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NASCAR - Nationwide - Ford EcoBoost 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Saturday, November 17th
SITE: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1999) -- Homestead, Florida
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 1,760 feet (Frontstretch); 1,760 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 57,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 18th
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 4:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 4:45 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Brad Keselowski (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 300
QUALIFYING RECORD: Casey Mears, 2004 (177.936 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Joe Nemechek, 2001 (132.191 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,454,827 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $75,450; 2nd Place - $75,193; 3rd Place - $50,825
2011 Finish
1Brad Keselowski16Elliott Sadler2
2Ricky Stenhouse Jr47Sam Hornish Jr.13
3Carl Edwards38Brendan Gaughan11
4Clint Bowyer69Aric Almirola10
5Denny Hamlin710Joey Logano9
2011 Ford EcoBoost 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 119.377 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 30 minutes, 47 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.268 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 36 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 17 among 9 drivers
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (167.660 m.p.h.)
Past Ford EcoBoost 300 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Brad Keselowski (1st) -- Dodge -- 119.377 m.p.h.
2010 -- Kyle Busch (2nd) -- Toyota -- 110.747 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kyle Busch (5th) -- Toyota -- 126.924 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (2nd) -- Ford -- 117.340 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Burton (30th) -- Chevrolet -- 112.512 m.p.h.
2006 -- Matt Kenseth (5th) -- Ford -- 126.523 m.p.h.
2005 -- Ryan Newman (1st) -- Dodge -- 124.410 m.p.h.
2004 -- Kevin Harvick (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 110.482 m.p.h.
2003 -- Kasey Kahne (3rd) -- Ford -- 121.376 m.p.h.
2002 -- Scott Wimmer (26th) -- Pontiac -- 123.542 m.p.h.
2001 -- Joe Nemechek (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 132.191 m.p.h. (race record)
2000 -- Jeff Gordon (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 125.450 m.p.h.
1999 -- Joe Nemechek (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.596 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Burton (23rd) -- Ford -- 129.605 m.p.h.
1997 -- Joe Nemechek (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 112.900 m.p.h.
1996 -- Kevin Lepage (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 119.158 m.p.h.
1995 -- Dale Jarrett (26th) -- Ford -- 92.229 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called GNC Live Well 300 (2001), Miami 300 (2000), 300 (1999), Jiffy Lube Miami 300 (1995-98), Ford 300
Past Ford EcoBoost 300 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Brad Keselowski -- 1st
2010 -- Joey Logano -- 7th
2009 -- Carl Edwards -- 2nd
2008 -- Joey Logano -- 10th
2007 -- David Ragan -- 33rd
2006 -- Kevin Harvick -- 6th
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 1st
2004 -- Casey Mears -- 26th
2003 -- Greg Biffle -- 13th
2002 -- Jeff Green -- 10th
2001 -- Jeff Green -- 9th
2000 -- Bobby Hamilton Jr -- 22nd
1999 -- Hut Stricklin -- 21st
1998 -- Casey Atwood -- 14th
1997 -- Mike McLaughlin -- 22nd
1996 -- Bobby Labonte -- 2nd
1995 -- Joe Nemechek -- 7th
Last Race Results
RACE: Great Clips 200 (November 10th)
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway -- Avondale, Arizona
MILES: 204
LAPS: 204
WINNER: Joey Logano
RUNNER-UP: Brian Vickers
THIRD: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
FOURTH: Kyle Busch
FIFTH: Kasey Kahne
POLE WINNER: Joey Logano (Finished 1st)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 4 minutes, 48 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 98.077 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.668 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 10 for 40 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 6 among 4 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Logano 1-71; R. Stenhouse Jr. 72-74; J. Logano 75-121; B.
Keselowski 122-153; J. Logano 154-197; B. Vickers 198; J. Logano
Ford EcoBoost 300 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Toyota/TBA
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/TBA
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
4Danny Efland (Irmo, SC)Chevrolet/TBA
5Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
08Jeffrey Earnhardt (Mooresville, NC)Ford/Tobacco Free Florida
8Scott Lagasse Jr (St Augustine, FL)Chevrolet/Hybrid Light BSA
10Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/G-Oil
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Alliance Truck Parts
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/
18Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Game Stop
19Hal Martin (Galliano, LA)Toyota/American Custom Yachts
20Ryan Truex (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/Grime Boss
21Joey Coulter (Miami Springs, FL)Chevrolet/Southern Wine & Spirits
22Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Derek White (Kahnawake, Canada)Toyota/OCR Gazbar
27Andrew Ranger (Roxton Pond, Canada)Ford/GCM1
30Dakoda Armstrong (New Castle, IN)Chevrolet/
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point
38Brad Sweet (Grass Valley. CA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39Dexter Stacey (Kahnawake, Canada)Ford/Maddie's Place
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
42Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J
44John Blankenship (Williamson, WV)Toyota/Coal Save the Country
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/The Motorsports Group
47J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/USS James E. Williams
52Joey Gase (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/TBA
54Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
74To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Carl Long (Roxboro, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/Thrush & Son Complete Home
86Kevin Lepage (Shelbourne, VT_Ford/Qello
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/ Gator Bowl
91Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TriStar Motorsports
98Kevin Swindell (Germantown, TN)Ford/Carol Shelby Motors
99Kenny Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Toyota/TBA
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------------------4th2nd
Elliott Sadler36th---18th---------------6th
Sam Hornish Jr---------43rd38th------21st7th
Joey Logano---------------10th4th7th10th
Justin Allgaier---------------28th20th11th13th
Danica Patrick---------------------19th32nd
Kyle Busch---3rd---41st---2ndWonWon---
Regan Smith28th------31st---------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
Ryan Blaney---------------------------
Mover of the Week
Jamie Dick - Started in the 36th position and finished 18th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Elliott Sadler
Darkhorse - Kyle Busch
Last Week's Pick to Win (Sam Hornish Jr) - Finished 14th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brad Keselowski) - Finished 9th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Elliott Sadler were deadlocked with two races remaining, however Stenhouse, with his third-place finish in Phoenix has moved 20 points clear of Sadler heading into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida.

