Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kyle Busch Wins at Homestead, Crowned Sprint Cup Champion

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Kyle Busch won the Sprint Cup Championship following his victory in Sunday’s Ford Ecoboost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Busch had to fight back from adversity all season.  After being injured in the first Xfinity Series race of the season, Busch missed the first 11 Sprint Cup Series races.  Upon his return, he was able to win four races over the summer to race his way back into the top 30 in points and fight his way into a Chase spot.

Photo courtesy Chris Graythen/Getty Images
“The rehab and getting back…and getting focused was the hardest part and the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through,” Busch said in victory lane.  “I just can’t believe it with everything that’s happened this year.”

A caution with 11 laps to go set up an exciting finish, and Busch was able to get around Brad Keselowski on the final restart to take the lead.  Busch was able to run away from defending champion Kevin Harvick to win the race and his first Sprint Cup Championship.  Harvick said the handling on his car went away over the final run.

“We were just struggling all night to be honest with you,” Harvick said.  “After last year, I felt like we had everything going our way.  Congratulations to the 18 team and everything they did.”

The race also saw Jeff Gordon’s legendary career come to a close.  Gordon finished his career with 93 Sprint Cup Series victories and a record 797-consecutive starts, starting every race since his Sprint Cup debut on November 15, 1992.  

“Who would have ever thought coming from Indiana as a Sprint Car driver…come south to North Carolina to race for Bill Davis and then get the opportunity to work with the greatest owner in the Cup Series that there’s ever been,” Gordon said.  “It’s been a most amazing experience.  It’s a happy, good day.”

Unofficial results:
1. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Joey Logano
5. Kyle Larson
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Matt Kenseth
8. Kurt Busch
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Carl Edwards
12. Martin Truex Jr.
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Austin Dillon
15. Greg Biffle
16. Ryan Newman
17. Ryan Blaney
18. Trevor Bayne
19. Kasey Kahne
20. AJ Allmendinger
21. Paul Menard
22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23. Ty Dillon
24. Danica Patrick
25. Sam Hornish Jr.
26. Alex Bowman
27. David Ragan
28. Cole Whitt
29. Tony Stewart
30. Michael Annett
31. Brett Moffitt
32. David Gilliland
33. Michael McDowell
34. J.J. Yeley
35. Landon Cassill
36. Justin Allgaier
37. Matt DiBenedetto
38. Ryan Preece
39. Josh Wise
40. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
41. Aric Almirola
42. Casey Mears
43. Clint Bowyer

Photo courtesy Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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