Truex Wins The Monster Energy Championship | Bonehead Picks

Truex Wins The Monster Energy Championship

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The Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead was not only about to crown a new champion, but also say goodbye to sereval iconic drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr and Danica Patrick were racing as full time drivers for the final time, with Matt Kenseth also most likely taking a final bow, making this season finale bittersweet. But for the Championship 4 drivers involved, it had to be business as usual, with three looking to repeat and one looking to join the ranks for the first time in his career.

The only driver capable of causing havoc within the Championship 4 was Kyle Larson who led the most laps with 145 and won both stages. Even if he did win, all it came down to was one of the Championship 4 drivers finishing the highest. There were only four race leaders with three of them championship contenders and the two heavyweights, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch were the only two making a strong statement and it finally came down to final 105 laps.

Busch was well in control of the race and led the championship field even without leading the race while Truex tried to find a silver lining early. On one final green flag pitstop, Brad Keselowski caused the majority of the field to pit, all but Busch who waited until lap 216 to pit and relinquish the lead to Truex. On fresher tires, Busch didn’t take long to run down Truex even with the final caution waved, but by the time the last green flag waved, Busch would be unable to pass Truex with 34 to go even in second.

Larson got as high as third but looked to hold back, possibly due to the fear of disrupting the race between Truex and Busch. Larson looked to have inadvertantly get behind Busch’s bumper while he got no less than 20 seconds closer to Truex. Whatever the reason was that Busch couldn’t catch him, Truex was able to hold him off and after 12 years in the Monster Energy Series, captured his first ever Cup championship and earning Furniture Row Racing their first since their existence.

With Truex also winning his eighth race of the season, it was the fourth consecutive time that a driver won the race and the championship at the same time and to add more rewards, teammate Erik Jones was named Rookie of the Year. Busch felt he had overused what was the best car all evening and was his usual self after being interviewed. Kevin Harvick finished fourth and Keselowski seventh after leading one lap. Kenseth finished eighth, Junior 25th and Patrick’s day ended early hitting the wall finishing 37th.

With the 2017 season now closed, it is now 90 days from now until the 60th running of the Daytona 500. The countdown begins now.

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