Jimmie Johnson is determined to do everything right this week.
The reigning Cup champion, who holds an 86-point lead over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon heading into the season-ending Ford 400, got off to a great start Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., winning his fourth pole of the season and the 13th of his career.
“We’re doing what we need to do on Friday,” Johnson said. “We’ll just look forward to tomorrow and try to get the car driving as good tomorrow leading into Sunday’s race.
The pole nearly assured Johnson of earning the five-point bonus for leading at least one race lap Sunday. If he does lead a lap, Johnson only needs to finish 19th or better to win the title, regardless of what Gordon, starting 11th, does.
Even without leading a lap, Johnson can wrap up his second championship by finishing 18th or better.
To win the pole, Johnson knocked the 176.569 of Ryan Newman, perennially one of NASCAR’s top qualifiers, off the top spot.
Ron Hornaday Jr. won his third Truck Series championship, edging Mike Skinner by 54 points after the season-ending Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Hornaday trailed by 29 points entering the night, but benefited when Skinner’s left rear wheel broke away midway through the race.
Hornaday matched Jack Sprague for the most career Truck Series titles.
Formula One’s governing body rejected McLaren’s appeal to penalize four drivers for fuel irregularities at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, letting Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen keep his world championship title.
The FIA’s court of appeal said there was not enough evidence to punish BMW and Williams, whose drivers finished fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th on Oct. 21 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finished seventh in the race, and would have taken the drivers’ title if two of the three drivers who finished ahead of him had been disqualified.