Earnhardt Jr., Kenseth have shot at NASCAR history
By Dominic Aragon
November 15, 2017
A victory in the 2017 Ford EcoBoost 400 Sunday by Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Matt Kenseth would make either the third driver in the history of NASCAR’s premier series to win in their final career start.
Earnhardt Jr. and Kenseth are set to make their final confirmed Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the season finale.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m not thinking about that,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I’m trying to run hard, trying to do well, trying to figure out our cars and get as good a finish as we can.
“[Homestead’s] going to have a lot of things going on. Going in there and trying to do as well as we can is at the top of the list, but there’s a ton of other things happening. We will just take it one day at a time, it’s going to be a busy weekend.”
Earnhardt Jr. has finished inside the top 10 twice in 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at HMS. His best finish at the track was a third-place result in 2013.
Earnhardt Jr.’s last Cup Series victory came at Phoenix Raceway in November 2015.
Kenseth has won at HMS once (2007) in 17 starts at the speedway.
“Well, since [Phoenix] is the first time we’ve won in about 80 races or something, the odds are we’re probably not going to win [at Homestead], but I hope we do,” Kenseth said.
“We’re going to work really hard at it, and hopefully we can get one more. I love the racetrack. It’s one of the best tracks in the circuit since they reconfigured it. It puts on a great show.
“But there’s a lot that goes on next week. It’s a very hard race to predict what’s going to happen. But I don’t see why we won’t be competitive when we go down there, and hopefully we’ll have a shot at one more.”
According to research across two racing databases, Marvin Burke and Chuck Stevenson are the only drivers to win in their final MENCS race.
Burke became the first driver to do so, winning in his lone start at Oakland Stadium in Oakland, California in October of 1951.
Stevenson won his only race in his second and final series start at Willow Springs Speedway in Lancaster, California in November of 1955.
Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts