NASCAR Preview

Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Race Capsule

Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • What:

    Race 36 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL

  • When:

    November 16, 2003 1:00 pm EST

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    401.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Ryan Newman Tremendous season by any drivers standards; won 11th pole last week and finished fifth for series-high 17th top-five finish; it was his seventh in the last eight races; won eight races this year; leads Jeff Gordon by 34 points in attempt to finish season fourth or better in the standings; trails second-place Johnson by 103 points; had a solid initial race at Homestead last year; starting 15th, leading 28 laps and finishing sixth.
Jeff Gordon Recorded four top-10 results in five starts at this track; was fifth last season for best finish here; only laps led (3) were in 1999 first race; had seven races of finishing no lower than seventh before settling for 22nd at Rockingham last week; slipped one spot to fifth in the standings, 34 points behind Ryan Newman.
Kevin Harvick Was Matt Kenseth's toughest late-season challenger until disappointing finishes at Atlanta and Phoenix; battling to end his season among the top five; trails Gordon by 30 points and the fourth-place Ryan Newman by 64 points; owns one top-10 finish in two starts here; led 47 laps and finished seventh in 2001, but fell to 20th last season.
Kurt Busch Has spent 32 of 35 weeks in the top 10 in points and has the 10th spot entering Sunday; won the Ford 400 from the pole last year and led 28 laps; was his first top-10 here and first laps led at track in three starts.
Jimmie Johnson Has two second-place finishes and a third in the last four races; also finished third twice in the last five events; has 10 top-10 finishes in the last 12 races; moved ahead of Earnhardt Jr. into second in the standings; scored one top-10 finish in two races at Homestead, coming in eighth last year.
Tony Stewart Finished ninth at Rockingham; reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champion remained seventh for the fifth consecutive week; only multiple winner in the four-year history of Homestead-Miami Speedway, capturing the first two events in 1999 and 2000; led 44 or more laps in first three starts at the track, but has been shut out in the last two appearances.
Bill Elliott Victory last Sunday at Rockingham was the 44th of his long career; marked his fifth top-10 finish in the last six races and moved up to ninth in the standings; recorded a pair of top-10 finishes in four races at this venue, both scored in the past two seasons; won from the pole in 2001 and followed that with a seventh-place finish last year.
Matt Kenseth The fourth-year driver captured the Winston Cup championship with a fourth-place finish last Sunday at Rockingham; won just one race this season, but took the title by being consistent; failed to finish just one race this season; part of the first series championship for 15-year team owner Jack Roush of Roush Racing; became the points leader after Atlanta in the fifth race and has never relinquished the lead; the closest any driver has came to Kenseth was after the Richmond race in May when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. closed to within 20 points; never finished better than 20th in three previous starts in this race.