Logano wins first Cup Series championship / MRN's Moore retires

Penske pays tribute to Logano			Image by Kinrade  LAT

Despite entering the NASCAR finale with the longest odds of the Championship 4 drivers, Joey Logano picked up the win at Homestead to win his first Cup Series championship.

He passed Truex with 12 laps remaining and pulled away to win for Roger Penske, the vehicle owner who celebrated this year his election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a 17th victory in the Indianapolis 500 and now a second title in NASCAR's top series. That first lap on fresher tires was enough for Harvick to be ahead of Logano and Truex when they rejoined the race.

Martin Truex Jr. came up just short of a fairytale finish.

"Every time I think about how we succeed and how we can be better, one thing is 'What's your brand?'" Penske said.

"I think when it's time to go, he's the guy", said Penske.

Visser is shutting down the team because it lost its primary sponsor, and Visser said it's too expensive to fund a competitive vehicle without assistance. "Other than that, I don't know what we could've done".

"And when it came time to be playoff time, we kind of focused back on what have we learned and what do we need to do to be successful through the playoffs".

Joey Logano holds his son Hudson after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Championship auto race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Homestead, Florida.

Only one problem: The sun went down.

According to the latest oddsmakers, Kevin Harvick is favored to win this race, as he is getting odds of +250 to win. He finished second to Kyle Larson in the second stage and led 58 of the 267 laps, all told.

Truex finished second, followed by Harvick and Busch. He said nothing is off limits in discussions for the 2020 schedule, which may include doubleheaders, midweek races, a tightened schedule, shorter races and even a potential shared event schedule with IndyCar. "Wish we could have won".

"Our strong point was not the restarts tonight, and (we) wound up on the wrong side of it". Hamlin also won the pole a year ago but denied Truex's request for the pit stall.

But with the caution on Lap 247, that matchup never materialized.

"It's been a very nice season and hopefully we have good news for next year", Domit said Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It's just the way it all shook out". He just didn't have the vehicle to take advantage of it.

Pearn, who got into a shouting match post-Martinsville with Logano's crew chief, Todd Gordon, also shrugged it off.

With Busch in the lead, the serendipitous yellow flag flew on Lap 247 when Suarez's Toyota went for a spin off the bumper of Keselowski's Ford. Previous year we took advantage of the short run auto at the end - the 18 (Kyle Busch) vehicle should've won the race and tonight we should've won the race and they (Joey Logano) took advantage of the short-run vehicle.

"We weren't even close", said Busch, who used strategy to keep up with the other title contenders. We turned and I'd try to go as fast as those guys and I'd be dead sideways and I just couldn't do it. "He's been good. He hasn't necessarily performed to the level of The Big Three, and that's no shake on them at all, it's just the fact of the matter", Busch said. "If you look at it, about the 1st of August, we got back on this path". There were pit stops, a restart and Truex surged to the lead around his future teammate Kyle Busch.

"Yeah, I was optimistic about it, but I didn't think it would be that short-lived", Busch said. It was no agents; it was just us sitting down and shaking hands on what we were going to do., to go to Publix and be able to give 100 families turkeys for Thanksgiving is a little bit that you don't see of Joey. I just couldn't do it.

Ford had two of the four entries in the championship field, one each from Team Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing, the teams it recruited to end its championship slide.