NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Ford 400 Live Thread

It All Comes Down to This! [Cup Series Live Thread]

11/20/11 in NASCAR   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

The day is finally here.  It's time to crown a new Sprint Cup Champion.  Jimmie Johnson's reign is over.  It's down to 2 drivers, Carl Edwards, and Tony Stewart.  Qualifying set the tone for the start of the race, but there's still 400 miles to go.  Carl Edwards won the pole, while Tony Stewart qualified 15th.

Smoke says he's not too worried about qualifying, and I'm sure he won't stay back there very long.  7 other drivers who start in the top 12 are Chase drivers, but they're all eliminated.  They all want to just go out and try to win the race.  That could play into Stewart's hands.  Both Smoke and Carl have 2 wins here at Homestead.  Both have had a lot of success.  That said, Edwards controls his own destiny.  Finish ahead of Stewart and win the title.  History is on his side as Homestead has been a House of Roush over the years.

We're not going to get into much detail, that's already been discussed in the preview.  So who wins this race?  The title?

My race pick: Kasey Kahne

I say he makes it 2 in a row.  He's been incredibly fast all weekend, and he'll have himself a proper send off from the Red Bull team.

Dark horse: Greg Biffle

Don't count the Biff out at any point at Homestead.  He starts in the top 10, and he did win 3 in a row here, the only driver to do so.

As for the Championship, it's going to come down to the wire, but I'm going with Smoke, and here's why.  The guys in the pre-race talked about it, he's been there before.  Edwards has never come into the final race having to protect the lead, and we saw what happened to Denny Hamlin last year when he was in the very same situation.  Stewart knows what he has to do, and he's been at the top twice before in the Cup Series.  I think the experience of being there before plays heavily into Stewart's favor.

Who do you have for the race?  The championship?  This is your official live thread to discuss the happenings before, during, and after the race.  Let's go crown a new champion!
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11/21/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
My gut tells me he will be back at SHR next year and fill in the vacant role of Director of Competition.

 I certainly hope, after what he has done for Tony, that he will remain with the organization.  Tony told the press last night that those discussions would wait, he was getting Darian drunk.  

11/21/11   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Darian Grubb has told the press that he has been fired from Stewart Haas Racing. He has said he was told after the Charlotte race that he would not be welcomed back. If they have fired him to make room for Steve Addington, I sure hope Jeff Gordon says "c'mon over here Darian!"

My gut tells me he will be back at SHR next year and fill in the vacant role of Director of Competition.

11/20/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Darian Grubb has told the press that he has been fired from Stewart Haas Racing. He has said he was told after the Charlotte race that he would not be welcomed back. If they have fired him to make room for Steve Addington, I sure hope Jeff Gordon says "c'mon over here Darian!"

He really is the new AJ Foyt, and Grubb is his George Bignotti.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

Debi_L wrote:
 Yep, I tweeted just that.  Alan Kulwicki is watching from somewhere up there.  (I'm sure I saw a hand giving Smoke a push to the lead) 

Ahhh dammit, I admit it.  I'm bawling like a baby.

Darian Grubb has told the press that he has been fired from Stewart Haas Racing. He has said he was told after the Charlotte race that he would not be welcomed back. If they have fired him to make room for Steve Addington, I sure hope Jeff Gordon says "c'mon over here Darian!"

11/20/11   |   Soxfest   |   762 respect

Smoke was there EVER a doubt not with me.............3rd title              YES!

11/20/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

One thing I've got to love is an AJ Foyt like charge. Congrats to Tony Stewart. Incredible. Haven't heard from AJ yet (although I just saw he's appearing with Tony on NASCAR Now at 10), but Mario tweeted:

Wow smoke that's the way to win a championship. Real champions do it by winning races!!

Winning like a champion is one thing. Losing like a champion is pure class. Carl Edwards, I haven't seen anyone take second with more class

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

kramer wrote:
Watching those last 40 laps I was getting choked up.  With 2 to go I said "it's really going to happen!"  Also, you know his idol was watching this race and is smiling from ear to ear.  I'd like to hear A.J. Foyt's thoughts right now.

