2009 Ford 400
|Race 36 of 36 in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
Map of Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gray dashed lines are other courses. Gray solid line is another pit road option.
|Date||November 22, 2009|
|Location||Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
|Distance||267 laps, 400.5 mi (644.542 km)|
|Weather||Warm with temperatures approaching 83.1 °F (28.4 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)|
|Average speed||126.986 miles per hour (204.364 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|No. 11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, Jerry Punch|
The 2009 Ford 400 was the thirty-sixth and final stock car race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the tenth and final race of the season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup. It was held on November 22, 2009 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in Homestead, Florida before a crowd of 70,000 people. The 267-lap race was won by Denny Hamlin of the Joe Gibbs Racing team after starting from thirty-eighth position. Jeff Burton finished second and his teammate Kevin Harvick came in third.
Jimmie Johnson won the pole position and maintained his lead on the first lap of the race. Many Chase for the Sprint Cup participants, including Johnson, Kurt Busch and Mark Martin, were in the top ten for most of the race, although some encountered problems in the closing laps. Kyle Busch was leading the race with forty-four laps remaining, giving the lead to Hamlin who maintained it to win the race. There were seven cautions in the race, as well as eighteen lead changes among ten different drivers.
The race was Hamlin's fourth win in the 2009 season, and the eighth of his career. Johnson became the first driver to win four consecutive Drivers' Championships and was 141 points ahead of Mark Martin. Johnson's team owner Jeff Gordon won the Owners' Championship. Chevrolet won the Manufacturers' Championship with 262 points, fifty-five points ahead of Toyota and ninety-eight ahead of Ford. The race attracted 5.60 million television viewers.
Homestead Miami Speedway is one of ten intermediate tracks to hold NASCAR races, the others being Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race was held on the standard track at Homestead Miami Speedway; a four-turn oval track that is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long. The track's turns are banked from 18 to 20 degrees, and both the front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the back stretch are banked at three degrees.
Before the final race of the season, Jimmie Johnson led the Drivers' Championship with 6,492 points; Mark Martin was second with 6,384 points, 92 points behind Johnson. A maximum of 195 points were available for the final race. Behind Johnson and Martin in the Drivers' Championship, Jeff Gordon was third with 6,323, and Kurt Busch was fourth with 6,281 points. Chevrolet had already secured the Manufacturer's Championship, and entered the race on 256 points, 58 points ahead of Toyota on 198 points, with a maximum of nine points available at the Ford 400. Carl Edwards was the race's defending champion.
Practice and qualifying
Three practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—one on Friday, and two on Saturday. The first session lasted 90 minutes, and the second 45 minutes. The final session lasted 60 minutes. In the first practice session, Kurt Busch was fastest, placing ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in second and Clint Bowyer in third. Ryan Newman took fourth position and Joey Logano placed fifth. Tony Stewart, Edwards, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick and David Reutimann rounded out the top ten fastest drivers in the session.
Although forty-eight drivers were entered in the qualifier; according to NASCAR's qualifying procedure, only forty-three could race. Each driver ran two laps, with the starting order determined by the competitor's fastest times. Johnson clinched his fifth pole position of the season, with a time of 31.049. He was joined on the grid's front row by Scott Speed. Marcos Ambrose qualified third, Martin took fourth and Stewart started fifth. Harvick, Newman, Greg Biffle, Bill Elliott and Bowyer completed the top ten fastest qualifiers. Kurt Busch, one of the drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, qualified twelfth, while Jeff Gordon set the twentieth fastest time. The five drivers who failed to qualify were Joe Nemechek, Dave Blaney, Mike Skinner, Max Papis and David Stremme. After the qualifier Johnson said, "I had a talk with myself to do what I could today and don't freak out if it's not as good as what Mark [Martin] ran. I kept my emotions in check and drove the car with the right touch and feel, and that comes from being relaxed, so it went well."
On Saturday morning, Martin was fastest in the second practice session, ahead of Denny Hamlin in second, and Johnson in third. Newman was fourth quickest, and Kyle Busch took fifth. Jeff Burton managed sixth. Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Martin Truex, Jr. followed in the top ten. Of the other drivers in the Chase, Jeff Gordon finished with the seventeenth fastest time, while Stewart set the twenty-fourth fastest time. Burton paced the final practice session, with Harvick and Martin followed in second and third respectively. Truex was fourth fastest, ahead of Newman and Logano. Johnson was scored seventh, Casey Mears eighth, Brad Keselowski ninth and Hamlin tenth. The other Chase drivers, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch were scored fifteenth and eleventh respectively.
