Homestead Fantasy Picks: Throw Away the Loop Stats

Charlie TurnerSenior Writer INovember 13, 2008

Use your heads NASCAR fans. With only three races in the NASCAR Loop stat database for Homestead-Miami Speedway, you will need to look at more trends than the Loop Data give you. In fact, make it easy on your self and just pick a Roush-Fenway Racing driver.

I’ll admit that after last week when Jimmy Johnson again put a stompin’ on the field at Phoenix International Raceway, I am shell shocked. Johnson and Chad Knaus have shown no signs of stroking it and running for points at all. Will this week, with only a 36th place finish needed to clinch a third straight Sprint Cup Series championship change anything?

Jimmy’s average finish in the last three Homestead-Miami finales is only 18.7. He was, in two of those races, leading the championship going into the event. That may show a trend toward being conservative. Actually, it may not matter.

The Roush-Fenway drivers have been very good at Homestead. Greg Biffle once won here in three consecutive years. Greg is tops in Fastest Laps Run (80) and Laps in the Top 15 - 688 - in the last three races too.

Matt Kenseth has an average finish of 3.3 and has led the most laps—214 for 26.7 percent—in the three Loop Data races. And Kenseth is one of only three of the 2008 Chase qualifiers to have won at Homestead. Biffle and two-time winner Tony Stewart are the others.

But Carl Edwards is my pick this time. Carl has shown that he and crew chief Bob Osborne have no quit in them. They are the only team with any mathematical chance to upset the Lowes No. 48 apple cart. They have to win the race. They can win the race. Carl has an average finish of 5.7—only third best among the Roush drivers—and the fourth best Driver Rating at 107.2.

So Carl is my pick. And Jeff Gordon is my “I can’t believe I’m calling him an upset,” upset special. Gordon has never won at Homestead-Miami—there are only two of those tracks left on his to-do list. It’s just a hunch that Gordon may get the job done here, this time around.

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