Battling for the top spot, Sadler was involved in a multi-car crash in the closing laps, which forced a green-white- checkered finish. Brian Vickers, who made his Nationwide debut with Joe Gibbs Racing, was battling his new teammate, Joey Logano, for the lead just before the yellow flag waved for the final time. Logano held Vickers off on the last restart and beat him to the finish line by 0.668 seconds. Sadler finished a disappointing 22nd.

Stenhouse will attempt to become the sixth different driver to win back-to- back titles in NASCAR's second-tier series. Martin Truex Jr. was the last driver who accomplished the feat, doing so from 2004-05. Sam Ard (1983-84), Larry Pearson (1986-87), Randy LaJoie (1996-97) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998-99) also won consecutive championships in the series.

Stenhouse's points lead of 20 is not as comfortable as the one he had going to Homestead one year ago. He held a 41-point advantage over Sadler with one race to go. Stenhouse can clinch the championship with a finish of 16th or better; 17th or better with at least one lap led; or 18th or better with most laps led.

Currently in 10th place on the points list, Danica Patrick can set a new record for the highest-finishing female driver in NASCAR national series history. The previous record is held by Sara Christian, who finished 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings in 1949 - a 63-year-old record.

Last year, Brad Keselowski won the race, but it was Stenhouse who captured the championship. Keselowski passed Carl Edwards for the lead just after the final restart with seven laps to go. He then held off Stenhouse and Edwards to claim his fifth win of that season and the 17th of 20 Nationwide titles.

Back in 2010, Kyle Busch put on a dominating performance, as he not only won the season-ending race for his 13th win of that seas, but in doing so, he gave Joe Gibbs Racing the Nationwide Series owner's championship. Busch ran in front for 153 of 200 laps. He passed Kevin Harvick and took the lead for good just after the final restart with 23 laps to go for his 43rd career Nationwide title. Busch's win total on the Nationwide Circuit now stands at 51.

In 2009, Busch wrapped up his sensational season in the Nationwide Series by winning the Ford 300 after already clinching the championship when the green flag waved. Busch held off a hard-charging Carl Edwards in the last laps of a fitting conclusion, as the top two drivers in points finished first and second, respectively, in the season-ending race. Edwards, who started on the pole, finished 0.482 of a second behind.

Jeff Burton started in the 30th position in 2007 and climbed his way to the top, as he posted a 1.718 seconds win over Mark Martin for his 27th and final career Nationwide Series title. Burton reclaimed the lead with just 26 laps remaining for his final win in this series and fifth of 2007. Pole sitter David Ragan failed to finish the race due to an accident and placed 33rd. Kevin Harvick finished 16th after leading a race-high 84 laps.

The race at Homestead-Miami has been the season finale for the NASCAR Nationwide Series since the inaugural race at the track in 1995. Ryan Newman is the lone pole sitter to win this race, when he captured the checkered flag in 2005.

In 2006, Matt Kenseth captured the Ford 300, as he clipped Carl Edwards for his 21st career Nationwide Series title. The win was his third of 2006, as he crossed the finish line under the caution. Kenseth owns 26 wins on NASCAR's second circuit.

The 2013 Nationwide Series season returns to action February 23 at Daytona International Speedway. James Buescher won this year's season-opener at DIS.

11/13 17:09:50 ET

As of November 13, 2012, at 05:10 PM ET