Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2010. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 Preview


Laps: 267
Miles: 400.5
Track: 1.5 Mile Oval
Qualifying: Saturday, 2:30pm EST on SPEED
2010 polesitter: Kasey Kahne
2010 winner: Carl Edwards
2010 champion:  Jimmie Johnson

Can you see the Checkered Flag coming off Turn 4? The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is coming to a close. On Sunday evening, NASCAR will crown a new champion and the end of the Jimmie Johnson era have ended. Are you getting excited? As NASCAR fans, we were apart of history. Who knows if a driver winning five in a row will happen again?

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway in Sunny Florida for the Ford 400 on Sunday afternoon. Last year, Kasey Kahne sat on the pole for Red Bull Racing Team after being released from his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports. This would be Kahne’s first pole for the Red Bull Racing Team.  Carl Edwards would dominate the race, leading 190 of 267 laps. The win would be his second consecutive race win of 2010.  Jimmie Johnson would finish second to secure the first come from behind title in his skein of five championships.

Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart are the only drivers mathematically eligible to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Edwards leads Stewart by three points going into Sunday’s race.  Only one finish guarantees Carl Edwards his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship – a victory in Sunday’s season-finale Ford 400.  Stewart owns the tie-breaker (best finishes), and therefore could tie and win his third series championship.  Edwards’ three-point lead roughly translates to 13 points under the previous points system. That makes it the closest margin between first and second going into the final race in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup history, and third-closest since the inception of the position-based points structure in 1975.

Live coverage of the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway starts Sunday on ESPN at 2:00pm EST with the NASCAR Countdown. NASCAR is looking to drop the green flag at 3:15pm EST. This one is for all the marbles. Who do you think will be crowned NASCAR’s champion on Sunday night? My prediction is Tony Stewart. Let us know yours!

Entry List:

CAR DRIVER HOMETOWN MAKE SPONSOR OWNER
00 David Reutimann Zephyrhills, FL Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine Rob Kauffman
1 Jamie McMurray Joplin, MO Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Teresa Earnhardt
2 Brad Keselowski Rochester Hills, MI Dodge Miller Lite Roger Penske
4 Kasey Kahne Enumclaw, WA Toyota Red Bull Dietrich Mateschitz
5 Mark Martin Batesville, AR Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Mary Hendrick
6 David Ragan Unadilla, GA Ford UPS My Choice John Henry
7 Reed Sorenson Peachtree City, GA Dodge Speed Energy Robby Gordon
9 Marcos Ambrose Launceston, Tasmania Ford Stanley Richard Petty
11 Denny Hamlin Chesterfield, VA Toyota FedEx Express J D Gibbs
13 Casey Mears Bakersfield, CA Toyota Hard Rock Vodka Bob Germain
14 Tony Stewart Rushville, IN Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 Margaret Haas
16 Greg Biffle Vancouver, WA Ford 3M Novec Jack Roush
17 Matt Kenseth Cambridge, WI Ford Crown Royal John Henry
18 Kyle Busch Las Vegas, NV Toyota Interstate Batteries Joe Gibbs
20 Joey Logano Middletown, CT Toyota The Home Depot Joe Gibbs
21 Trevor Bayne Knoxville, TN Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Glen Wood
22 Kurt Busch Las Vegas, NV Dodge Shell / Pennzoil Walter Czarnecki
24 Jeff Gordon Pittsboro, IN Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Rick Hendrick
27 Paul Menard Eau Claire, WI Chevrolet Duracell / Menards Tom Pumpelly
29 Kevin Harvick Bakersfield, CA Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress
30 David Stremme South Bend, IN Chevrolet Inception Motorsports Timothy McSweeney
31 Jeff Burton South Boston, VA Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress
32 Mike Bliss Milwaukie, OR Ford Street King Frank Stoddard, Jr
33 Clint Bowyer Emporia, KS Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper Richard Childress
34 David Gilliland Riverside, CA Ford Front Row Motorsports Bob Jenkins
36 Geoffrey Bodine Chemung, NY Chevrolet Luke & Associates Tommy Baldwin
37 Mike Skinner Susanville, CA Ford Max Q Motorsports Brad Jenkins
38 Travis Kvapil Janesville, WI Ford Vampt Bob Jenkins
39 Ryan Newman South Bend, IN Chevrolet U.S. Army Tony Stewart
42 Juan Montoya Bogota, Colombia Chevrolet Target Chip Ganassi
43 A.J. Allmendinger Los Gatos, CA Ford Best Buy Richard Petty
46 Scott Speed Manteca, CA Ford Green Stuff Absorbent Tommy McMillan
47 Bobby Labonte Corpus Christi, TX Toyota Reese Towpower Tad Geschickter
48 Jimmie Johnson El Cajon, CA Chevrolet Lowe’s Jeff Gordon
51 Landon Cassill Cedar Rapids, IA Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit James Finch
55 J.J. Yeley Phoenix, AZ Ford Aloft Hotels Bob Jenkins
56 Martin Truex Jr. Mayetta, NJ Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip
66 Michael McDowell Phoenix, AZ Toyota HP Racing LLC Phil Parsons
71 Andy Lally* Northport, NY Ford TRG Motorsports Kevin Buckler
78 Regan Smith Cato, NY Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies Barney Visser
83 Brian Vickers Thomasville, NC Toyota Red Bull Dietrich Mateschitz
84 Cole Whitt Alpine, CA Toyota Red Bull Racing Team Dietrich Mateschitz
87 Joe Nemechek Lakeland, FL Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves Andrea Nemechek
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kannapolis, NC Chevrolet National Guard / Amp Energy Rick Hendrick
99 Carl Edwards Columbia, MO Ford Aflac Jack Roush
135 Dave Blaney Hartford, OH Chevrolet Golden Corral Beth Baldwin
192 Dennis Setzer Newton, NC Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports Bob Keselowski
193 Grant Enfinger Fairhope, AL Chevrolet Hewes Concrete Polishing George Sinica
* Denotes Rookie

Tags: Carl Edwards Homestead-Miami Speedway Jimmie Johnson Kasey Kahne NASCAR Sprint Cup Series