NASCAR Announces Sellout For Championship Race At Homestead
Homestead-Miami Speedway has announced a sellout for Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship race. NASCAR's final race at Homestead has sold out each of the last six years (NASCAR). In Miami, Jordan McPherson notes Homestead's run as host to 18 consecutive championship weekends will "come to an end" after Sunday's race, as NASCAR "shifts to a rotating championship location" in '20. Next year, ISM Raceway will host NASCAR championship weekend and Homestead will "host the sixth round of races." While sites for the finale beyond the '20 season have "not been determined," Homestead will "likely be included in the rotation." Changing the finale location "spreads love to other cities, other fan bases and helps to grow the sport in other markets." It also "rewards race tracks that have improved their facilities and gives NASCAR a chance to highlight other tracks that might not be regularly seen by less casual viewers" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/15). USA TODAY's Bob Pockrass writes, "Many will miss seeing a championship decided at Homestead." However, with NASCAR's "one-race-take-all system," the championship finale "should move at least every few years so no driver has a distinct advantage or disadvantage." ISM Raceway's $178M upgrade made it a "destination NASCAR wanted to showcase" (USA TODAY, 11/15).
BIG NAMES? In Miami, Greg Cote writes Sunday's race at Homestead will be the "perfect finish in a lot of ways." The final four drivers -- Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch -- won a combined 21 races this season, none fewer than four. However, "none is a true superstar" and "none is a transcendent force in the sport." NASCAR "needs another transcendent superstar" like Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson or Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- someone who "draws a national audience above and beyond hardcore gearheads" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/15).