It wasn’t that long ago when it appeared that Todd Bodine, and Germain Brothers Racing, was going to take both the driver’s and owner’s points championships. That feat is actually regarded as a NASCAR tradition. In other words, one title leads to another.
That’s not the case regarding the 2010 series’ owner’s championship. Kyle Busch Motorsports, in its rookie season, can claim that title with a finish of 29th or better at Homestead- Miami. That’s largely due to owner/driver Kyle Busch who has won seven races this year despite running a part time schedule. Busch goes into Friday night with a 120 point lead over the Bodine team. He’s poised to become the series’ first team owner to win this title without winning the driver’s championship. He’s also looking to become only the second driver in the series to win eight races in one season.
The amazing aspect here is the fact that Busch and company has put a lock on this owner’s title within a short period of 20 days. Going into the October 23d race at Martinsville, Bodine held a 39 point lead in the owner’s championship and was planning to build on those numbers. That’s where Busch hit another one of his famous hot streaks. He finished second at Martinsville, won back to back races at Talladega and Texas and finished second at Phoenix. In a period of 20 days Busch melted Bodine’s owner’s championship hopes like butter.
Austin Dillon will be wrapping up the series’ Raybestos Brakes Rookie of the Year title Friday night. The driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, for Richard Childress Racing, has enjoyed an amazing rookie season with two wins and six Keystone Light poles. He will be the first to tell you that he owes it all to “Pop Pop.” That would be the name he calls his team owner, and more importantly, grandfather Richard Childress.
The Ford 200 will also have some noteworthy seat assignments Friday night. Elliot Sadler returns to Kevin Harvick Inc’s #2 Chevrolet Friday night with new sponsor CitiFinancial on the hood making its debut with the team. Sadler will be spending the 2011 season driving for Kevin Harvick Inc in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, plus some appearances in the truck series, with the backing of the financial institution.
Rick Ware Racing will field three Chevrolet Trucks in Friday night’s race. Derek White will make his first start of the season, and third start overall, in the team’s #6 truck. In the spirit of maintaining family tradition, Jeffrey Earnhardt, the grandson of Dale Sr, gets another series start in Rick Ware’s #47 Chevrolet.
2003 series champion Travis Kvapil will be making his first start of the season in Rick Ware’s #16. There appears to be a special reason for Ware entering a third truck in this race. There has been a rampant rumor that says Jack Roush, and Roush Fenway Racing, is looking to return to truck racing in 2011 and Kvapil is rumored to be their primary driver. He will of course bring a past champion’s provisional option to the table but, to activate that provisional next year, he has to make at least one series start this year.
Keep a sharp eye on the racing fortunes of Cole Whitt Friday night. This outstanding young talent has already garnered a lot of attention in a short amount of time. Whitt will be making his series debut in the #60 Safe Auto Insurance Chevrolet. Whitt made his NASCAR debut last Saturday, in the Nationwide Series at Phoenix, where he scored a very credible 15th place finish.
THE RACE BREAKDOWN
The Ford 200 is 134 laps/201 miles around the Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 1.5 mile oval.
The race has 38 entries vying for the 36 starting positions.
12 of those entries are on the go or go home list meaning they are not guaranteed a starting berth in the race because they are currently outside of the top 25 in the series’ owner’s points standings. These teams will have to rely on qualifying speeds to make the race.
The defending race winner is Kevin Harvick. But there will be no repeat visit to victory lane. Harvick isn’t scheduled to drive in this race.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has run 14 races at the Homestead-Miami Speedway that has sent 13 different winners to victory lane. Todd Bodine is the only multiple winner there.
The Ford 200 will be broadcast live by the SPEED Channel beginning with the pre race show at 730 pm eastern time.