NASCAR visited Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday for the season finale, where a first-time champion was crowned when the checkered flags waved.
Kevin Harvick was the one who was able to win both the battle and the war – not only did he take the race win, he was also able to earn his first Sprint Cup championship. And it came during the first year with his new team at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Fellow championship contender Denny Hamlin had a hold on the lead when a caution came with 20 laps to go. Harvick, along with contenders Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, decided to pit while Hamlin stayed out. Newman took two tires and Harvick took four. Logano had planned to take four, but his car fell off the jackstand during his pit stop, which severely damaged his championship hopes.
Then came yet another caution, which put Harvick in a good position with four fresh tires. He was able to make his way to the front after restarting 12th and was able to get past Hamlin and Newman for the race lead. Following one last caution, Harvick was able to pull away from Newman to grab the win.
Newman, who completed his first year with Richard Childress Racing this Sunday, came across the line in second in both the race and the championship. He was also the only contender in the championship four without a win during the season.
Hamlin finished third in season standings and Logano finished fourth in the points.