HOMESTEAD, Fla -- Martin Truex Jr. held off Kyle Busch to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway and clinch his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship on Sunday.

The No. 78 was the dominant car all season long, leading the most overall laps and taking home eight checkered flags, including four in the playoffs. The victory was also Truex's first at the track in only his second Championship 4 appearance.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 25th in his final race after starting last while Danica Patrick hit the wall hard in lap 142  and saw her car go up in flames, finishing 37th. Patrick was forced to bring her car into to the garage, ending her career as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver.

"It's just the story of the year," said Patrick, who will run the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 next season. She called the two-race finale the "Danica Double."

"There's still racing in my future," she said. "I still have a thousand miles to go."

Truex battled adversity off the track all season, with his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, forced to miss multiple races due to her battle with ovarian cancer. In addition, Truex's title is the first for Furniture Row Racing, a small operation based out of Denver that the 37-year-old joined in 2014.

Martin Truex caps a career season with his first 2017 NASCAR Cup title.  USATSI

It was the first title for Toyota since 2015 when Kyle Busch took home his first career championship. Busch finished second in the race and standings followed by Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.

Ford EcoBoost 400 results

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (champion)
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Joey Logano
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Denny Hamlin
  10. Ryan Newman
  11. Austin Dillon
  12. Clint Bowyer
  13. Jamie McMurray
  14. AJ Allmendinger
  15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  16. Paul Menard
  17. David Ragan
  18. Aric Almirola
  19. Trevor Bayne
  20. Chris Buescher
  21. Erik Jones
  22. Kurt Busch
  23. Landon Cassill
  24. Michael McDowell
  25. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  26. Ty Dillon
  27. Jimmie Johnson
  28. Cole Whitt
  29. Ryan Blaney
  30. Matt DiBenedetto
  31. Corey LaJoie
  32. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  33. Kasey Kahne
  34. Daniel Suarez
  35. Reed Sorenson
  36. David Starr
  37. Danica Patrick
  38. Ray Black II
  39. Joey Gase

Stage 1: Kyle Larson dominates

Kyle Larson built over a 10-second lead to win Stage 1 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. All four of the championship drivers finished inside the top five. Larson, an early title favorite, was knocked out of the playoffs in the Round of 12 after suffering multiple DNFs.

Martin Truex Jr. instantly took the lead from pole-starter Denny Hamlin when the green flag flew to start the race. Kyle Busch began to challenge the No. 78 for the lead when Joey Gase went hard into the wall on lap 4. Brad Keselowski took the early opportunity to make adjustments as the only Championship 4 drivers to come down pit road.

Truex forfeited the lead to Kyle Larson on the restart as Keselowski moved into second with fresh tires. Larson proceeded to get out to a huge lead.

Green flag pit stops began with Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. on lap 38. Keselowski and Busch followed shortly after. Prior to stops, Jimmie Johnson made contact with the wall and lost a rear tire.

Larson resurfaced as the race leader and continued to extend his lead as Keselowski trailed in second while Harvick and Truex battled for third. Johnson came back down pit road on lap 65 after reports of smoke in the car. Towards the end of the stage, Keselowski, Harvick, Truex and Busch all ran in a line inside the top five. Busch went on to pass Truex and Harvick at the end of the stage for third.

Stage 1 results:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Martin Truex Jr.
  6. Chase Elliott
  7. Kurt Busch
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Clint Bowyer

BOLD - indicates Championship 4 driver

Stage 2: Danica crashes out, Larson sweeps stages

Larson completed the sweep, taking the checkered flag in Stage 2. Truex finished second, highest among Championship 4 contenders followed by Harvick, Busch and Keselowski inside the top five. 

Keselowski shot out to the lead on the first lap of Stage 2, but was caught by Larson before making it back to the start-finish line. The No. 42 continued to build a commanding lead while Harvick approached Keselowski's bumper, eventually making the pass.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. brushed the wall just about 100 laps into the race and reported a tire rub. The No. 88 was already running a lap down at the time. Junior remained on the track and didn't suffer further damage in the stage.

Kyle Busch passed Harvick on lap 114 for second-place in the race and first in the Championship 4 field. Keselowski was running lowest of the contenders and got green flag pit stops going on lap 121 alongside Dale Jr. Larson brought it down one lap later from the lead.

Busch nearly missed pit road but was able to right the ship and make his stop smoothly. Truex's No. 78 team took a long time changing the left-rear tire which cost him time. Busch went on to pass Harvick again after the mishap.

Danica Patrick hit the wall hard and saw her car go on fire 142 laps into the race. Patrick was forced to bring her car into to the garage, ending her career as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver. She will race in the Daytona 500 one final time in February. Kasey Kahne also suffered heavy damage as a result. Sunday was his final race in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He will be heading to Leavine Family Racing next season to take over in Michael McDowell's No. 95.

On the restart, Larson took the lead with 10 laps to go in the stage. Truex shot out to second place ahead of Harvick, Keselowski and Busch. The two rivals, Keselowski and Busch, raced each other nose-to-bumper for fourth with five laps to go in the stage with Busch coming out on top. Martin Truex Jr. finished highest of the Championship 4 contenders. 

Stage 2 results:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Brad Keselowski
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Joey Logano
  9. Chase Elliott
  10. Denny Hamlin

BOLD - indicates Championship 4 driver

Final Stage: Truex makes the run

Truex led the first lap of the Final Stage after winning the race off pit road followed by Busch and Harvick as Keselowski dropped towards the bottom of the top 10. Larson struggled on the restart dropping to fourth.

In a race for both the lead and championship, Busch and Truex began a fierce side-by-side battle early on. The No. 18 surfaced as the race leader and built over a two-second lead over Truex.

Keselowski was the first driver down pit road for green flag stops. Truex and Harvick followed on the ensuing lap. Busch stayed out for several laps, gaining over a lap lead over the rest of the Championship 4 before making his own stop on lap 215.

Upon Busch's stop, Truex took the Championship 4 lead on older tires. But the No. 18 came charging back through the field, passing Keselowski almost instantly. It seemed as though Busch's strategy was going to pay off when his brother Kurt Busch went spinning in turn 4, bringing out the caution. The yellow allowed for the contenders to reset their tires.

Truex easily won the race off pit road and held the lead over Harvick on the restart. Kyle Busch made it to Truex's bumper with less than 10 laps to go but was unable to make the pass as the No. 78 drove onto his first career championship.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.