NASCAR Championship Weekend

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ford Championship Weekend)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ford Championship Weekend logo.jpg

Since 2002, NASCAR's top three racing series have closed their season with a weekend designed to crown each series' champion.[1]

From 2002 until 2019, the final race weekend of the season was run at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ford Motor Company became the title sponsor for all three races, and the weekend became known as Ford Championship Weekend.

During the most recent round of ongoing schedule adjustments in NASCAR, the championship weekend races were moved. For 2020, ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix will play host to the championship races. Homestead will remain on the schedule, but its race weekend will be run in March.[2]

With the removal of Homestead from the final race weekend, some drivers have stated that the championship races should rotate between tracks every year instead of being held at one particular facility.[3]

History[edit]

The grid at the 2006 Ford 200

NASCAR first decided to conclude its respective seasons on the same weekend at the same track in 2002. Prior to that, all three series finished at different tracks. The then-Craftsman Truck Series' final event was held at what is now ISM Raceway in Phoenix for the previous several years and had always been held in the western United States. The then-Busch Series' final event had been held at Homestead-Miami Speedway since 1995 (in fact, the 1995 race was the first major race ever conducted at what was then Homestead Motorsports Complex). The then-Winston Cup Series had held its final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway from 1987 onward with one notable exception; the 2001 race actually served as the penultimate event due to the 9/11-related rescheduling of the fall race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

It was decided to hold the championship races at the Homestead facility in Florida, which had been on all three series' schedules since 1999 once the track received its Cup Series event. As mentioned previously, the events were held there until the end of the 2019 NASCAR season.

After each race, an official ceremony is conducted in victory lane where the final points leader in each series is given his championship trophy.

In 2016, NASCAR adopted a championship format that is similar in function to one used by the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series to determine their Champions. Over the course of the final races of the season, qualifying drivers are eliminated from championship contention if they are not above a certain threshold following a specific event. Once the field for each series is reduced to four contenders, the Championship Weekend races are then run with the highest finishing driver among the four in each series being crowned champion.

Pre-playoff history[edit]

It was previously possible for a driver to clinch the championship before he even reached the final weekend. This happened a total of nine times, with each series having it occur at least once. The Xfinity Series saw it happen the most, on six occasions. The Truck Series saw it happen twice, while the Cup Series did so only once. When this happened, the champion would be presented with his trophy in an informal postrace ceremony with the official crowning happening following the final race.

In the pre-playoff era, there were a total of four occasions where a series points leader entering the race did not end it as champion. The first two occurrences happened during the Ford 200 Truck Series race. In 2003, Brendan Gaughan crashed out of the event late, finished 29th, and fell from first to fourth in the standings while Travis Kvapil won the championship. In 2007, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner were separated by 29 points going into the race, but points leader Skinner had a problem with one of his truck's tires and axles and finished 35th. Hornaday finished seventh and won the title by 54 points. In 2010, 46 points separated first place Denny Hamlin, second place Jimmie Johnson, and third place Kevin Harvick in the Sprint Cup standings. At various times in the Ford 400 each driver held the points lead, but in the end Johnson clinched his fifth consecutive Sprint Cup championship by finishing second in the race.[4] Hamlin fell to second place, 39 points behind Johnson, with his 14th-place finish.[4] Harvick finished 3rd in both the race and the points, 41 points behind Johnson.[4] In 2011, Tony Stewart entered the race three points behind Carl Edwards for the Sprint Cup lead. Stewart won the Ford 400 with Edwards finishing second and the points race ended in a tie. However, due to Stewart holding more victories than Edwards over the course of the season (Stewart's win gave him five while Edwards only won once), Stewart won the tiebreaker and became series champion for a third time.

Multiple event winners[edit]

Several drivers have won more than one race held during this weekend. Todd Bodine, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth are the only drivers to win the same event more than once, while Busch and Edwards are the only two drivers to win multiple races in the same weekend. Bodine won the Truck race in 2005 and 2008, while Busch won the Nationwide races in 2009 and 2010. Biffle won the Cup race in 2004, 2005, and 2006, Edwards won in 2008 and 2010, and Kenseth won the Ford 300 in 2006 and 2014 and the Ford 400 in 2007. Edwards won the Ford 300 and Ford 400 in 2008 and Busch won the Ford 200 and 300 in 2010. In his two wins Busch accomplished a rare feat in that he clinched multiple owners' championships with his wins. His victory in the Ford 200 won Busch the Truck Series owners' championship for his own team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, while his 13th victory of the season in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series car clinched the series' owners' championship for JGR. (Busch did not win the drivers' championship, as he had not run the full schedule and it had been clinched before the Ford 300 even if he had, but despite only running 28 races his 13 wins helped propel him to a third-place finish in the final standings. Busch was one of three drivers that season who finished in the top ten without running a full schedule; his teammate Joey Logano finished eighth while only running 25 races and Kevin Harvick finished sixth with only 28 races under his belt. Further, this was the last year that NASCAR allowed drivers to earn points in multiple series as a rule was implemented for 2011 in which a driver had to declare which series he would race in for points, although he could continue to run in other series and accumulate owner points for his team.)

