11/15/10 09:29AM Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, NASCAR

Scenarios: How Hamlin can clinch the Cup


Win or second and most laps led gets title; N'wide, Truck owner's titles up in air

By Official Release
November 14, 2010
08:19 PM EST

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- With only 15 points separating the top two drivers, the closest championship in the Chase's seven-year history won't be won easily.

The only way points leader Denny Hamlin can guarantee a clinch of his first Sprint Cup Series championship is by either finishing second while leading the most laps or winning next Sunday's season finale, the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson, in second, and Kevin Harvick, in third, are the only other drivers still eligible to win the 2010 title. Harvick trails Hamlin by 46 points.

Hamlin's 15-point lead is the closest margin between first and second in Chase history, bettering the 18-point difference Kurt Busch held over Johnson in 2004.

Nationwide Series

Though Brad Keselowski has already clinched the driver's championship, the owner's title has yet to be decided.

The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota holds a 41-point lead over the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge.

The No. 18 can guarantee the title by finishing fifth, or sixth with at least one lap led, or seventh while leading the most laps on Saturday at Homestead.

This season, the No. 18 has been driven by Kyle Busch (28 races) and Brad Coleman (six races). Busch is scheduled to drive at Homestead. Keselowski has run the full schedule in the No. 22.

Camping World Truck Series

Todd Bodine clinched his second Truck Series driver's championship. The 2010 owner's championship, though, has not been decided.

The No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota holds a 120-point lead over the No. 30 Germain Racing Toyota going into Friday night's season finale at Homestead.

The No. 18 can guarantee the title by finishing 29th, or 31st with at least one lap led, or 32nd while leading the most laps.

This season, the No. 18 has been driven by Busch (15 races), Brian Ickler (seven races), Kasey Kahne (one race) and Johnny Benson (one race). Busch is scheduled to drive at Homestead. Bodine has run the full schedule in the No. 30.