HOMESTEAD, Fla. — NASCAR has spent so much time this year ushering in a new generation of fresh-faced, young drivers. Now that it’s championship time, it’s the same old — really old — in the championship four.
The finalists for NASCAR’s championship race Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway are veterans looking to cement their place in history.
Kevin Harvick, who turns 42 next month, has 609 races, 17 seasons and the 2014 championship on his resume . Martin Truex Jr. is 37, a NASCAR journeyman with two second-tier titles and a favorite for the first time to win the Cup championship.
Kyle Busch started so young , he was sidelined to meet the minimum-age requirement of 18. Nearly 15 years later, he’s the 2015 champion and has nearly 200 victories in NASCAR’s three national series. Brad Keselowski has the least amount of time in the Cup Series among his rivals, but he’s 33, has a 10-year career and was the 2012 champion.
So Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon will have to wait their turn. The high-profile stars of NASCAR are the show Sunday.
‘‘These guys are [not] going to cave in and give up on what they’re doing,’’ Harvick said. ‘‘Three of us have won championships, and Martin has won a lot of races this year. Our intention is to go down there and win the championship, and I think if you’re one of those four and you don’t have that mentality, you’re not prepared for what you’re getting into.’’