Team: Richard Petty Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 18th, 173 points out of 13th place.
HOMESTEAD RECORD: His best finish in four starts is 26th.
LOOKING AHEAD: Ambrose said, "I'm really focused on trying to end our year on a high note, and I think we've got a shot at it this weekend. Of course we'd like to be able to get a win on an oval this season, but considering all the changes we've had the past couple months, I'll be happy with a solid top-10 finish."
LOOKING BACK: Ambrose finished 18th at Phoenix. "We struggled with the handling of our Black & Decker Ford all day," said Ambrose. "We just couldn't seem to hit on anything that made a big difference. I have to give my guys credit though, they never gave up and kept making adjustments all day to try and make the car better. On a positive note, we were able to avoid all the crazy on-track incidents and bring our No 9 machine home in one piece."
ETC.: Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer said, "I've had a couple of weeks to work with Marcos now, and so far I really like what I see. He's determined to run well and win races and anything less is unacceptable. That's the kind of drive and determination that makes a good race car driver. I'm definitely looking forward to 2013 and getting to work with the 9 team more."
31 JEFF BURTON, Chevrolet
Team: Richard Childress Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 19th, 233 points out of 13th place.
HOMESTEAD RECORD: Finished 10th a year ago for his sixth top-10 finish in 13 starts. Finished second in the 2009 event.
LOOKING AHEAD: Burton is glad this "frustrating" season is about to come to a close. "I am ready for this year to end so we can focus our efforts on 2013," said Burton. "I love racing, but it is time to stop so we can restart for 2013. This type of year grinds you down. Having a positive attitude goes a long way, but at the same time you need to be a realist and understand what is going on."
LOOKING BACK: It was a long, long weekend for Burton and the 31 team. He crashed on both Friday and Saturday forcing the team to spend the entire weekend rebuilding race cars. Burton started last because of the two accidents. He rallied to finish 13th. "Just a solid effort from the 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team," said Burton. "We wrecked two cars and for these guys to come back and give this kind of effort was amazing. Just a great rebound and all the credit goes to the crew."
ETC.: Burton believes the future at RCR is going to be a bright one. "I feel really good about what we've done structurally for 2013 compared to 2012," said Burton, "We have a better plan and the people in correct roles who can execute the plan. I'm very encouraged about everything we have going on at RCR."
1 JAMIE MCMURRAY, Chevrolet
Team: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
WHERE HE STANDS: 20th, 247 points out of 13th place.
HOMESTEAD RECORD: Three top-10 finishes in 10 starts. Set the qualifying record in 2003 with a lap of 181.11 miles per hour.
LOOKING AHEAD: McMurray said, "It's hard to believe that we are down to the final race of the season. I am looking forward to the Homestead-Miami race; I really enjoy racing there since they reconfigured the track. Hopefully we can finish out the season strong with a good run in our Bass Pro Shops Chevy."
LOOKING BACK: McMurray finished 23rd at Phoenix. "We fought with the balance of the Bass Pro Shops/Allstate Chevy all day," said McMurray. "The guys did a great job in the pits, but the long green flags runs didn't play into our strategy. We'll continue working hard as we head to the final race of the season."
ETC: McMurray has only three top-10 finishes this season. That is one less than 2011 – a year that car owner Chip Ganassi called "pathetic." But McMurray believes "all the changes we have made this year have been good ones and we have high hopes for the new car we will be running in 2013."