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Last Updated Monday, Nov 28, 2005 2:02 am, EST

Race Capsule

Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • What:

    Race 36 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL

  • When:

    November 20, 2005 4:10 pm EST

  • Laps:

    267

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    401.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,174,014

Drivers to Watch

Carl Edwards In his first full season on the circuit, is looking to give team owner Jack Roush a third consecutive championship; ran sixth last week in Phoenix on the heels of back-to-back victories in Atlanta and Texas; enters the season finale third in the standings, 87 points off the pace; the native of Columbia, Missouri is tied for third on the circuit with four victories; after opening the "Chase" with a 19th in New Hampshire, has run in the top 10 in all but one of the last eight events; the 26-year-old would become the third-youngest champion in series history and second driver to hold that distinction in as many years; finished 14th in his first career start here last year.
Greg Biffle Passed by rookie Kyle Busch on the 285th of 312 laps in Phoenix last week, settling for second; is fourth in the standings entering the season finale, 102 points off the pace as the last driver still eligible to win the title; won this race last year, holding off Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon to take a green-white-checkered flag an preserve the championship for Roush Racing teammate Kurt Busch; tied with Tony Stewart for the circuit lead with five wins this season, all within in the first 15 events; has run in the top five in seven of the last 12 events, including three runner-up finishes; has six top-10s during the "Chase" but has run 20th in half of the last four events; prior to last year's victory, has struggled on this track with finishes of 25th and 35th in his only other two starts here.
Jamie McMurray Is just 10 points behind 11th-place Gordon and 31 ahead of Elliott Sadler as he attempts to repeat as the top driver among those not involved in the "Chase"; will be making his final start as a member of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates as he will drive for Roush Racing beginning in 2006; the 29-year-old; has recorded just three top-10s over the 18 events since running second to Stewart in the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on July 2; took the checkered flag in just his second career start on this circuit in October 2002 but has not visited victory lane since.
Jeff Gordon Four-time series champion surprisingly missed out on championship contention but is looking to earn a trip to the year-end awards banquet anyway; holds a 10-point lead on Jamie McMurray for the $1 million prize and banquet invite for finishing first among drivers not involved in the "Chase"; tied for third with four wins this season, including the season-opening Daytona 500 and the Subway 500 in Martinsville on October 23; ran third behind teammate Kyle Busch and Biffle last week for his third top-three finish in the last four events; ran third in this event last year to complete the 2004 campaign third in the standings, just 16 points off the pace; finished fifth here in 2003 and is the only driver with five career top-10s on this track.
Tony Stewart The 2002 series champion needs only to finish ninth in the season finale to claim his second title; has run in the top 10 in all but two of the last 21 events and leads the circuit with 17 top-fives and 25 top-10s this season; ran fourth in Phoenix last week to gain 14 points on second-place Johnson entering the finale; won the first two premier series events here and has run seventh and fourth in the last two on this track; looking to join Gordon as the only full-time active drivers with multiple series titles: "I can promise you I want this championship worse than the rest of the drivers do. A lot of them have not won a championship yet, so people are going to ask how come I want it more. The one we won in 2002 kind of had an asterisk with the team. It was just not a clean year. We had a lot of trouble amongst ourselves internally. I created a lot of turmoil with things that happened on and off the track. This one I want to win for (crew chief Greg Zipadelli) more than the rest of the competition can possibly imagine."
Jimmie Johnson Trails front-running Stewart by 52 points after running fifth last week in Phoenix; tied for third on the circuit with four checkered flags this season, including wins at Dover and Charlotte during the "Chase"; was runner-up to Biffle in this event last year, concluding a furious rally from 247 points back with six races remaining to within eight points of Busch in the closest standings finish in the history of the sport; also was runner-up in the standings to Matt Kenseth in 2003; began the season with seven straight top-10s and is second to Stewart on the circuit with 22 top-10s overall; despite being in a similar situation to last year, is much more relaxed this time around: "Last year I learned a lot of lessons. One was that you do all you can. I made some mistakes last year in the car - letting the pressure get to me too early I crashed a car at Kansas - trying to make something of a bad day. If I would have just finished that race in 20th position where I was running at the time, I would have easily made up the eight points and it would have been a different championship. So even though it is a 10-race format at the end, there is an element of survival there. I want to do my best job possible and get everything I can out of the car every lap, but not make any mistakes."
The 1989 series champion will make his 706th career start Sunday before his retirement from the sport becomes official and Kurt Busch takes over as driver of the No. 2 Dodge Charger for Penske Racing South beginning next season; the 49-year-old made the "Chase" but his bid for a second series title began to evaporate with a 25th in Talladega on October, ending a string of 16 results of 15th or better in a 17-race span; after rebounding with a seventh in Kansas, has not run better than 19th in the last five events; has authored 55 career triumphs in a premier series career that began in 1980 but has not taken a checkered flag since the eighth race of last year; will be gunning to break that victory drought Sunday: "When we fire the engines, I'll guarantee you that it will be business as usual. There's nothing I'd like better than to win my last race."