 Hell yeah!!! Me too, and you know it.  Tony said he'd talk to AJ before the night was out.  Love to be a fly on the wall for that convo.

11/20/11   |   JenX63   |   32367 respect

He did it! Like a true champion, fighting back, getting the lead, and keeping Cark in his rearview!!!! Congrats, great year of racing!

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Debi_L wrote:
 Yep, I tweeted just that.  Alan Kulwicki is watching from somewhere up there.  (I'm sure I saw a hand giving Smoke a push to the lead) 

Ahhh dammit, I admit it.  I'm bawling like a baby.

Watching those last 40 laps I was getting choked up.  With 2 to go I said "it's really going to happen!"  Also, you know his idol was watching this race and is smiling from ear to ear.  I'd like to hear A.J. Foyt's thoughts right now.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

kramer wrote:
That's the way a championship fight is supposed to end.  Congrats to Tony Stewart for proving that it can still be done as an owner/driver in this day and age.

Somewhere up there, this man

is smiling.

 Yep, I tweeted just that.  Alan Kulwicki is watching from somewhere up there.  (I'm sure I saw a hand giving Smoke a push to the lead) 

Ahhh dammit, I admit it.  I'm bawling like a baby.

11/20/11   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Tony is the only one to win a Winston,Nextel, and a Sprint Cup title!

What an awesome finish to cap off a great season of racing!

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

That's the way a championship fight is supposed to end.  Congrats to Tony Stewart for proving that it can still be done as an owner/driver in this day and age.

Somewhere up there, this man

is smiling.

11/20/11   |   Easylike   |   592 respect

Yeah Baby!!! Tony solidifies himself as one of the best pure racecar drivers ever! Started following him when he was winning in IRL and followed him to Nascar. Five wins in the chase...unbelievable!! So happy right now I can't stop smiling, glad I'm celebrating with my girl.

11/20/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

Score one for the Fat Guys!

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Smoke wins the race and wins the Championship (first time since 1998) He also wins as an owner/driver (first time since 1992)  This was one helluva race and I loved it!

11/20/11   |   Joe_L   |   12371 respect

This was intense awesomeness.

Congrats to Smoke on the win/ sprint cup championship and Carl for one hell of a battle.

11/20/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

"02, "05 ...and now "11 CHAMP

WTG Tony!!!

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGod................

SMOKE IS GONNA WIN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

11/20/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

If Carl runs any higher...he's gonna need a ticket.
And still has NOTHING for Smoke

9 to go

11/20/11   |   Joe_L   |   12371 respect

However this finishes, it's been incredible.

OH, and Stewart is a beast.

11/20/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

This is some intense stuff.

11/20/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

18 to go.
The Rushville Rocket leadin the Way.

GOOOO Tony

11/20/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

Let's go Smoke.
Bring the Championship back to Indiana!

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
Shouldn't AJ Allmendinger be in there too since Petty gets his chassis' and his engines from Roush?^

 Yes, I should have clarified that the 17, 99 and 43 are the last three Roush/Yates cars on the track.  Was really only thinking in terms of Roush, but you are completely right.

11/20/11   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

(Edited by Canadianhick)

Shouldn't AJ Allmendinger be in there too since Petty gets his chassis' and his engines from Roush?^

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

 Carl Edwards likely to get the bonus for leading the most laps at this rate.  Tony going to have to win the race.

Edit:  He HAS clinched the most laps led.

Greg Biffle's car goes kaput.  That leaves Matt and Carl the only Roush cars still on the track.

11/20/11   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Bob Pockrass just tweeted that there is a heavy cell of rain 20-30 minutes to the east but it should skim south of the track.

11/20/11   |   CMB   |   2166 respect

CMB wrote:
One bad pit stop by either of these guys at this point and they will be right in the middle of that mess in the middle of the pack.  Going to have to stay up front

Haha, just like that.  Well, Stewart has been fast, just needs to move up quickly once again

11/20/11   |   CMB   |   2166 respect

One bad pit stop by either of these guys at this point and they will be right in the middle of that mess in the middle of the pack.  Going to have to stay up front

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 As Tony makes his way to the front, everyone starts racing harder, and we get another caution.  This time it's a fairly big wreck and will take a while to clean up.