The race, the last in the 2009 season, began at 3:15 pm Eastern Daylight Time and was televised live in the United States on ABC. Around the start of the race, weather conditions were partly cloudy with the air temperature 28 °C (82 °F). Fidel Gomez, assistant pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, began pre-race ceremonies with an invocation. Actress Anika Noni Rose performed the national anthem, and Actor Mike Rowe commanded the drivers to start their engines. During the pace laps, Robby Gordon had to move to the back of the grid because of him changing his engine.
Johnson retained his pole position lead into the first corner, with Speed behind him. Two laps later, Harvick had moved into fourth position; Jamie McMurray, who began the race in eleventh, had moved up four positions to seventh place. By lap six, Ambrose began to reduce the lead of Johnson, and Martin got loose on the same lap but regained control of his car. On lap nine, Stewart passed Martin for fourth. One lap later, Ambrose passed Johnson to become the new race leader. On lap 13, Johnson retook the lead off Ambrose. After having made three positions early, Harvick moved up into second position by passing Ambrose. On lap 16, Ambrose's car suffered a flat tire and came into the pit road.
Earnhardt who began the race in thirty-second, had moved up nineteen positions to thirteenth by lap 24. Two laps later, Ambrose began to slow and made a pit stop three laps later to change his car's battery. On lap 33, Stewart passed Johnson to become the new race leader while Ambrose's car went into his garage. Three laps later, Earnhard. had passed McMurray for tenth position. On lap 38, Clint Bowyer passed Martin for fourth position, as Ambrose rejoined the race four laps later. On lap 47, Kurt Busch passed Martin to claim sixth position. Three laps later, green flag pit stops began, as Matt Kenseth and Martin were the first to pit. Johnson made his pit stop one lap later.
On lap 53, Kurt Busch became the new race leader after Stewart came into his pit stall. One lap later, Kurt Busch came onto pit road and Bowyer became the new race leader. On lap 57, Harvick passed Bowyer to clinch the lead. Two laps later, Bowyer moved into second position by passing Stewart. Four laps later, Stewart reclaimed the lead after passing Harvick. On lap 64, Johnson passed Martin to move into ninth. By lap 73, Stewart had a 2.4 second lead over Harvick. One lap later, Newman collided with the wall, falling to eleventh place, and escaped with minor damage. On the 79th lap, Truex moved into seventh after passing Jeff Gordon. Two laps later, Ambrose spun at turn four but avoided contact with the barriers, causing the first caution of the race, and the pace car came out on track. During the caution, most of the leaders made pit stops.
Stewart maintained his lead on the restart, but Harvick reclaimed the lead immediately afterward, and Stewart was passed by Bowyer for second. One lap later, Stewart dropped to sixth as he was passed by Johnson, Montoya and Kurt Busch. On lap 89, Montoya passed Kurt Busch to move into fourth position. Two laps later, Montoya moved into third position after passing Johnson. On lap 92, Montoya passed Bowyer for second, as Burton moved into third. Three laps later, Kurt Busch moved up into sixth after passing Johnson. On lap 101, John Andretti collided with the wall, causing the second caution of the race. As with the first caution, most of the leaders made their pit stops.
Harvick maintained his lead on the restart. Three laps later, Ambrose collided with the wall which prompted the third caution. Most of the drivers stayed on track during the caution, allowing Harvick to remain the leader on the restart. A collision involving Montoya and Stewart occurred on lap 116 and the third caution was given as a result. Harvick led on the restart, although he was passed by Kurt Busch within eleven laps. By lap 143, Kurt Busch had a 1.5 second lead over Harvick. Two laps later, Hamlin passed Harvick to claim second. On lap 155, Montoya and Stewart were involved in a collision and prompted the fifth caution. During the caution, all of the leaders made pit stops and Montoya was black-flagged for two laps. On lap 158, Hamlin reclaimed the lead, followed by Kurt Busch and Burton.
