Homestead NASCAR: Kyle Busch clinches 2019 Cup championship


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.

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.

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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