As the final race in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, the Ford EcoBoost consists of 267 laps covering a distance of 400.5 miles. It is part of the Ford Championship Weekend which includes the Ford EcoBoost 200 and the Ford EcoBoost 300. Last year’s event was won by Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing and fans are no doubt eager to see who will take the checkered flag this year. For more information visit nascar.com or homesteadmiamispeedway.com
Dates: 16 November 2014
Venue: Homestead-Miami Speedway
When NASCAR was founded by Bill France Sr. more than fifty years ago, the idea was to race cars that could be bought off a dealership showroom floor – stock cars. Over the years as technology advanced, so have the cars, but the NASCAR philosophy remained the same, with driver skill being the deciding factor when a car crosses the finish line. Following a series of deaths in the first few years of the new century – Tony Roper, Kenny Irwin, Adam Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. – NASCAR officials turned their attention to making the sport safer and in 2007 the Car of Tomorrow (COT) was introduced with the emphasis on driver safety.
To level the playing field to an extent, the exact same template was used, regardless of which manufacturer was building the car – Ford, Dodge, Toyota or Chevrolet. The slightly larger build of the Car of Tomorrow was a little less aerodynamic, but more stable at high speeds and better able to handle impact from other cars. The new CoT debuted on March 25, 2007, at Bristol with Kyle Busch winning the race in a Chevrolet, but nonetheless commenting during his victory lane interview that the car “sucked”. Other drivers gave the car mixed reviews, with one of the negatives being that racing had been reduced to a single-file procession with little room for the action provided by competitors passing one another.
Various problems with the CoT were experienced and ironed out over the following years, and in 2012 fuel injection replaced the carburetor as the fuel distributor. For 2013, NASCAR sanctioned a redesign of the CoT body style,which is mostly cosmetic in nature, to identify with the manufacturer, with the chassis and mechanics of the car remaining the same. The CoT was officially renamed the Gen6 car by NASCAR at the 2012 Ford Championship Weekend.
In a recent series of tests at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the new NASCAR Gen 6 reportedly received a stamp of approval from the sixteen drivers testing it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. noted enthusiastically he was really impressed and that NASCAR is going to be “revolutionized” by the car – and that type of endorsement from one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers bodes well for the Gen 6 car in 2013.
As the season’s final race, the Ford Eco Boost 400 is set to offer plenty of nail-biting action. Last year’s event was won by Tony Stewart, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will take the checkered flag in 2012. Homestead’s Sprint Cup Race Record of 131.888 was set by Matt Kenseth on 18 November 2007, with the Sprint Cup Qualifying Record of 181.111 being set by Jamie McMurray in 2003.
Date: 18 November 2012
Venue: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Country: United States
Tony Stewart continued his winning streak by taking the checkered flag at the 14th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne 50-lap midget car event on New Year’s Eve. Driving the twenty-year old VW-powered Munchkin, Stewart completed the race at 11:04 pm, later noting that the car in which he had claimed seven victories was easy to work with and fun to drive. Stewart ended the year on a high note and added to his list of achievements which include being the fast qualifier in his past ten races, and winning nine times in fourteen career starts.
Although it had an unpromising start, 2011 turned out to be an exciting year for both Stewart and his fans as he claimed his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, with his previous two title wins being in 2002 and 2005. The final race of the NASCAR season turned into a nail-biting duel between Edwards and Stewart, with Stewart crossing the finish line in first place and claiming the championship title.
In a post-race interview, 40-year old Stewart was reported as saying that it was the first time he had raced on New Year’s Eve, and that it was a great way to have finished the year. He also noted that it would be hard to keep up his winning streak, but he anticipates that it will be a lot of fun trying.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Tony Stewart has revealed that he will be part of a four-car “Team of Champions”, along with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bryan Clauson and Jake Blackhurst, to participate in the 26th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals set to start on 10 January. Driving the Chevrolet Performance Parts Sponsored No. 14 Chevrolet/Spike, which he has dubbed “Back in Black”, Stewart intends to challenge the Esslinger/Ford dominated event. Clauson will be driving a No. 39c Essingler/Spike Indycar/Indy 500 race car, while Stenhouse Jr. will be competing in a No. 39a Esslinger/Spike, and Blackhurst will be driving a No. 39b Esslinger/Spike Kitchen Cooked entry.
The Classic Ford Show is a day filled with thrills, entertainment and revving engines. Sunday will be a full day with a schedule that includes Run What Ya Brung, 1 500 Classic Fords on display, Ultimate Classic Ford competition, Retail Village, Autojumble, FireForce Jet Car, live bands, DJs, quizzes, and children’s entertainment. Don’t forget to also pick up a copy of Classic Ford Magazine.
Date: 5 June 2011
Time: 9 am
Venue: Santa Pod Raceway
Country: United Kingdom