This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is in Homestead for the final edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, served south Florida style, and washed down with plenty of cold Coke. Enjoy!
Tony Stewart: Smoke HAD TO win this race to win the title. And he did. He got it done. With five wins in the Chase, he earned his third title. The win tonight proved his mettle. He had to overcome some early adversity: debris from another car punctured a hole in his front grill and the 14 crew had to do repairs under multiple cautions. He passed over 70 cars on the way to the win and the title. He was simply better than Carl Edwards at the end. Although he and Edwards tied in points, Stewart wins due to more wins (5) to Edwards' lone win at Las Vegas. Congratulations Smoke!
Carl Edwards: he led the most laps but was unable to catch Stewart when it mattered. Stewart just had a car that was that much better. Edwards had a great season but lost the title due to his one win this season. Good job this season, Carl!
Martin Truex, Jr.: another strong run by Truex. He was stout all race, and led six laps en route to a third place run. This helps build momentum for next season. Now if they can start strong, they have a chance to make the Chase next year.
Matt Kenseth: he had a typical Kenseth run--strong, with little attention. He did lead 15 laps en route to a fourth-place finish. He also finished fourth in the points this season, overtaking Brad Keselowski.
Jeff Gordon: for awhile it looked like he would have something for Stewart and Edwards but faded a bit at the end. He still had enough to lead seven laps and a fifth place finish.
Kevin Harvick: Happy started 21st, and slowly moved his way towards the front. While he had a strong car, he led 11 laps through pit strategy. He was strong, but not stout. I thought he had a top 10, but not top 5, car. His 8th-place finish was about right. Harvick finished 3rd in the points, about right for the season he had.
Honorable Mention: Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.
Michael McDowell: two weeks after subbing for Kyle Busch at Texas, he draws the short stick at the start and parkers' meeting, held in the Todd Bodine Meeting Room. He runs a grand total of 14 laps before declaring his season to be over. (Hmm, I wonder if any of the start and parkers WANT to miss those meetings? I imagine they do.) He hotfooted it out of town faster than any lap he turned in the race.
Ford FR9 Engine: with Marcos Ambrose and David Ragan blowing engines, and Greg Biffle losing a cylinder (and eventually his engine), I'm sure it made Edwards quite nervous. Yes, the engine gets a lot of HP, but also there is a greater likelihood of a blown engine.
Jimmie Johnson: he had issues with the 48 early on. The hood was up, and they eventually diagnosed the problem (carburetor malfunction). JJ lost several laps as a result. This capped his worst season in the Chase era.
None that I saw.
Those are my nominees for the race. Feel free to come in with yours.