The Chase for the Sprint Cup's finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway features a retiring legend, a defending champion and two potential first-time winners.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 also features drivers wrecked from the Chase by competitors, formerly suspended drivers who had to meet with NASCAR, underdogs, legends hoping to play the spoiler and more.
Below, let's take a look at everything to know surrounding NASCAR's farewell race.
Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway
When: Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Sprint Cup Standings
|4||Martin Truex Jr.||5000|
|7||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2306|
Drivers to Watch
Fresh off serving a two-race suspension for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth is one of the top drivers to watch, if not for how he might perform from a rules standpoint, then from a talent outlook and how he can impact the eventual champion.
It's worth noting, though, that Kenseth met with Logano this week and then took to Twitter to speak on the past issues:
Personal outlook aside, Kenseth was at one point the hottest driver out there and still has five checkered flags to his name this season.
While he didn't finish better than 14th over his last four races, one can imagine Kenseth wants to make a serious statement in his first race back, which happens to be the season's finale.
Given his motivation and talent, Kenseth might pull off the shocker.
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex would be the hinted underdog.
The spotlight goes to Harvick because he's the defending champion and Busch because he's the miracle story who came back from a brutal injury to qualify for the Chase in the first place.
But what about Truex of Furniture Row Racing? He's on a small team with a shot at his first championship—not that he sounds intimidated by the task.
"Everybody keeps telling me to enjoy myself and don't take it too serious and have a good time with it," Truex said, according to Dan Gelston of the Associated Press. "This is coming from guys who have done this before, experienced it. And I really didn't need that advice."
Remember, Truex was the guy with just two finishes outside the top 10 between the months of February and late June. He's finished in the top 10 in three of his past four outings, too.
Whether he gets the publicity or not, Truex remains as consistent as anyone. It isn't impossible for him to use the nothing-to-lose mentality to pull off the shocker.
Anyone would agree Sunday is all about Gordon.
Gordon stares quite the rare feat in the face, that being the ability to go out on top like few ever have a chance to do. After qualifying an impressive fifth, he spoke with Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star about going out on top:
That’s crazy, that’s life changing. (Retiring on top) is something I’m sure has been done in sport, but I don’t think it’s ever been done in this sport.
Right now I’m not even thinking or fathoming that. I’m just real happy about how we qualified. I hope we can take that fast race car and do some more with it (Saturday) and Sunday. We’ll see what happens, but that’s too much for me to think about.
Talk about changing the conversation considering just a few weeks ago most seemed curious if Gordon would capture a checkered flag at all in his goodbye season. He did in Martinsville, then he added a pair of top-10 finishes afterward to carry some of the sport's most notable momentum into Homestead.
In what might be the most important race of his career, Gordon has a chance at going out with a bang and driving off into the sunset instead of fading to black with a whimper, as so many others in various sports do.
Don't look away from No. 24 Sunday.
Stats and info courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.