When there’s one spot available for many individuals to get, something will give. It’s like Black Friday, when there’s only 10 televisions available and 14 people are wanting it. There will be four that don’t get their hands on that deal, but they will battle to find out who gets it.
They scratch, claw, sometimes fight, and prevent one individual from getting that one item they want.
Sure NASCAR is not exactly like the big sales following Thanksgiving, but it is what occurred Sunday at Phoenix.
Three spots for the Homestead weekend were claimed, but five drivers were after that one last spot. They chased one another for that final spot, and an opportunity to compete for a championship. Two drivers even scraped a bit of paint, with one ultimately heading to the garage, followed by the roar of the crowd for the one that caused it.
One saw a quest for a record come to a close, and one saw a runner up finish STILL not get him in.
But, the other story was the man that actually made it to victory. Sure, he wasn’t going after a title, but he deserved to have the spotlight one more time, especially since next season, he is taking a hiatus. The man who managed to steal away the focus on the Playoffs…Matt Kenseth. As he said after, “This one is for us old guys.”
Not one participant made the correct pick, but that didn’t mean drama wasn’t involved in deciding the finals. It came down to one spot, but even that wasn’t enough. The points…they ended with no difference. So, the tie-breakers were utilized. First tie-breaker: wins on the season. That meant…still a tie. Onto the second tie-breaker, the amount of Playoff wins. The second option…still had everything even.
It came down to the final option to determine the final spot, the amount of Playoff Points earned. The difference…one. One playoff point meant one made it in, and one was left out.
The field is set. Here are your four participants that have earned the right to compete for that title following the Can-Am 500:
Sal Sigala Jr. (5000) Kevin Harvick finished 5th –  2
Ashley Hobbs (5000) Kevin Harvick finished 5th –  2
Misan Akuya (5000) Brad Keselowski finished 16th –  0
Billy Fellin (5000) Kevin Harvick finished 5th –  1
Rob Blount (2356) Joey Logano finished 12th – 
Ashley Hull (2350) Ryan Newman finished 20th – 
Patti Rodisch (2330) Chase Elliott finished 2nd – 
Penny Whitecotton (2327) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 
Rob Tiongson (2293) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 
Ashley McCubbin (2261) NO PICK SENT – 
Dustin Parks (2245) Jimmie Johnson finished 39th – 
Dalton Hastings (2221) Jimmie Johnson finished 39th – 
Klarissa Mitchell (2148) NO PICK SENT – 
Next Race: In all the previous playoff events, the standings mattered when drivers got reset, and points added in. But, when it comes to this event, it’s a true sprint to the finish. It took 35 races to get to this point, nine of which were used to determine a playoff field.
A regular season champion was crowned after Richmond. But, after Sunday, the biggest title will go to one individual. Stage points…they mean nothing. Playoff points…become moot. Finishing position…the only thing that matters. The season finale is the one race where for the Championship 4, it’s the first one to the line that will hoist a trophy at the end of the night.
We are at Ford Championship Weekend, and the Homestead-Miami Speedway is prepared to host the biggest weekend of the season since Daytona in February.
Participants, the four that are going for their own League championship must follow the rules one last week in their quest for that illustrious victory. All the necessary information regarding picks, and tie-breakers if needed, will be included. Such a special race means extra time would be nice to have. So, that is what is being given.
The season finale picks are to be submitted no later than FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, at NOON ET for the Ford EcoBoost 400.