11/20/11   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Smoke is on a mission!

Hope he pulls it off!

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Took advantage of the Red Flag to get my son from work.  Things are heating up!!!

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Red flag will fly shortly for rain.  Cars are coming to pit road, and track drying will have to commence

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Make that a red flag.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Hopefully Dale Jr can get his vibration fixed under this caution.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Two Roush cars have blown up, and now we have a caution for rain....again, but it's only raining in turns 3 and 4

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Caution for another shower, and Smoke is up to 5th.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Hood is up on the 48 on pit road.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Smoke is continuing towards the front, all the way up to 7th.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Debi_L wrote:
 WOW!! Was that a Roush car blowing up???? Hmmmmmm

I know I picked him as a dark horse, but thhis has bigger implications for Carl, doncha think?

It sure was.  When 2 drivers retire with engine problems using the same engines, it doesn't look good.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 WOW!! Was that a Roush car blowing up???? Hmmmmmm

I know I picked him as a dark horse, but thhis has bigger implications for Carl, doncha think?

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Uh-oh, Ragan just blowed up.  Edwards has to be on pins and needles.  Ambrose was down a cylinder and just went to the garage.  That's 2 Roush engines.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Looks like some ignition problems for the resident Bloke, that's a shame.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 the 14 in 13th.  A man on a mission.............

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Smoke just passed 3 cars in one corner to get up to 19th.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

kramer wrote:
Junior is looking very good so far.  Smoke is already back up to 25th.  The good thing for him is not only the caution for the rain shower, but also that they found that hole in the grill so early.  It gave the team a chance to fix it, and he still has the entire race to make his way up to the front.

 Too bad he made it a lil worse, playing bumper cars with Reutimann.

They are racing the wheels off the cars today!

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Um, I think Montoya should've pitted.  He got the track position but he's giving it all back in a big hurry.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Blaney goes through the spin cycle to bring out caution #2.  Smoke's crew makes a little more repair.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Junior is looking very good so far.  Smoke is already back up to 25th.  The good thing for him is not only the caution for the rain shower, but also that they found that hole in the grill so early.  It gave the team a chance to fix it, and he still has the entire race to make his way up to the front.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Tony up to 31st, only a couple of laps after the restart

Kahne in 7th,  moving forward, no doubt.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 Tony restarts 40th, Edwards, Truex Jr and Dale Jr start 1, 2, 3

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 MRN is tweeting that Tony has a hole in his grill and will have to come back in 

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

kramer wrote:
Kurt Busch dropped out of 3rd place on lap 3 in a trail of smoke.  He says the transmission let go on the 22.  Tough break for Kurt, you hate to see someone go out that early.

but this way he won't be a temper factor 

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Allen Bestwick: "There is a chance of an isolated shower today."

Well lookie here as they come back from the commercial break, it's raining.

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

kramer wrote:
Is it me or did Carl seem a bit worried about Tony when DJ was talking to him?

 Yep, I got that too.  He was just kind of annoying.  

And caution flies for RAIN!!! UGH!!! Are you kidding me?? 5 hours of pre-race stuff and we get rain, just a dozen or so laps in...........

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 My race pick is going to be Dale Jr.  It's his last chance to win this season, and by the look of the way he is running in the early going, I think he can get it done. 

Okay, it might just be hope, but I gotta stick with my guy.  Kahne is a good choice as well, but my dark horse is David Ragan.  Just a gut feeling on this one.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Kurt Busch dropped out of 3rd place on lap 3 in a trail of smoke.  He says the transmission let go on the 22.  Tough break for Kurt, you hate to see someone go out that early.

11/20/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Debi_L wrote:
 GO TONY!!!! I really, really, really don't like Carl Edwards, and his in-car "aww shucks" interview just made me like him less

Is it me or did Carl seem a bit worried about Tony when DJ was talking to him?

11/20/11   |   Debi_L   |   11718 respect

 GO TONY!!!! I really, really, really don't like Carl Edwards, and his in-car "aww shucks" interview just made me like him less