On lap 165, Johnson moved into seventh. Afterward, Johnson passed Jeff Gordon for sixth position. Seven laps later, Kurt Busch reclaimed the lead off Hamlin. During the 184th lap, Burton passed Hamlin for second. Ten laps later, a sixth caution came out as Robby Gordon spun sideways. All leading cars made pit stops, with Hamlin maintaining his lead until Burton passed him on the restart. By lap 205, Burton had a lead of over two seconds. On lap 216, debris was spotted on the track and the seventh and final caution was prompted. The lead drivers made their pit stops. One lap later, Michael Waltrip became the new leader, followed by Andretti. Kurt Busch regained the lead one lap later, when Waltrip and Andretti made their pit stops. Kyle Busch immediately passed Kurt Busch on the restart for the lead. One lap later, Hamlin reclaimed the lead off Kyle Busch.
On lap 229, Jeff Gordon passed Johnson for the seventh position. Seven laps later, Martin moved into twelfth. After 247 laps, Hamlin's lead over Kyle Busch was 2.3 seconds. During the 249th lap, Edwards passed Bowyer for eighth. Six laps later, Kurt Busch passed Kyle Busch for third, and Kyle Busch lost fourth place to Johnson on lap 256. Hamlin maintained the lead to win his fourth race of the 2009 season. Burton finished second, ahead of Harvick and Kurt Busch. Johnson, who finished fifth, became the first driver to clinch four consecutive Drivers' Championships. Gordon, Edwards, Kyle Busch, Truex and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top ten finishers.
Hamlin appeared in victory lane to start celebrating his fourth win of the season in front of 70,000 who attended the race. Hamlin also earned $347,975 in race winnings. After winning the race, Hamlin described his disappointment by saying, "The car took off and it was game-over, Everyone's got a little fight in them, especially when they get done wrong. After our performance today, it's easy to put yesterday behind me.
Afterward, Johnson began celebrating his fourth consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship. During the celebration, Johnson was delighted with his performance, saying, "The truth of it is, to do something that's never been done in this sport -- to love the sport like I do and respect it like I do -- and the greats: Petty, Earnhardt, Gordon ... to do something they've never done is so awesome. To win four championships in eight years, what this team has done ... I don't know where to start. It's unbelievable." Burton, who finished second, commended Johnson's achievements saying, "It’s hard to say he’s the best when you’re out there racing against him, but you have to put him on the list.” Martin, who finished second in points, said,
"Our car didn't work well [Sunday], It didn't work well, and we really struggled with it. And as the sun went down, we went to the back. We came in and pitted and tried to do some work on it to try to improve it, and it didn't really improve it a whole lot, so then we were stuck with sorry track position on top of not having a great race car. We just fought and fought and fought, and actually the last adjustment perked it up, and we drove from 21st to 10th, and then right at the end a couple of the guys got the high line going and got me back."
In the Drivers' Championship, Johnson finished first with 6,652 points, one-hundred and forty one ahead of Martin in second. Jeff Gordon followed in third with 6,473. Kurt Busch and Hamlin rounded out the top five positions with 6,446 and 6,335 points respectively. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet won with 262 points, fifty-five ahead of Toyota and ninety-eight ahead of Ford. Dodge finished fourth with 159 points. 5.60 million people watched the race on television. The race took three hours, six minutes and eighteen seconds to complete, and the margin of victory was 2.632 seconds.
|1||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.049||173.319|
|2||82||Scott Speed||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||31.269||172.695|
|3||47||Marcos Ambrose||JTG Daugherty Racing||Toyota||31.272||172.678|
|4||5||Mark Martin||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.331||172.353|
|5||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||31.351||172.243|
|6||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||31.369||172.145|
|7||39||Ryan Newman||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||31.389||172.035|
|8||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||31.391||172.024|
|9||21||Bill Elliott||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||31.421||171.860|
|10||33||Clint Bowyer||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||31.425||171.838|
|11||26||Jamie McMurray||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||31.425||171.838|
|12||2||Kurt Busch||Penske Championship Racing||Dodge||31.433||171.794|
|13||44||A.J. Allmendinger||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||31.441||171.750|
|14||1||Martin Truex Jr.||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||31.460||171.646|
|15||07||Casey Mears||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||31.463||171.630|
|16||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||31.473||171.576|
|17||02||David Gilliland||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||31.494||171.461|
|18||36||Michael McDowell||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Toyota||31.499||171.434|
|19||71||Bobby Labonte||TRG Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.506||171.396|
|20||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.517||171.336|
|21||19||Elliott Sadler||Richard Petty Motorsports||Dodge||31.518||171.331|
