Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale on Sunday night, and also won the series championship in a season that saw him miss the first 11 races of the season after breaking his leg in the season opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona.
The race started over an hour late due to a rain shower that passed over the track shortly before starting, but when they did get going, there was no shortage of storylines to watch.
All of the eyes were on Jeff Gordon early, as it was his final race in the Sprint Cup Series, and he also had a chance to win the series championship. However his sixth place finish was not enough, as both Busch and Kevin Harvick finished above him.
"I'm disappointed," Gordon said after the race, "I really wanted the win, but I will still be celebrating with my family tonight. I had such a blast knowing that we had such a good car, but we just came up short."
The race was heading for a long green flag run to finish, but NASCAR threw the caution with just 11 laps to go, which was bad luck for Kyle Larson, who had just passed Busch for second, and had a great run towards Brad Keselowski, who led the race at the time. When the race went back to green, Larson did not have a good restart, and ended up finishing fifth.
Harvick finished second in the race and the points, just coming up short on the final restart when Busch got a great restart, and never looked back.
"We were just struggling all night," Harvick commented after the race, "The longer the run went, the looser we got in the corners."
Martin Truex Jr. finished in 12th position, which left him in fourth in the points standings.
"To come from 24th in points last season to 4th this season is a big step," Truex Jr. said after the race, "I don't think that people realize how big of a step that is. We had a great season and I am really proud of our guys. We made just about every adjustment that we could make on a racecar, but just couldn't find anything that worked. At the end of the day, we kinda ended up where we should have."
Keselowski, who was leading when the final caution came out, ended up with a third place finish, while polesitter Denny Hamlin finished 10th. Brett Moffitt finished in 31st, but was named the series rookie of the year.
"To race with the best 43 drivers in the world was a great learning experience." Moffitt said after the race, "I enjoyed the year, and am looking forward to what lies next. I really can't thank the folks at Michael Waltrip Racing for employing me. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today."
All quotes from nascar.com in this report.