LOOKING AHEAD: Stewart will not repeat as Sprint Cup champion. And at this juncture, he'll be lucky if he can finish the season in the top five. Here are Stewart's thoughts on Sunday's race: "As soon as your car settles in you can really just mash right back in the gas and just ride that second level around down onto the backstretch. … And it's the same thing, once that car settles in; you get on the gas and ride it around to the frontstretch. It's a pretty smooth racetrack."
LOOKING BACK: Stewart finished 19th, one lap down to winner Kevin Harvick, who is expected to drive for Stewart Haas Racing in 2014.
ETC.: Stewart has completed 99.9 percent (3,473) of the 3,476 laps contested in his 13 career starts at Homestead. His average start is 14.5; average finish is 11.5. He has 0 DNFs there.
56 MARTIN TRUEX, JR., Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Truex fell two spots in the standings after Phoenix, from a tie for eighth to 10th place. He trails points leader Brad Keselowski by a distant 111 points, and ninth-ranked Tony Stewart by 24 points, and leads 11th-ranked Jeff Gordon by four points.
HOMESTEAD RECORD: 7 career starts, 0 wins, 2 top-5, 5 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: second in 2006. Finished third in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: As far back as he is in the standings, Truex likely won't finish much higher than seventh place, if he's lucky, with the potential of dropping as low as 11th place if he has a bad race. Here are Truex's thoughts on Sunday's race: "We have a lot of unfinished business to do and have just one race to do it. … So Homestead-Miami is going to be it for us. We need to finish our season on a high note and it's time to finally get that win."
LOOKING BACK: Truex had his worst showing of the season, suffering a blown engine to start the race and finishing dead last in 43rd place.
ETC.: Truex has completed 98.9 percent (1,854) of the 1,874 laps contested over his seven career starts at Homestead. He has an average start of 17.3; average finish of 10.4. He also has recorded one DNF there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, 115 points out of first place. Lost five spots last week.
HOMESTEAD RECORD: Finished fifth in 2011 for his tenth top-10 finish in 13 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon wants to celebrate his 20 years with DuPont as a sponsor with a win at Homestead. "DuPont gave a young man with a dream a shot – and I'll never forget that," said Gordon. "After a few years into the sponsorship, I started to consider myself a DuPont employee – which is an honor. So I just want to thank all of my co-workers for being my most loyal supporters for the last 20 years. I sure hope we can put an exclamation point on these last 20 years with a win on Sunday."
LOOKING BACK: After getting knocked into the wall as he and Clint Bowyer battled for fifth place with only seven laps to go, Gordon limped around the track until he had a chance to deliberate wreck Bowyer – which he did with just over a lap remaining. Moments after Gordon climbed out of his car he was attacked by a member of Bowyer's crew to trigger a fight that involved both teams. It took NASCAR several minutes to break up the fight. Gordon escaped unhurt. He ended the day in 30th place. "Things have gotten escalated over the year and I have just had it," said Gordon after meeting with NASCAR officials. "Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me and he got into me on the back straightaway, pretty much ruined out day. I have had it, was fed up with it and got him back."
ETC.: NASCAR announced Monday it was fining Gordon $100,000 and docking him 25 points which dropped him to 11th in the standings and put him on probation for the remainder of the season. "I take responsibility for my actions on the race track," said Gordon in a statement released by Hendrick Motorsports after the penalty was revealed. "I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead." NASCAR could have parked Gordon, but decided against this action. "Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday's race at Phoenix, we have issued penalties based upon our review," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them."
88 DALE EARNHARDT, JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, 160 points out of first place.