On Sunday, Kyle Busch captured his first NASCAR Cup Series race victory since June at the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and took home second career Cup championship. Busch, who learned his lesson not to go too crazy while celebrating as to ruin the championship banner, instead took a calm victory lap as his fans cheered on. The win ends a 21-race drought.
He made sure not to wreck the flag this time so he could get a goof photo with it. He said, "It messed up the flag and everything, and I wanted to get a good shot with the flag everywhere, make sure everybody could get a good shot of the flag because we're the 2019 champions."
Busch beat out his rival Kevin Harvick and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Treux Jr. to end up hoisting the trophy. The No. 18 Toyota took the lead from Hamlin on a restart in Lap 170 and dominated for the rest of the race.
The other three in the top four had errors or missed opportunities that did not allow them to win the race. Busch is no stranger to this concept; last year in Homestead, he could not secure the biggest victory partly due to an error from his crew's pit mistake.
His crew chief Adam Stevens radioed to him after he crossed the finish line, "Ol' two-timer out there. I'm proud of you, buddy."
After the victory, Busch told NBC that he would not be where he is without those that help and support him. "Thank you to everyone for this opportunity," he said. "I may be the one who hoists the trophy or to have a championship, but it wouldn't be possible without (crew chief) Adam Stevens, (owner) Coach Joe Gibbs, J.D. Gibbs, Coy Gibbs, the whole family."
He thanked "Rowdy Nation" and gave a special shoutout to anyone who doubted him. He said after the win:
"This (Toyota Racing Development) engine was awesome tonight. It's been awesome all year, we had one issue. It's so much fun to work with these guys and this group. Everybody that puts it all together for me. There's alway your doubters, there's always your haters. But you know what? This one's for Rowdy Nation, 'cause you guys are the best."
Busch is now the winningest NASCAR driver of this decade. Jimmie Johnson, with seven titles of his own, is the only other active driver with multiple Cup wins. Not bad company.