Besides the drivers listed above, several others have won more than one event in the Ford Championship Weekend during their racing careers. Kasey Kahne won the 2003 Ford 300 and the 2004 Ford 200, Jeff Gordon won the Busch race in 2000[5] and the Cup race in 2012; however, back in 2000, only the Cup and Busch Series raced that weekend and it wasn't the final races of the season for the two series. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are the only drivers to win all three Ford Championship Weekend events in their racing careers. Harvick won the Ford 300 in 2004, the Ford 200 in 2009, and the Ford EcoBoost 400 in 2014. Kyle Busch won the Ford 200 in 2010 and 2013, the Ford 300 twice in 2009 and 2010, and the Ford EcoBoost 400 in 2015.

Television and radio coverage[edit]

Current[edit]

Since the championship weekend festivities fall during the second half of the NASCAR season, the Xfinity and Cup Series races are carried by the television entity that is contracted to air that portion of the season. As of 2015, the rights are held by NBC Sports. The exception is the Truck Series race, as Fox Sports owns the exclusive rights to all Truck Series events. The Truck races air on Fox Sports 1, the successor to its former home Speed Channel, while the Xfinity and Cup races air on either NBC or NBCSN. The Xfinity race was on NBC in 2015 and on NBCSN all other years; the Cup race has been on NBC since 2015.

All championship races are carried over radio by Motor Racing Network.

Previous[edit]

When Championship Weekend began, the Truck Series race was carried by ESPN2 as ESPN retained the rights to the series after losing its NASCAR broadcast rights following the 2000 season. Speed Channel took over all rights beginning in 2003; the network became Fox Sports 1 in August 2013.

Since NBC was already contracted to air the Busch and Cup races at Homestead once it acquired rights to the latter race, they continued to carry the races in conjunction with TNT, their broadcast partner. The networks shared coverage of the Busch race (NBC from 2002 to 2004, TNT in 2005 and 2006) while NBC aired the Cup race.[6]

In 2007, ESPN returned to covering NASCAR and began carrying their championship weekend events over ESPN, ABC, and ESPN2. The ESPN family of networks actually had two separate contracts with NASCAR at the time; the Busch/Nationwide race aired on ESPN2 as ESPN was the exclusive television rights holder for the series under their contract. The Cup series race was carried by ABC until 2009 and ESPN until the contract ended in 2014 as part of ESPN's rights to the second half of the Cup season.

Ford Championship Weekend race results[edit]

Ford EcoBoost 200[edit]

Year Race winner Team Series champion Team Notes
2002 Ron Hornaday Jr. Xpress Motorsports Mike Bliss Xpress Motorsports
2003 Bobby Hamilton Bobby Hamilton Racing Travis Kvapil Kvapil won the championship after NASCAR reviewed and upheld a black flag given to Ted Musgrave for attempting to pass Kvapil under caution. Had the penalty been reversed, Musgrave would have been granted a sixth-place finish and won the championship over seventh-place Kvapil.[7] He is also the second Truck Series former Rookie of the Year to win the Championship.
2004 Kasey Kahne Ultra Motorsports Bobby Hamilton Bobby Hamilton Racing Hamilton became the first owner/driver to win a Truck Series Championship.
2005 Todd Bodine Germain Racing Ted Musgrave Ultra Motorsports Musgrave's championship was Dodge's last in the Truck Series; the company pulled out of most NASCAR competition following the 2012 season, by which time the Ram Trucks brand had replaced Dodge's on its line of trucks.
2006 Mark Martin Roush Racing Todd Bodine Germain Racing Bodine won Toyota's first NASCAR championship.
2007 Johnny Benson Jr. Bill Davis Racing Ron Hornaday Jr. Kevin Harvick, Inc. This was Hornaday's third Truck title and his first since 1998.
2008 Todd Bodine Germain Racing Johnny Benson Jr. Bill Davis Racing Last Craftsman Truck Series champion.
2009 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick, Inc. Ron Hornaday Jr. Kevin Harvick, Inc. Hornaday had clinched the series points title following the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix. First Camping World Truck Series champion.
2010 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Motorsports Todd Bodine Germain Racing Bodine had clinched the series points title following the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix. Busch won the series owner's championship for his team with his victory.
2011 Johnny Sauter ThorSport Racing Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Dillon became the youngest NASCAR top series champion ever. First season under current NASCAR points system. He is also the third Truck Series former Rookie of the Year to win the championship.
2012 Cale Gale Eddie Sharp Racing James Buescher Turner Motorsports
2013 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Motorsports Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Crafton won the Championship by simply starting the race.
2014 Darrell Wallace Jr. Crafton became the first driver in NCWTS history to win consecutive championships.
2015 Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Erik Jones Kyle Busch Motorsports Jones became the youngest champion in NCWTS history. Last season under normal points format, as the NCWTS adopted a Chase format in 2016. He is also the first Rookie champion in the history of the series therefore also winning the Rookie of the Year that season as well.

