Much talk will happen before the green flag in Homestead on Sunday Nov. 20 when Carl Edwards takes his skinny three point lead over Tony Stewart to the 1.5-mile oval track Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.
That talk will include the playful comments between Edwards and Stewart as they toy with one another’s mind while the media focuses on them like eagles on prey.
But when the flag drops the public words cease and radio words begin between drivers, spotters and crew chiefs.
ESPN will bring the hi-definition excitement to waiting millions who are not in the stands starting at 3 p.m.
The pleasant south Florida weather is expected to bring warm sun and rainless moments as this time of the year is generally dry for the area.
All that adds up to comfortable triumph for one driver and a great experience for fans.
Obviously only the fans for Edwards or Stewart will be jubilant. But many will anticipate.
The long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will arrive in Homestead after 35 action-packed races and now with only one race and 267 laps to go a championship will happen.
A trophy will be owned.
The top five drivers going into HMS—Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson—had comments about arriving and competing during the Ford Championship Weekend.
Carl Edwards (No. 99 Ford)
“I’m just excited to get in the race car this weekend,” Edwards said. “It’s a fun race track and we run very well there.
"The last few weeks we’ve run really well. To be a part of this championship battle is truly an honor.
"The team and I are all having fun with it, and we’re going to go to Homestead and give it everything we’ve got, and hopefully we can end up in victory lane again. That would be a heck of a way to end the season and win the championship.”
Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet)
“You go off into turn one, and when you get into the banking, you lift. If your car is good, you can go and not use any brake, or very, very little brake,” Stewart said.
“You stay one lane off the bottom, past the transition—it’s a little less banking on the lower level toward the apron—so you stay one level above that. As soon as your car settles in you can really just mash right back in the gas and just ride that second level around down onto the backstretch.
"And then you do exactly the same thing going into turn three. A lot of times in turn three, because of the wind direction there, you can actually go into the corner a lot harder and a lot further, actually turning into the corner before you get off the gas. And it’s the same thing, once that car settles in, you get on the gas and ride it around to the front stretch. It’s a pretty smooth racetrack.”
Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Chevrolet)
"Homestead is one of those race tracks that you don't know when it is going to stop aging,” Harvick said. “It seems like every time we return to the track it loses a little grip, which is a good thing.
"Since they repaved the track a few years back it has become one of my favorites. You can move all around trying to find a groove that works for you. There are a lot of different places where you can make your car work. For me it has been a lot of fun to race on. It’s just unique."
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Dodge)
“This has definitely been a dream season for me in my first year driving the ‘Blue Deuce', Kesleowski said. "
We were able to show progression as the year went along and that was one of the most important things for me. This was basically a new team and for us to compete for the championship in our first year together really bodes well for our future. With the success that we had this year, it changes the goal and expectations for 2012.”
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
“I’m definitely disappointed that we won’t be able to go to Homestead and race for our sixth, but that’s motorsports,” Johnson said.
“It’s a very tough business. What we did over the last five years was absolutely spectacular and I’ve just got to thank Lowe’s. I’ve got to thank Hendrick Motorsports,Chad Knaus and this whole race team for giving me everything they’ve had these 10 years.
"Even though we’re not in position to win the championship now, we’re going to go to Homestead and try to have our best race down there that we can and finish as high as we can in the points.”
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com.
Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained from official release materials provided by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and team representatives.
Photo credit: Dwight Drum at Racetake.com.
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