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first_imgThe 2019 NASCAR Cup Series came to an anticlimactic end Sunday, with Kyle Busch winning at Homestead-Miami Speedway by nearly 5 seconds over Martin Truex Jr. to secure his second career championship.After the final pit stops were completed, Busch’s lead was never threatened. Truex, a playoff driver who dominated the race early, trailed by more than 8 seconds and needed a caution to have a chance to catch Busch. But there was only one caution all evening outside of post-stage yellows, and it happened in Stage 2. That prevented a dramatic finish and allowed Busch to breathe easy down the stretch.MORE: Steve Phelps on the direction of NASCARTruex led 103 laps Sunday and won the first stage going away. His fate turned during a second-stage pit stop when his crew switched the wrong tires. He was forced to head back down pit road immediately. He received the free pass on a caution and was back among the leaders shortly after but never controlled the race again.Denny Hamlin, who had the pole but lost the lead quickly, had an even more consequential pit mishap. He was fighting for the lead entering the final round of stops, but a piece of grill tape was placed over too much of the grill. That forced a second stop to avoid overheating. He finished 11th.The fourth driver racing for the championship, Kevin Harvick, led for 41 laps and had the lead briefly after a late restart, but he quickly fell back to a distant fourth.Busch had by far the fastest car in the second half of the race. He won the second stage and led 120 laps overall. His second Cup championship is his first without a bit of an asterisk — his 2015 title came during a season in which he received a medical waiver due to injury.Sporting News tracked live updates, highlights from the championship race. Follow along below.NASCAR at Homestead results: Championship race updates, highlights6:21 p.m.: CHECKERED. Kyle Busch is the 2019 Cup Series champion.6:16 p.m.: Busch still with a comfortable lead with eight to go. Truex has pulled to 5 seconds behind, but it will be too little, too late barring something unexpected.6:09 p.m.: Truex, when told his deficit is more than 7 seconds: “Holy s—.”6 p.m.: Busch’s lead on Truex is more than 8 seconds with fewer than 50 laps to go.5:55 p.m.: Catastrophe for Hamlin! Some misplaced grill tape on the last pit stop will require him to pit for a second time. Extremely costly mistake, which you can see below, along with the results.. @dennyhamlin is the first of the #Championship4 to hit pit road!Join us now on NBC to see who cycles to the front! pic.twitter.com/895LGK8fvJ— NASCAR (@NASCAR) November 17, 2019Look at all that water spewing out of @DennyHamlin ‘s car.He was experiencing overheating issues and had to pit. Heartbreak for the No. 11 team. #Championship4 pic.twitter.com/yuloDk2PIQ— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20195:53 p.m.: Larson, who was competing for the lead for much of the race, has engine issues that will knock him out of contention.5:50 p.m.: It seemed Truex was not going to pit, but instead he just does it laps after the other leaders. Harvick, though, does stay out. He seems to be betting on a caution.5:45 p.m.: Harvick has fallen back to sixth. Busch leads Hamlin and Truex.5:31 p.m.: All types of back-and-forth at the top of the field.Denny Hamlin passes Harvick for P2 and says: “It ain’t fuckin’ over.”Chris Gabehart: “None of us thought it was. Whole new ballgame now. B-F-H. Lock in.”— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) November 17, 20195:26 p.m.: An action-packed restart. Truex bumps Harvick, and Busch and Hamlin wrestle for the lead. Busch eventually wins the battle.Here comes Hamlin!The No. 11 rockets to the lead at @HomesteadMiami ! #Championship4 pic.twitter.com/jPxvhlRcw7— NASCAR (@NASCAR) November 17, 20195:20 p.m.: CAUTION. Truex inches up to third in the race off pit road to start the final stage. Busch, Harvick, Truex and Hamlin are the top four, in order.5:15 p.m.: Busch passes Harvick and wins Stage 2.Stage 2 winner and Championship leader: @KyleBusch !The entire #Championship4 is inside the top five! Watch on @NBC : https://t.co/8m7vF3Fdrw pic.twitter.com/6apATk3iYF— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20195:12 p.m.: Truex up to fourth, while Busch continues to try to chase down Harvick.5:05 p.m.: Harvick takes the lead from Busch shortly after the restart. Truex is gaining spots, but not exactlyflying up the field.4:55 p.m.: CAUTION. A massive break for Truex, who gets the free pass as John Hunter Nemechek spins out.4:47 p.m.: A bit of a disaster for Truex! The pit crew switches the tires incorrectly, and he will have to pit for a second time. That could be the opening the rest of the field needs.Disaster for Martin Truex Jr.!The team switched tires on pit road, switching the right front and left front! He’s now one lap down. #Championship4 pic.twitter.com/boW061Gvlk— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20194:29 p.m.: Busch got ahead off Truex off the restart, but that lead is extremely short-lived. Truex has by far the fastest car early.”POWER MOVE!” @MartinTruex_Jr gets by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch for the championship and race lead. #Championship4 on @NBC pic.twitter.com/9nNtswk5ru— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20194:22 p.m.: CAUTION. Busch gains a spot in the race off pit road, passing Larson for second during the post-stage yellow. Hamlin and Harvick trade places below them, pushing Harvick down into fifth.4:19 p.m.: Truex easily wins Stage 1, more than 2 seconds ahead of Larson and just under 4 seconds ahead of Busch in third. Truex led 60 of the 80 laps.4:11 p.m.: Truex has the lead, one spot ahead of Larson. The three other championship drivers follow.3:55 p.m.: Luckily for Busch, it was about time to pit anyway.”Just ran over something.”Early trouble for @KyleBusch in the championship race on @NBC . #Championship4 pic.twitter.com/7wtiOPJGqa— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20193:50 p.m.: Kyle Larson has broken up the championship four domination, moving into second place.3:41 p.m.: Truex is back into second. Harvick leads, and Hamlin and Busch are in third and fourth, respectively.3:32 p.m.: Truex quickly falls back into sixth.3:32 p.m.: GREEN FLAG. 3:07 p.m.: A programming note as we approach green flag.ATTENTION.THE REGULAR @NASCAR BROADCAST IS ON @NBC .The split-screen #Championship4 hyper-focused broadcast with @leighdiffey and @DaleJarrett is on NBCSN.— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20192:40 p.m.: A look at the final four drivers.It’s a long road to the #Championship4 .Before @KyleBusch , @DennyHamlin , @KevinHarvick and @MartinTruex_Jr race for a @NASCAR title today at 3PM ET on @NBC , see how each driver got to @HomesteadMiami . pic.twitter.com/dIrsRO88yv— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 20192:30 p.m.: A tribute to Homestead.For now, we say goodbye to @HomesteadMiami Speedway as the host for the @NASCAR championship finale. @ByTimLayden on what it’s meant to the area following Hurricane Andrew, and what it’s meant to the series hosting great title-clinching moments. pic.twitter.com/LgEt6PkzQG— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 2019last_img read more