STILL POSSIBLE FOR FORD RACING
Two Ford Racing drivers are in the running for three series’ championships heading into the final weekend of the season.
Carl Edwards is in second place in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series heading into this weekend’s finales’ at Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Robert Hight is in third place going into the NHRA POWERade season-ender in Pomona, Calif.
Edwards finished in fourth place last weekend at Phoenix, but points leader Jimmie Johnson won, extending his lead over Edwards to 141 points. If Edwards were to win on Sunday, and lead the most laps, Johnson would have to finish 37th or worse and not lead any laps for Edwards to win his first Cup title.
“If Jimmie would have some real terrible luck in Homestead, we still have a chance at the championship,” Edwards said. “It’s possible, not real probable, but I guarantee that’s not going to change the way we do business. We’ll be aggressive and try to win the race.”
Ford has a strong history at Homestead, winning each of the last four Cup races there. Matt Kenseth won last year’s season-ender, and Greg Biffle won each year from 2004-06.
Edwards is tied for the series lead with eight victories through the season’s first 35 races, and leads all Cup drivers with 18 top-five finishes and 26 top-10s.
Regardless of the outcome, Ford will make history before the start of Sunday’s Ford 400 when the 2010 Fusion Hybrid will become the first hybrid electric vehicle ever to lead the field to the green flag at a NASCAR Sprint Cup event. The Fusion Hybris and 2010 Ford Fusion Sport have been chosen to be the official pace cars of the race.
Additionally, Edwards is 56 points behind the Nationwide Series leader following his series victory at Phoenix last Saturday. Edwards, the defending series champion, has not finished outside of the top five in a Nationwide race since August.
“We have a legitimate shot for the championship this weekend and we are definitely focused on winning it,” Edwards said. “The guys are motivated and understand what we need to do.”
Edwards could become the sixth driver in Nationwide Series history to win back-to-back championships.
Hight is just 39 points behind the leader, the equivalent of two rounds, ahead of this week’s final NHRA Funny Car event at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
“I am just excited we actually have a shot,” Hight said. “It is not a long shot. It is a good shot to win this championship. I am tired of finishing second. I know what it takes to win this thing with the team, with the people. I know I can win rounds.”
Hight has won the last two events at Auto Club Raceway, and has reached the finals in each of his last five trips there.