Photograph credit score: Chris Graythen/Getty Photographs
No. 78 driver Martin Truex Jr. took house the 2017 Monster Vitality NASCAR Cup after 18 straight laps of taking part in extraordinarily quick keep-away with the lead from the fast-gaining No. 18 automotive of Kyle Busch.
4 drivers had a shot on the 2017 Cup tonight: Truex, Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. Keselowski cycled by means of the pits a bit sooner than anticipated on lap 69, however a pair laps later, Truex and Harvick adopted go well with. Kyle Busch was the one one who opted to remain out, not pitting till there have been solely 39 to go.
Had Kyle’s brother Kurt Busch not had a flat left rear tire that introduced out the race’s third warning, Kyle Busch in all probability would have received. However with the additional warning, a lot of the leaders got here into the pits and the sector bunched again up, killing a lot of the benefit Busch was increase on sooner, newer tires.
Martin Truex Jr. emerged within the entrance when the race was restarted, however Busch was nonetheless making up floor, taking third place with 22 laps to go, and second place with 18 left.
Kyle Larson appeared as if he might need had sufficient pace in the direction of the tip to go Busch for second, however didn’t finally go for it. Simply Saturday evening, NASCAR Xfinity Collection driver Ryan Preece got here below hearth not shifting out of the way in which of the Xfinity championship battle. The final laps of Larson’s race felt like the precise reverse of what Preece did with that contemporary on everybody’s minds.
It didn’t appear like Truex was going to carry his lead with Busch gaining again, with Truex begging for assist from his spotter Cole Pearn in ensuring lapped backmarkers received out of his method. However Truex cleverly maintained his hole in entrance of Busch till the very finish—for 18 excruciating laps.
Truex’s playoffs didn’t start within the happiest method, regardless of him profitable the regular-season championship. He crashed out of the final race earlier than the playoffs was was noticeably very offended about it. Seems, all that scowling by means of pre-playoff picture ops paid off in the long run. He’s fairly pleased now.
Truex received a love-bump from NASCAR’s favourite son Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the cool-down lap.
“We had been high-fiving him with our race automotive,” Earnhardt advised NBC’s broadcast crew.
Earnhardt sadly didn’t do in addition to followers had hoped in his closing race earlier than retirement. He completed 25th after having to start out method again within the area as a result of a brand new engine getting put in earlier than the race. He was three laps down from the winner.
“I didn’t cry till I met [team owner] Rick [Hendrick]’s neck,” Earnhardt advised NBC Sports activities of the conclusion of his closing race.
Earnhardt ended his NASCAR Cup Collection profession in essentially the most endearing method potential: by chugging a beer after getting out of his automotive on pit lane.
We’ll actually miss Earnhardt on the observe, however a minimum of we’ll have him within the commentary sales space quickly. Within the meantime, congratulations Truex on his first-ever win at Homestead-Miami Speedway and extra importantly, his first ever NASCAR Cup Collection title, and the primary Cup championship for Furnishings Row Racing.