Joey Logano clinched his first Cup Series title Sunday with a win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Logano led the final 12 laps after he passed Martin Truex Jr. in Turn 1 on the outside. Truex, who finished second, never challenged Logano again.
“We did it! We won the championship. I can’t believe it,” Logano told NBC. “I don’t even know what to say. This team, Roger Penske, (crew chief) Todd Gordon, the pit crew, oh my God. Those guys are amazing. They gave me the car I needed at the end to do my job. Put me in position to do my job. Couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Logano’s championship comes in his 10th full-time season in Cup, his sixth with Team Penske and a year after he missed the playoffs.
“I’ve worked my whole life to get here,” Logano said. “I’ve spent 10 seasons fighting for this. Wasn’t sure we were going to get it, but man, Todd made a great adjustment there at the end. He has a no quit attitude and I was going to pass (Truex) no matter what.”
Truex, the defending champion, finished second after he led 20 laps. It was the final race for Furniture Row Racing, which will close with the end of the season.
“I’m going to miss these guys, wish we could have won it,” Truex told NBC. “We had it. We couldn’t go over 15 laps. I knew that last restart was going be tough … I was just slow for 15 laps.”
The championship is the second for Team Penske, which won its first in 2012 with Brad Keselowski.
The title is the first for Ford in Cup since Kurt Busch won it in 2004.
Logano entered the race as the only member of the Championship 4 without a title.
The race’s final 15-lap run was set up by a caution involving Daniel Suarez and Brad Keselowski. Busch led at the time, the only one of the Championship 4 who had not made a green flag pit stop.
Busch then beat the field off pit road, but Truex took the lead on the restart.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Larson
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: In likely his final Cup start, Matt Kenseth finished sixth for his best result in 15 starts this year … Brad Keselowski placed fifth for his third top five in the last four races.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Kyle Larson led 45 laps but finished 13th after he cut a tire and got into wall on Lap 193 … After his incident with Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez placed 30th in his last start with Joe Gibbs Racing … Regan Smith finished 39th, 27 laps off the lead after he went to the garage during the pre-race pace laps for an oil leak.
NOTABLE: Denny Hamlin (12 years) and Jimmie Johnson (16 years) each ended streaks of seasons with at least one win … Johnson placed 14th in his final race with crew chief Chad Knaus and with sponsor Lowe’s.
QUOTE OF THE RACE No. 1: “Just a lot of screaming. I think I pulled a muscle.” – Joey Logano to NBC on what he did as he took the checkered flag.
QUOTE OF THE RACE No. 2: “I don’t want him to change at all. In fact I think he did just what he did today. He beat all these guys fair and square.” – Roger Penske to NBCSN on Joey Logano.
WHAT’S NEXT: Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17.