Since 1965, Ford has won just eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships. While they’re one of the most prestigious manufacturers and loyal participants in NASCAR, they just haven’t had the championship pedigree. Under the new “Chase” format that was adopted in 2004, Chevrolet has won 10 titles. Toyota and Dodge have each won a championship too. While Ford has won a title themselves, they haven’t won in over a decade. In fact, Kurt Busch won the inaugural championship under the “Chase” format in 2004. Unfortunately, they haven’t won a title since.
Now, that could change on Sunday. Out of the four Championship 4 participants competing at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2017 championship this weekend, half of which are Ford drivers.
Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, each past champions of their own merit, will be vying for this year’s crown against two Toyota drivers in Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. While the two Toyota drivers have combined to win 12 races this season, including dominating all of the 1.5-mile tracks on the circuit, the two Ford drivers have combined to win just five races themselves. But, here they are with a realistic shot at beating Toyota in a winner take all scenario in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 (2:30 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN).
Harvick, has experience with this format. He won the 2014 championship under this new format. He also beat Toyota head to head at Texas just two weeks ago and has had a top 10 finish in all but one race on the intermediate tracks this season. Furthermore, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has finished inside the top 10 in 14 of his 15 tries at Homestead, including three straight years of top three finishes at the South Florida track. His average finishing spot at Homestead is 6.94, best among the four participants.
Keselowski, has three top six finishes in his last four Homestead starts and too has the desire to get a second championship crown. While Keselowski has been down on his 1.5-mile program in 2017, he overcame a lot and had a fast car on a place at Texas where he never thought he’d have.
While these two didn’t win their championships with Ford, they’re looking to give Ford just their fifth Cup title since 1989.