AVONDALE, Ariz. - Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman survived the Challenger, Contender and Eliminator Rounds of this season's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and are set to cap Ford Championship Week with a Sunday Homestead-Miami Speedway showdown.

ESPN coverage of the season finale begins at 3 p.m.

Hamlin earned his championship race berth by notching his seventh top-five and 17th top-10 finish of the season with a fifth-place performance at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) Nov. 16. He's produced one top-five and a combined five top-10 finishes in his past six series starts this season. Hamlin closed out 2014 with his second career Homestead-Miami Speedway victory.  The Joe Gibbs Racing wheelman's average finish at the track is 11.2. He's taken two victories and a combined three top-10 finishes in his past five starts on the speedy 1.5-mile track.

He'll approach Sunday's race with a sense with confidence based on his past Homestead-Miami success.

"I feel pretty optimistic. I thought we had a great test there, and, obviously no one saw that win coming last year in 2013," Hamlin said. "We were a lot less competitive at the end of last year and we popped up and won that race.

"It's just a track that suits me for some reason. It's wide, tires wear out, and really, if your car is working well, you can make up positions there. Track position is not crazy critical. Love it, love the opportunity.  We're on house money now, so let's go have fun."

Harvick secured his "Championship Four" spot by nailing down his fourth victory of the season at PIR. The result marked his third straight and sixth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on the one-mile track. He's yet to earn a Homestead-Miami victory and averages an eighth-place finish at the track. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has collected three top-five and a combined six straight top-10 finishes at the track in his past six starts, including a 10th-place showing last season.

He's ready to complete a season which witnessed his team rebound from adversity with his second career NASCAR national series title.

"We're going to Homestead to race for a championship. I don't even care how we got here," Harvick said. "I'm just so honored to have the opportunity to race with these guys. Everybody just kept their nose down.  They knew how fast our cars were and the capability of everything going on.  Everybody supported each other and fixed the problems and just kept grinding away.

"I think we've won a couple of the last nine races in the Chase in high-pressure situations and the cars are doing what they need to do, and that's what it's all about.  So, hopefully we had all of that crazy stuff happen at the beginning of the year, and we can keep it away for one more week."

Team Penske's Logano enters the Championship Round coming off a solid sixth-place effort at PIR that marked his 16th top-five and 22nd top-10 finish of the campaign. He's delivered two victories, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes since the Chase for the Sprint Cup opened at Chicagoland Speedway Sept. 14. Logano's average Homestead-Miami Speedway finish is 20.8. He earned his series track-best eighth-place finish last season.

He relishes the opportunity to win a NSCS championship with his long-time crew chief Todd Gordon.

"Todd said to me, he goes, 'You know, don't reinvent the wheel at this point, you just polish the wheel a little bit and just become a little better in every area,'" Logano said. "That's what we've been able to do throughout the last couple years since we started working together and it's paying off. It's been a fun ride so far."

Newman powered his way into title contention with a bold, final-lap PIR move. He drove his No. 31 deep into Turn 4 and it nudged Kyle Larson's No. 42 aside on exit to gain an all-important track position. Newman closed out the race 11th. He's registered two top-five and five top-10 finishes through nine Chase events.

The Richard Childress Racing competitor also is the only driver among the Championship 4 that's yet to earn a victory this season. His average Homestead-Miami finish is 17.0. He placed 17th in last season's season finale and raced to his only top-five finish at the track with a third-place showing in 2012.

He described the move that brought him an opportunity to earn this season's title.

"I tried to get the best run I could off of Turn 2, and I had one of the best runs I had of the race off of Turn 2 at that point," Newman said. "Kyle was right on the 9's rear bumper and when he went into Turn 3, I think he slipped just a little bit, and I just went down to the bottom no matter what.  I figured if I'm going to try this I'm going to try it and see if it works, and it worked.  I don't know how much of it was racing luck, but the old adage 'eight tires are better than four' was definitely true today."

The driver among the four that earns the best finish Sunday will capture his first series championship.

Enjoy the race and be sure to join our conversations on Twitter by following @KySpeedway and finding Kentucky Speedway on Facebook.      

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