- Ford Championship Weekend
Ford Championship Weekend is the name given to the three races
NASCARruns during its last weekend of the season.
The weekend came to be after NASCAR decided to move all of its series' final races to
Homestead-Miami Speedwaybeginning with the 2002 season. Prior to that, while all three series had dates at Homestead, only the then-NASCAR Busch Series (now the Nationwide Series) ended its season at the racetrack, having run a 300-mile event there to end the season since 1995. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series added Homestead to the schedule in 1999 with a November date, but had run its final race at Atlanta Motor Speedwaysince 1987 with one exception in 2001. The Craftsman Truck Serieshad run an early season race at the track since 1996 (actually opening its season there several times), and closed its season on the West Coast (at either Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Fontana) since the series debuted in 1995. Ford Motor Companybecame the title sponsor for all three races, as well as the title sponsor for the race weekend.
The weekend starts on Friday, with the
Ford 200Truck race, then continues with the Ford 300for the Nationwide series cars on Saturday and concludes with the Ford 400, the last race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, on Sunday. After each race, a ceremony is conducted where the points leader in each series is given the trophy for winning the series (officially- if a driver has clinched their series championship prior to the weekend, like Kevin Harvick's 2006 Busch Series title or Matt Kenseth's 2003 Winston Cup Series title, an informal ceremony presenting the trophy is conducted during the post-race festivities).
Every race except two has resulted in the points leader going into the race retaining his points lead and winning the championship, and both occurrences happened during the Ford 200 Truck Series race. In 2003,
Brendan Gaughancrashed out of the event late, finished 29th, and fell from first to fourth in the standings while Travis Kvapilwon the championship. In 2007, Ron Hornadayand Mike Skinnerwere 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.
Since the debut of Ford Championship Weekend, there have been five occasions where a series points championship was already clinched (four of those were in the Busch/Nationwide Series and one in then-Winston Cup).
Ford Championship Weekend Race results
:"1. Biffle clinched the series points championship after the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix.:"2. Truex clinched the series points championship after the
BI-LO 200at Darlington.:"3. Harvick clinched the series points championship after the Dollar General 300at Charlotte.:"4. Kenseth clinched the series points championship after the Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham.":"5. Edwards clinched the series points championship after the O'Reilly Challengeat Texas."
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