HOMESTEAD, Fla – The final two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions of the 2016 season occurred on Saturday morning at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, as the 40 drivers competing in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 (2:30 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN) had their last two chances to dial their cars in for their liking for tomorrow’s season finale
In the first session, Hendrick Motorsports led the way as Chase title contender Jimmie Johnson topped the speed charts with a speed of 174.345 mph in his No. 48 Chevrolet. Johnson, has never won at Homestead but with searching for his record tying seventh Sprint Cup title on Sunday, a win in the race will likely be needed.
Johnson’s HMS teammate of Chase Elliott was second quick as the rookie turned a lap of 173.332 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet. That lap was a full mph slower than Johnson’s as it proves just how strong Johnson’s car was in the opening practice session earlier this morning.
Another Chase contender in Carl Edwards was third fastest as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver set a lap of 172.949 mph in his No. 19 Toyota.
Trevor Bayne (172.739 mph) and Ryan Blaney (172.728 mph) rounded out the top five in the session.
The other two Chase contenders Joey Logano and Kyle Busch were sixth and 28th respectively in the session. Pole sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th overall.
In final practice, Martin Truex Jr. found his way to the top of the speed charts as he turned a lap of 174.289 mph in his No. 78 Toyota. Edwards, moved up from third in the opening session to second in final practice as he turned a lap of 174.031 mph.
Edwards, has won twice during the course of his career at Homestead, and after earning a top 10 starting spot for Sunday and being third and second respectively in the two practices on Saturday, he appears to be the favorite to land a third trip to victory lane at the 1.5-mile track and his first Sprint Cup title.
Ryan Newman (172.723 mph) A.J. Allmendinger (172.502 mph) and Elliott (172.408 mph) rounded out the top five in the final practice of the year.
Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch were eighth, 10th and 14th respectively.