The field is set for the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards came into the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway locked into Homestead already, and in the race Joey Logano won and Kyle Busch finished second to clinch the final two spots.
At Homestead, the four drivers will start the race tied with 5,000 points each and whoever finishes ahead of the other three will be the 2016 Sprint Cup champion.
Here’s how the field stacks up.
After a disappointing summer, the six-time Cup champion caught fire during the Chase winning races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, two of his favorite tracks. No active driver has more race victories than Johnson, who has 79, including four this year.
One of four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers to advance to the Chase Round of 8, Edwards clinched a spot at Homestead with a victory in the rain-shortened and rain-delayed AAA Texas 500. Edwards has come close to winning the title a couple of times, most notably in 2011, when he tied Tony Stewart but lost the championship on a tiebreaker for most victories.
After a good but not great regular season, Logano turned up the wick in the Chase winning at Talladega Superspeedway last month and then prevailing in a crazy finish at Phoenix to make it to the Chase finale for the second time in three years. He appears to be peaking at the right time.
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Until the closing laps of the race, it didn’t look like Busch was going to be able to defend his championship. But he came on strong in the second half of the race to finish second behind race-winner Joey Logano. Still, he made to the final for the second year in a row, filling out what should be a sensational championship battle at Homestead.