Fan Vs. Fan Victory Pool: Picks for the Ford EcoBoost 400
On February 24, the Generation-6 race car took the green flag for the first time in 2013. Since then the car has set records, changed images of NASCAR, and entered in a new era in competition.
It has been a season that has seen change, new occurrences, and some controversy. It's seen unprecedented penalties, top drivers sidelined due to injury, and this year included a Chase that saw one driver pulled out, another put in, and an extra one added due to outside manipulation.
Now, it has come down to one final weekend.
Three drivers are in the hunt for a championship, while others are wanting to end their season on the best note possible. It's a big weekend where new champions are crowned, and one of the more incredible seasons in NASCAR comes to a conclusion.
Homestead-Miami Speedway is the host once again for the Ford Championship Weekend, and is again shaping up to be one for the ages.
For the writers, this weekend marks the end of their season too, as eight writers in the 12-writer pool are still in the hunt for a championship of their own, and a prize at the very end. So who is going to step up, and who can hold on to win this year's title?
Here's a look at the writers' picks for the final race of the season, the Ford EcoBoost 400:
Misan Akuya: Kyle Busch
Probably would have won this race last year if not for fuel mileage coming into play.
Rob Blount: Greg Biffle
James Broomhead: Kyle Busch
Rowdy to close out.
Kelly Crandall: Joey Logano
He's due for another win in that 22 and he's been great on the bigger tracks.
Billy Fellin: Brad Keselowski
I was ONE lap away from a win lady week...ONE LAP! But I'm not bitter.
Ugh. One lap.
Michael Hirshbein: Sal Sigala Jr.
Dale Jr...NO. Martin Truex Jr...NO. Sal Sigala Jr...YES, YES, YES!
Kara Martin: Greg Biffle
I'll stick with The Biff.
Ryan O'Hara: Kevin Harvick
Dustin Parks: Carl Edwards
If there was ever a driver wanting redemption, it's the driver of the 99. He nearly had it last week, but fuel ran dry. This is a race he has won on fuel mileage before, back in 2008, when he battled Johnson for the title but came up short. He finished second here to Smoke two years ago as well.
I'm leading the points, so it's a big gamble...but I want this win, and the title.
Patti Rodisch: Matt Kenseth
Sal Sigala Jr: Greg Biffle
This was a hard choice since I had two drivers on my radar for this race. The biggest wrench thrown into the chase was the absence of Tony Stewart, who would have saved me the driver I wanted for this race but had to use in another spot.
Win or lose I'm glad I stuck around until the end. Hopefully this RFR driver can bring me a finish that will be enough to win this pool. Last week I about threw my camera when Carl Edwards went by me in turns one and two, and I heard his car sputtering. Good luck this week to all the writers who still have a chance to win this thing.
Rob Tiongson: Clint Bowyer
Wow, I've picked Clint Bowyer. Why not? He did place second here last year. But I mean, Clint Bowyer?
At this juncture, might as well go for broke here. Got nothing to lose! Blame AD! :)
Standings following Phoenix:
Dustin Parks (2350) Jimmie Johnson finished 3rd (1)
Sal Sigala Jr. (2347) Carl Edwards finished 21st (2)
Ryan O'Hara (2336) Kyle Busch finished 7th (1)
Rob Blount (2333) Brad Keselowski finished 11th (3)
Kelly Crandall (2332) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th (1)
Rob Tiongson (2329) Denny Hamlin finished 28th (3)
Patti Rodisch (2317) Jeff Gordon finished 14th (0)
Billy Fellin (2314) Carl Edwards finished 21st (3)
Misan Akuya (2296) Carl Edwards finished 21st (3)
Kara Martin (2285) Kurt Busch finished 5th (1)
James Broomhead (2273) Denny Hamlin finished 28th (2)
Michael Hirshbein (2235) Danica Patrick finished 33rd (3)
Final Thoughts: We have arrived at the final destination this season. For 38 weeks, 36 of them being for points, NASCAR has seen incredible competition, and also some very strong incidents. It's seen joy, pain, anger, confusion, and triumph. But all that doesn't matter now, as it's about one race, 400 miles, and 267 laps to determine a champion.
So, who is the driver that will hoist the checkered flag trophy? And who exactly will take the Victory pool championship?
That all will be determined on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Summary of Picks: