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The Candy Man Can – Busch Takes Cup

Kyle Busch - photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Kyle Bush executes a flawless game plan to capture his 2nd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship trophy.

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI – November 17, 2019 – Anthony Holbrook

The Championship 4 completed the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup 2019 season for the Ford Eco Boost 400 honors, hosted by Homestead-Miami Speedway.   The Four Championship 4 contenders (Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Bush) will compete in the Championship 4 finale.

Heading into Homestead, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) fielded 3 of the top four, Championship 4 contenders. Stewart-Hass Racing Driver No. 4 Kevin Harvick held his ground as being the other non-JGR Champion 4 contestant.  Multi-teams may benefit, exchanging vital info for each teams advantage.  Fortunate for the Closer is a member of the Multi-team club.          

Stage 1
JGR Driver of the No. 19 Toyota Martin Truex Jr. striked first controlling Stage 1, driving away with the win, in a convincing fashion.  Additionally, Martin Truex Jr. led 103 laps of Sunday’s final event.

Stage 1 Final Results

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (P)
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Kyle Busch (P)
  4. Kevin Harvick (P)
  5. Denny Hamlin (P)
  6. Ryan Blaney
  7. Clint Bowyer
  8. William Byron
  9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. Austin Dillon

Stage 2 The Candy Man Can
An inaccurate tire placement during a Truex Jr. second-stage pit stop, forced the No.19 to head back down pit road immediately for correction.  A costly error placing Martin Truex Jr. in a deficit to tough to overcome. The only track related caution, excluding mandatory stage flags, occurred in Stage 2.  This singular race caution allowed Martin Truex Jr. to receive a free pass and shortly be running back with leaders. Unfortunately, Truex Jr. would never be a dominating force in the race again.

Stage 2 Results

  1. Kyle Busch (P)
  2. Kevin Harvick (P)
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Martin Truex Jr. (P)
  5. Denny Hamlin (P)
  6. Ryan Blaney
  7. Joey Logano
  8. Erik Jones
  9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. Clint Bowyer

Final Stage
When the sun set in the closing stages of the race, additional tire wear took dynamic hold upon teams initial traction setup.

Utilizing scheduled pit stops to accommodate tire wear, Joe Gibb’s Racing Driver No. 11 Kyle Busch overtook JGR teammate Denny Hamlin on Lap 170 to regain the point and  would never looked back.

JGR Driver Denny Hamlin’s quest for his first career Cup title ended when his No. 11 Toyota acquired overheating problems, due final pit-stop front grille tape misplacement, hampering his chances for the win.

MENC Champion Martin Truex Jr. fought back from a Stage 2 pit road tire miscue to score his third straight top-two finish at Homestead.  Truex Jr. finished second in the championship for the second straight year.

Driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet – Daniel Hemric, awarded the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors with his 12th-place Ford EcoBoost 400 finish.

Busch registered his 56th MENC career victory to ending a 21 race winless streak, dating back to June 2 at Pocono Raceway.

Ford EcoBoost 400 results
 (starting position in parentheses)

1. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
2. (3) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
3. (16) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.
4. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
5. (5) Joey Logano, Ford, 267.
6. (10) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 267.
7. (15) Ryan Newman, Ford, 267.
8. (22) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
9. (12) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 267.
10. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.
11. (7) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 266.
12. (25) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 266.
13. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 266.
14. (17) Daniel Suarez, Ford, 266.
15. (11) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 266.
16. (20) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 266.
17. (19) Paul Menard, Ford, 266.
18. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 265.
19. (23) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 265.
20. (21) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 265.
21. (13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 265.
22. (14) Aric Almirola, Ford, 264.
23. (30) John Hunter Nemechek, Ford, 264.
24. (24) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 263.
25. (26) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 263.
26. (28) Michael McDowell, Ford, 263.
27. (31) David Ragan, Ford, 263.
28. (33) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 262.
29. (37) Drew Herring, Toyota, 262.
30. (34) JJ Yeley, Ford, 262.
31. (29) Corey LaJoie, Ford, 261.
32. (39) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 256.
33. (40) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 248.
34. (27) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 243.
35. (36) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 242.
36. (38) Josh Bilicki, Ford, Brakes, 240.
37. (35) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, Brakes, 236.
38. (32) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Steering, 227.
39. (9) William Byron, Chevrolet, Engine, 215.
40. (6) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, Engine, 209.

Time of Race:
2 Hrs, 48 Mins, 47 Secs.

Average Speed:
142.654 MPH

Margin of Victory:
4.578 Seconds

Caution Flags:
3 for 15 laps; Laps: 82-86 (Stage 1 Conclusion [8]); 138-142 (#36 Incident Turn 2 [19]); 162-166 (Stage 2 Conclusion [10]).

Lead Changes:
14 among 5 drivers; D. Hamlin (P) 0; K. Harvick (P) 1-20; M. Truex Jr. (P) 21-38; R. Stenhouse Jr. 39; M. Truex Jr. (P) 40-86; K. Busch (P) 87; M. Truex Jr. (P) 88-120; K. Busch (P) 121-143; K. Harvick (P) 144-156; K. Busch (P) 157-167; D. Hamlin (P) 168-169; K. Busch (P) 170-209; M. Truex Jr. (P) 210-214; K. Harvick (P) 215-222; K. Busch (P) 223-267.

Busch registered his 56th MENC career victory to ending a 21 race winless streak, dating back to June 2 at Pocono Raceway.

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Awards Ceremony will be December 5th in Nashville.

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