Playoff era[edit]

Highest finishing driver among four eligible for championship wins series championship.

Year Race winner Team Series champion Team Championship Runners-Up Notes
2016 William Byron Kyle Busch Motorsports Johnny Sauter GMS Racing Matt Crafton, ThorSport Racing
Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Timothy Peters, Red Horse Racing
Sauter becomes the fourth Truck Series former Rookie of the Year to win the championship.
2017 Chase Briscoe Brad Keselowski Racing Christopher Bell Kyle Busch Motorsports Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing
Austin Cindric, Brad Keselowski Racing
Matt Crafton, ThorSport Racing
2018 Brett Moffitt Hattori Racing Enterprises Brett Moffitt Hattori Racing Enterprises Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing
Justin Haley, GMS Racing
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports
2019 Austin Hill Hattori Racing Enterprises Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Stewart Friesen, Halmar Friesen Racing
Ross Chastain, Niece Motorsports
Brett Moffitt, GMS Racing
Crafton was the first Truck Series Champion to win the Championship without winning a race in the season he won the Championship in.

Ford EcoBoost 300[edit]

Year Race winner Team Series champion Team Notes
2002 Scott Wimmer Bill Davis Racing Greg Biffle Roush Racing Biffle had clinched the series points championship following the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix.
2003 Kasey Kahne Akins Motorsports Brian Vickers Hendrick Motorsports Vickers, at the time, was the youngest driver to win the series championship at 20 years old.
2004 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick, Inc. Martin Truex Jr. Chance 2 Motorsports Truex had clinched the series championship following the BI-LO 200 at Darlington.
2005 Ryan Newman Penske Racing
2006 Matt Kenseth Roush Racing Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick, Inc./Richard Childress Racing Harvick had clinched the series championship following the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte. He had previously won the series championship in 2001.
2007 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Edwards had clinched the series championship following the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas. Last Busch Series champion.
2008 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing First Nationwide Series Champion.
2009 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Busch's championship was the first for Toyota in Nationwide Series.
2010 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Keselowski had clinched the championship after the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas. This marked the first Nationwide Series championship for Dodge and would prove to be their only championship in the series. This was also the last year that Sprint Cup Series drivers could compete in multiple series and earn points.
2011 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing First season under current NASCAR points system.
2012 Regan Smith JR Motorsports
2013 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Dillon made history by becoming the first driver to win the championship without winning a race.[8]
2014 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Chase Elliott JR Motorsports Elliott had clinched the championship following the DAV 200 at Phoenix, making him the first driver to do so under the current points format. He broke Brian Vickers' record for youngest series champion and Austin Dillon's record for youngest ever NASCAR champion by winning title at age 18.[9] Last Nationwide Series champion.
2015 Kyle Larson HScott Motorsports Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing First Xfinity Series champion. Last season under normal points system; the Xfinity Series adopted a Chase system in 2016.

Playoff era[edit]

Highest finishing driver among eligible drivers for championship wins series championship.

