Homestead NASCAR: Kyle Busch clinches 2019 Cup championship

Dominik Wilde
Kyle Busch clinches second NASCAR Cup title
Kyle Busch clinches second NASCAR Cup title

Kyle Busch claimed his second NASCAR Cup Series title by winning the 2019 season finale at Homestead, ending a 21-race winless streak in the process.

The Toyota driver was one of three Joe Gibbs Racing entrants competing for the championship alongside Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin, as well as Stewart-Haas' Kevin Harvick.

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He held off a charging Truex, who dominated the early part of the race - winning the first stage and leading a total of 103 of the 267 laps, but who ultimately had to settle for second place in both the race and the championship for the second-straight year.

Truex's hopes of a second title in three years were blighted on lap 121 when, following a green flag pitstop, he was called back to the pits because his front tyres were put on the wrong sides of the car.

After dropping a lap down, a caution for a spinning John Hunter Nemecheck on lap 136 allowed Truex to get back on the lead lap.

He returned to the top five before the end of the second stage and remained firmly in the top-three for the final part of the race.

Finishing third in the race behind Busch and Truex was Erik Jones, the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver not in title contention. He beat Harvick who, despite leading 41 laps, dropped out of contention when he made his final green flag pit stop much later than his rivals in the hope of capitalising on a caution that never came.

Outgoing champion Joey Logano rounded out the top five, ahead of Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, and Alex Bowman, while Hamlin missed out on a maiden championship by finishing 10th.

Kyle Busch clinches second NASCAR Cup title
Kyle Busch clinches second NASCAR Cup title

As the sun set in Miami Hamlin came to the fore, Hamlin was challenging Busch up front but a mishap during his final pitstop, where too much tape was put on his car's grille, caused overheating issues.

Following a pitstop to rectify the problem, Hamlin dropped off the lead lap but was able to rally back - passing nine cars in the closing stages of the race.

Kyle Larson was the only non-championship four driver to contend for the win, but engine issues brought an early end to his day on lap 208. The similarly-powered Chevrolet of William Byron also retired on lap 218 after losing oil pressure.

Busch's win for Toyota means that NASCAR's three national touring titles this year have been won by each of the category's three manufacturers for the second straight year, with a winless Matt Crafton claiming his third Truck series title for Ford on Friday, and Tyler Reddick clinching his second-straight Xfinity crown for Chevrolet on Saturday.

Busch's triumph is also the first time since Truex's 2017 title that the regular season champion has gone on to clinch full season honours.

Race result

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Laps

Gap

1

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

267

2h48m47.s

2

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

267

4.578s

3

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

267

11.739s

4

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

267

14.100s

5

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Ford

267

21.915s

6

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

267

24.307s

7

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

267

27.217s

8

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

267

28.781s

9

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

267

30.296s

10

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

267

30.520s

11

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Ford

266

1 Lap

12

Daniel Hemric

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

266

1 Lap

13

Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

266

1 Lap

14

Daniel Suarez

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

266

1 Lap

15

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

266

1 Lap

16

Chris Buescher

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

266

1 Lap

17

Paul Menard

Wood Brothers Racing

Ford

266

1 Lap

18

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Ford

265

2 Laps

19

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

265

2 Laps

20

Matt DiBenedetto

Leavine Family Racing

Toyota

265

2 Laps

21

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

265

2 Laps

22

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

264

3 Laps

23

John Hunter Nemechek

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

264

3 Laps

24

Ty Dillon

Germain Racing

Chevrolet

263

4 Laps

25

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

263

4 Laps

26

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

263

4 Laps

27

David Ragan

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

263

4 Laps

28

Landon Cassill

StarCom Racing

Chevrolet

262

5 Laps

29

Drew Herring

Gaunt Brothers Racing

Toyota

262

5 Laps

30

J.J. Yeley

Petty Ware Racing

Ford

262

5 Laps

31

Corey LaJoie

Go FAS Racing

Ford

261

6 Laps

32

B.J. McLeod

Rick Ware Racing

Chevrolet

256

11 Laps

33

Timmy Hill

MBM Motorsports

Toyota

248

19 Laps

34

Darrell Wallace Jr.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Chevrolet

243

24 Laps

35

Ross Chastain

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

242

25 Laps

36

Josh Bilicki

Rick Ware Racing

Ford

240

Brakes

37

Reed Sorenson

Spire Motorsports

Chevrolet

236

Brakes

38

Joe Nemechek

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

227

Steering

39

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

215

Engine

40

Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

209

Engine

Final drivers' standings

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Kyle Busch

5040

2

Martin Truex Jr.

5035

3

Kevin Harvick

5033

4

Denny Hamlin

5027

5

Joey Logano

2380

6

Ryan Blaney

2339

7

Kyle Larson

2339

8

Brad Keselowski

2318

9

Clint Bowyer

2290

10

Chase Elliott

2275

11

William Byron

2274

12

Alex Bowman

2257

13

Kurt Busch

2237

14

Aric Almirola

2234

15

Ryan Newman

2219

16

Erik Jones

2194

17

Daniel Suarez

846

18

Jimmie Johnson

835

19

Paul Menard

777

20

Chris Buescher

729

21

Austin Dillon

700

22

Matt DiBenedetto

699

23

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

679

24

Ty Dillon

613

25

Daniel Hemric

530

26

Ryan Preece

507

27

Michael McDowell

485

28

Darrell Wallace Jr.

437

29

Corey LaJoie

401

30

David Ragan

388

31

Matt Tifft

352

32

Reed Sorenson

118

33

Quin Houff

77

34

Jamie McMurray

19

35

Austin Theriault

17

36

Andy Seuss

9

37

Drew Herring

8

38

Blake Jones

6

39

Stanton Barrett

2

40

Casey Mears

1

41

J.J. Haley

0

42

Brendan Gaughan

0

43

Tyler Reddick

0

44

Ross Chastain

0

45

Landon Cassill

0

46

J.J. Yeley

0

47

Parker Kligerman

0

48

B.J. McLeod

0

49

John Hunter Nemechek

0

50

Jeffrey Earnhardt

0

51

Ryan Sieg

0

52

Bayley Currey

0

53

Matt Crafton

0

54

Joey Gase

0

55

Garrett Smithley

0

56

Cody Ware

0

57

Joe Nemechek

0

58

Josh Bilicki

0

59

Timmy Hill

0

60

Jeb Burton

0

61

Kyle Weatherman

0

62

D.J. Kennington

0

63

Spencer Boyd

0

64

Gray Gaulding

0

65

Ryan Truex

0


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