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THREE DRIVERS, ONE TITLE UP FOR GRABS

HOMESTEAD - Scott Dixon has this unshakable feeling, that the three remaining contenders for the IndyCar championship will enter the final turn of the season having decided nothing.

An epic, three-car fight to the finish for the IRL title and a $1 million bonus? Don't be surprised to see that happen today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dixon says.

"With no doubt, I think it's going to be exciting," he said.

Ryan Briscoe, 2007 IRL king Dario Franchitti and defending series champion Dixon are separated by only eight points heading into the finale, one of the closest races in IndyCar history. And they completed Friday's qualifying in the top three spots on the grid - Franchitti first, Dixon second, Briscoe third.

Dixon, also the 2003 champ, is four points ahead of teammate Franchitti - who gained a point for the pole - and eight ahead of Briscoe. It's the 32nd straight top-10 start for Dixon, matching the IRL record.

There are many newsy aspects surrounding the IRL's first finale at Homestead - the end of Helio Castroneves' emotional year, Danica Patrick's still-unconfirmed future - but all pale compared to the end of the back-and-forth that Dixon, Franchitti and Briscoe have waged all season.

"I think all three of us are fairly confident," Franchitti said. "We've had a good season."

For Dixon and Franchitti, the scenario is simple: win the race, and win the title. Briscoe, part of Penske Racing's powerhouse program, would probably take the championship if he wins the race, though bonus points could theoretically keep Dixon on top.

Each driver said they're not worried about the math.

"The competition level's really high in this series," Franchitti said. "But we've managed to monopolize the wins between the two teams. It makes this easier because you know you've got to win. If you don't, one of those guys will."

Briscoe led the series entering the penultimate race in Japan last month, but he finished 18th.

"I don't think I've ever wanted something so much," Briscoe said. "It really has been a fantastic year for me; It's a phenomenal feeling where I am right now."

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