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Miami Zoo Vulture Picks 2017 NASCAR Cup Champion

Homestead-Miami Speedway is in championship form and all eyes are set on South Florida, as the track and the local community are ready to welcome fans from all 50 states and more than 20 countries to Ford Championship Weekend, November 17-19.

In anticipation of the three-day championship tradition, Zoo Miami, in partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway, hosted an event featuring Peanut, a white-rumped vulture who is the only one of its kind in the United States.

At Zoo Miami, Peanut played the role of "Wildlife Prognosticator" and picked from numbered signs of Championship 4 contenders Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski. Peanut made his prediction as to who he thought would win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship this Sunday, November 19, and ultimately selected Kyle Busch as the victor.

"Ford Championship Weekend is the greatest sporting event in history," said Ron Magill, Zoo Miami Communications Director. "I urge everyone to get out to Homestead-Miami Speedway. It's an incredible opportunity where people from all of the world come to see this race. The best thing for me is that it happens in my own backyard. For those who have never been to a race, it's something that you will never forget."

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race will be decided this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway where Busch, Harvick, Truex and Keselowski will compete for the title amongst a full field of drivers. The Championship 4 driver to cross the finish line first after 267 laps will be crowned the 2017 Monster Energy Series champion.

"For decades, South Florida has been synonymous with championship events, and this weekend fans will be treated to three more championship coronations from Friday to Sunday," said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. "Ford Championship Weekend this year is filled with remarkable narratives from each of NASCAR's three national series that will set the stage for what will be an amazing weekend."

Homestead-Miami Speedway has been the host of the championship race each year since 2002 and as a community partner, Zoo Miami was part of the fun by having Peanut, a 31-year-old vulture, join all of the "experts" in predicting this year's winner.

Tickets for 2017 Ford Championship Weekend are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.

"Driving for a Cause," the charitable arm of Homestead-Miami Speedway, operates under the auspices of the NASCAR Foundation as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Homestead-Miami Speedway will continue each of its charitable activities, including its in-kind donations to local groups, support of Homestead Hospital's Speediatrics unit, and its program where organizations can work track events in exchange for a donation to their group or cause.

--- Homestead-Miami Speedway ---