Year Race winner Team Series champion Team Championship Runners-Up
2016 Daniel Suárez Joe Gibbs Racing Daniel Suárez Joe Gibbs Racing Elliott Sadler, JR Motorsports
Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing
2017 Cole Custer Stewart Haas Racing William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Elliott Sadler, JR Motorsports
Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports
Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing
2018 Tyler Reddick JR Motorsports Tyler Reddick JR Motorsports Cole Custer, Stewart Haas Racing
Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing
Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing
2019 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Justin Allgaier. JR Motorsports
Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing<
Cole Custer, Stewart Haas Racing

Ford EcoBoost 400[edit]

Year Race winner Team Series champion Team Notes Report
2002 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Stewart's first championship and the final Winston Cup title for Pontiac as they pulled out of NASCAR following the 2003 season. Report
2003 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Matt Kenseth Roush Racing Kenseth clinched the Winston Cup championship at the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at Rockingham. Last season under previous points format, last Winston Cup champion. Labonte's last win as a full-time Cup Series driver. Report
2004 Greg Biffle Roush Racing Kurt Busch Busch won the first Chase for the Nextel Cup. Biffle was the second of two drivers outside the Chase to win a Chase race in 2004. Report
2005 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Stewart became the first driver to win championships under NASCAR's old points system and in the Chase format and is the only driver to do this as of the beginning of the 2016 season. Report
2006 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Biffle's second win in this race as a non-Chase driver. Report
2007 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Last Nextel Cup champion. Report
2008 Carl Edwards First Sprint Cup champion. Report
2009 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Johnson became the first driver to win more than three consecutive series championships with his win in the Chase. Report
2010 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Johnson joined Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers with more than four championships. Report
2011 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Stewart became the first owner-driver since Alan Kulwicki in 1992 to win a Cup championship. Stewart finished one position in front of Carl Edwards, who entered the race as the points leader, and thus tied Edwards in the final standings. However, due to his five victories to Edwards' single victory, Stewart won the Sprint Cup on a tiebreaker.[10] Report
2012 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Keselowski won Penske's first ever NASCAR Cup championship and was the first Dodge driver since Richard Petty to win the Cup. This race marked the end of Dodge's return to full-time NASCAR racing after twelve seasons; Keselowski's title was their only Cup series championship in that span.[11] Report
2013 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Third win at Homestead by a non-Chase driver. Report

Championship Round era[edit]

Highest finishing driver among four eligible for championship wins series championship.

Year Race winner Team Series champion Team Championship Runners-Up Notes Report
2014 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
Joey Logano, Team Penske
Report
2015 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports
Report
2016 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports (7) Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing
Joey Logano, Team Penske
Report
2017 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske
Report
2018 Joey Logano Team Penske Joey Logano Team Penske Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing
Kevin Harvick, Stewart Haas Racing
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing
Report
2019 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing (2) Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
Kevin Harvick, Stewart Haas Racing
Martin Truex, Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing
Kyle Busch becomes the only other active Cup Series driver with more then one Championship. Report
  • 2014: Team owner Tony Stewart becomes the second owner-driver after Lee Petty to win championships as both a driver and an owner with Harvick's championship.
  • 2015: Jeff Gordon retired from full-time competition following the race after twenty-three seasons. Kyle Busch wins Toyota's first Cup Series championship.
    • Busch only ran 25 races in 2015 after suffering a broken leg in the Xfinity Series race at Daytona in February. NASCAR issued him a waiver to allow him to compete in the Playoffs as long as he was in the top 30 in series points after the fall Richmond race and had won enough events to secure a wild card berth.
  • 2016: Jimmie Johnson ties Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with his seventh series championship.
  • 2018: All three races saw one of the Championship 4 drivers win both the race and championship. Brett Moffitt in the Truck Series, Tyler Reddick in the Xfinity Series, and Joey Logano in the Cup Series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruce, Kenny (June 15, 2014). "FORD CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND SPONSORSHIP EXTENDED". NASCAR. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  2. ^ none, NASCAR Official Release. "NASCAR, Dixie Vodka announce multi-year partnership". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  3. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2019/11/17/nascar-championship-weekend-moving-phoenix-2020-after-homestead/4223377002/
  4. ^ a b c "2010 Ford 400". Racing-Reference.info. November 22, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "The spoiler". CNN Sports Illustrated. November 11, 2000. Archived from the original on June 26, 2001. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  6. ^ "Homestead Brian Williams in the Booth". Motorsport.com. August 4, 1999. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  7. ^ Associated Press (November 15, 2003). "Black flag costs Musgrave, helps Kvapil win truck title". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Estrada, Chris (November 16, 2013). "Austin Dillon claims NASCAR Nationwide Series title with 12th place finish". NBC Sports. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Ryan, Nate (November 8, 2014). "Chase Elliott clinches Nationwide championship, makes history". USA Today. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  10. ^ Sporting News (November 21, 2011). "HOMESTEAD COMEBACK COMPLETE CHASE COMEBACK FOR CHAMPION STEWART". NASCAR. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Newton, David (January 18, 2013). "Dodge not expected back soon". ESPN. Retrieved October 20, 2015.