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The Art of Racing - Final field is set

The field is set for Championship weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.

Joey Logano had already advanced to the Championship round with his win in Martinsville so it was a battle among the remaining seven eligible drivers. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. were comfortably ahead on points, but the other member of the “big three” Kevin Harvick had to fight for all the points he could get because of the penalty he received last week.

Harvick was up to the task by winning the pole, and had the best car on the track early in the race. After leading the first 72 laps, a blown tire put him one lap down. After receiving the free pass on lap 96, Harvich and teammate Kurt Busch battled each other for the final spot in the Championship.

With 43 laps to go, Denny Hamlin put Kurt Busch into the wall, sending him spinning. When he collected Chase Elliott in his spin, both drivers were out of Championship contention.

Kyle Buisch, Truex and Harvick had huge leads in points, so the only question was whether or not Aric Almirola could win the race and knock out Harvick. With 12 laps to go, Almirola lined up in 2nd place on the final restart, but faded to 4th, putting Harvick in.

Kyle Busch won the race, his eighth of the year, tying him with Harvick for the most wins in 2018. It was Busch’s 51st win in his Cup Career.

To win the Championship, you do not have to win the race - just finish ahead of the other three contenders.

Only Logano would be a first-time winner. The rest of the field of four contains three of the past four champions, with Harvick winning in 2014, Busch in 2015 and Truex Jr. vying for back-to-back championships after claiming last year’s title.

Two more championships will be crowned this weekend as well. The Xfinity championship field includes Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric and Tyler Riddick. Their race is Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Homestead-Miami.

The Camping World Trucks championship, also being decided Friday night at Homestead at 7 p.m., will see Brett Moffitt, Justin Haley, Johnny Sauter and Noah Gragson race for the title.