|22||00||David Reutimann||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||31.528||171.276|
|23||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||31.549||171.162|
|24||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||31.580||170.994|
|25||9||Kasey Kahne||Richard Petty Motorsports||Dodge||31.585||170.967|
|26||31||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||31.585||170.967|
|27||12||Brad Keselowski||Penske Championship Racing||Dodge||31.613||170.816|
|28||37||Travis Kvapil||Front Row Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.615||170.805|
|29||77||Sam Hornish Jr.||Penske Championship Racing||Dodge||31.617||170.794|
|30||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||31.644||170.648|
|31||96||Erik Darnell||Hall of Fame Racing||Ford||31.666||170.530|
|32||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.680||170.454|
|33||83||Brian Vickers||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||31.688||170.411|
|34||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||31.694||170.379|
|35||20||Joey Logano||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||31.714||170.272|
|36||98||Paul Menard||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||31.715||170.266|
|37||7||Matt Crafton||Robby Gordon Motorsports||Toyota||31.787||169.881|
|38||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||31.818||169.715|
|39||55||Michael Waltrip||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||31.886||169.353|
|40||34||John Andretti||Front Row Motorsports||Chevrolet||31.901||169.274|
|41||6||David Ragan||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||31.939||169.072|
|42||43||Reed Sorenson||Richard Petty Motorsports||Dodge||31.952||169.003|
|43||08||Terry Labonte||Carter Simo Racing||Toyota||
|44||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports||Toyota||31.633||170.708|
|45||66||Dave Blaney||Prism Motorsports||Toyota||31.964||168.940|
|46||70||Mike Skinner||TRG Motorsports||Chevrolet||32.017||168.660|
|47||13||Max Papis||Germain Racing||Toyota||32.042||168.529|
|48||09||David Stremme||Phoenix Racing||Chevrolet||–||–|
|1||38||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||267||1952|
|2||26||31||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||267||1751|
|3||6||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||267||1701|
|4||12||2||Kurt Busch||Penske Championship Racing||Dodge||267||1651|
|5||1||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||267||1601|
|6||20||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||267||150|
|7||24||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||267||146|
|8||30||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||267||1471|
|9||14||1||Martin Truex Jr.||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||267||138|
|10||13||44||A. J. Allmendinger||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||267||134|
|11||10||33||Clint Bowyer||Richard Childress Raacing||Chevrolet||267||1351|
|12||4||5||Mark Martin||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||267||127|
|13||34||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||267||124|
|14||8||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||267||121|
|15||22||00||David Reutimann||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||267||118|
|16||9||21||Bill Elliott||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||267||115|
|17||25||9||Kasey Kahne||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||267||112|
|18||11||26||Jamie McMurray||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||267||109|
|19||15||07||Casey Mears||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||267||106|
|20||33||83||Brian Vickers||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||267||103|
|21||29||77||Sam Hornish Jr.||Penske Championship Racing||Dodge||267||100|
|22||5||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||267||1021|
|23||7||39||Ryan Newman||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||267||94|
|24||35||20||Joey Logano||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||267||91|
|25||27||12||Brad Keselowski||Penske Championship Racing||Dodge||267||88|
|26||36||98||Paul Menard||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||267||85|
|27||2||82||Scott Speed||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||267||82|
|28||32||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||267||79|
|29||17||02||David Gilliland||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||267||76|
|30||39||55||Michael Waltrip||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||266||781|
|31||19||71||Bobby Labonte||TRG Motorsports||Chevrolet||266||70|
|32||16||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||266||67|
|33||40||34||John Andretti||Front Row Motorsports||Chevrolet||266||64|
|34||41||6||David Ragan||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||266||61|
|35||3||47||Marcos Ambrose||JTG Daugherty Racing||Toyota||251||631|
|36||31||96||Erik Darnell||Hall of Fame Racing||Ford||247||55|
|37||28||37||Travis Kvapil||Front Row Motorsports||Chevrolet||243||52|
|38||23||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||235||49|
|39||37||7||Robby Gordon||Robby Gordon Motorsports||Toyota||227||46|
|40||42||43||Reed Sorenson||Richard Petty Motorsports||Dodge||116||43|
|41||21||19||Elliott Sadler||Richard Petty Motorsports||Dodge||116||40|
|42||43||08||Terry Labonte||Carter Simo Racing||Toyota||88||37|
|43||18||36||Michael McDowell||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Toyota||35||34|
1 Includes five bonus points for leading a lap
2 Includes ten bonus points for leading the most laps
Standings after the race
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2009 Checker Auto Parts 500
|Sprint Cup Series
2010 Daytona 500