erratic in his last 12 races, with three of his four victories coming in that span but just two other finishes better than 11th; finished fifth here in the spring race and ran 16th in this event last season.
Matt Kenseth Chase Points: 6,008 (1st) Maintained his Chase lead with a fourth-place finish at Atlanta but saw his cushion in the standings shrink to just 26 points; has four top-10 finishes in the seven Chase races and has placed outside the top 15 just once this postseason; reclaimed the Chase lead despite finishing 11th at Martinsville, where he capitalized on Burton's crucial engine failure; delivered a huge performance with a fourth-place finish at Talladega; had consecutive wins in August to run his season total to four and grab the standings lead heading into the Chase; won the series title in 2003 despite capturing only one victory, prompting the change to the Chase format; was runner-up to Kahne here in April and ran third in this event last season; won the spring race at this track in 2002.
Denny Hamlin Chase Points: 5,943 (3rd) Ran eighth at Atlanta and continued late surge in Chase standings; is third in the standings and trails Kenseth by just 65 points; outstanding circuit rookie revived his title hopes at Martinsville, where he finished second behind Jimmie Johnson; was involved in a massive 14-car crash at Lowe's and slipped to sixth in the standings; also fell three spots after running 21st at Talladega; has two wins this season, both at Pocono, becoming just the second rookie in series history to win both races at a single track; registered impressive seventh-place finish in this race last season and ran fourth here in the spring.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chase Points: 5,924 (5th) Climbed right back into Chase contention with an impressive third-place performance at Atlanta; is tied with Burton for fourth in the standings, 84 points off the pace; chances for his first series title took a serious hit at Talladega, where he was knocked off the lead in the final lap by Brian Vickers; managed 23rd place in that race; has 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s this season; ran 12th here in the spring and finished eighth in this race last year; won the spring race here in 2000 and has six top-10 finishes in eight career starts at this track.
Kasey Kahne Chase Points: 5,798 (9th) Another Chase driver who saw his title hopes come to an end at Atlanta, where he finished 38th after crashing with David Stremme on lap 256; dropped to ninth in the standings and trails Kenseth by 210 points; finished seventh at Martinsville, recorded his series-leading sixth checkered flag of the season at Lowe's and was runner-up to Vickers at Talladega; failed to cash in on claiming the pole at Kansas, spinning out as he tried to make it to the pits on his final stop after running out of fuel and finishing 33rd; is second in the circuit to Kurt Busch with five poles, fueling his first appearance in the season-ending title run; captured the checkered flag from the pole in the spring race here but struggled with engine problems in last year's race en route to 42nd place in the 43-car field.
Kyle Busch Chase Points: 5,759 (10th) After another disappointing performance last weekend at Atlanta, is all but eliminated from Chase contention, trailing leader Kenseth by 249 points; finished 27th in the race and remained 10th in the standings; ran sixth at Lowe's and placed 11th four weeks ago at Talladega but has not overcome a pair of finishes outside the top 35 in the first two Chase races; finished 15th in the spring race and also struggled in this race last season, running 40th in the 43-car field.