2019 Cup Series Champion
Date: Nov. 17, 2019
Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/1st (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 1st (5,040 points)
Champion: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kyle Busch started fourth, finished third.
● Busch started fourth and settled into the third position early in the race.
● The M&M’S driver came to pit road on lap 35 and cycled out into third place after green flag pit stops were completed.
● Busch held steady in third behind stage winner Martin Truex Jr., and second-place Kyle Larson to finish the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and an air pressure adjustment at the conclusion of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Busch started third, finished first.
● Busch restarted third and held the spot for several laps, telling crew chief Adam Stevens that his car had a much better balance.
● The Las Vegas native moved up through the field, taking the lead on lap 121 following a lap-119 pit stop.
● Following a caution on lap 138, Busch led the lap-142 restart, but fellow Championship 4 contender Kevin Harvick scooted by Busch on the restart and led the next 13 laps.
● However, Busch fought back and re-took lead on lap 157 and held the top spot for the remainder of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Busch started first, finished first.
● Busch restarted the final stage in the lead, and while he did battle fellow JGR driver and Championship 4 contender Denny Hamlin for the lead, Busch was able to hold serve and lead 40 laps before making a scheduled pit stop on lap 210.
● After pitting for four tires and fuel, Busch cycled back into the lead on lap 223 after the leaders completed their final pit stops.
● Busch exerted a comfortable lead over Truex during the final 45 laps and crossed the finish line 4.578 seconds ahead of him.
● Today’s victory secured Busch’s second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, with his first coming in 2015.
● It was Busch’s 56th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Homestead.
● Busch became just the 16th driver to win multiple NASCAR Cup Series championships and the first to win multiple titles in the current elimination-style playoff format.
● He is one of five drivers to win both a NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series title. Truex, Harvick, Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski are the others.
● In 2019, Busch posted a total of 17 top-fives, 27 top-10s and one pole to go with his five wins.
● This is Joe Gibbs Racing’s fifth NASCAR Cup Series championship. Prior to Busch’s 2015 and 2019 titles, the organization scored championships with Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005.
● Busch led five times for a race-high 120 laps to bring his career laps-led total at Homestead to 463, the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
● Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“We have a great race team, a great owner and the best sponsors in sports. I just can’t say enough and thank everyone enough for this opportunity. I may be the one that’s able to hoist the trophy, or to have a championship, but it wouldn’t be possible without Adam Stevens (crew chief) and Joe Gibbs, J.D. Gibbs, Coy Gibbs and the whole family. M&M’s, of course, and Interstate Batteries and Norm Miller. And, Toyota – this TRD engine was awesome tonight. It’s been awesome all year. It’s so much fun to work with these guys and this group – everybody who puts it all together for me. There’s always your doubters. There’s always your haters. But, you know what? This one is for Rowdy Nation because you guys are the best. Thank you so much.
“Everybody always says you never give up and we’re no different and we just do what we can do each and every week, and sometimes we may not be the best and sometimes we may not have the right track position. Today, we had a really good car and I could race around and move around. That’s what’s so special about Homestead-Miami Speedway – the ability to put on a show. Kind of like we did there racing those guys. It was exciting from my seat. It was a lot of fun to cap off such an amazing year.”
The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 with live coverage from FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.