Martin Truex Jr. completed his impressive 2017 season with a NASCAR championship after his victory at Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400.
Kyle Busch did everything he could to pass the No. 78 car down the stretch, but Truex held on by less than a second in the final race of the Monster Energy Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Truex—who was the only one of the Championship 4 without a previous title—dominated throughout the year with seven victories and 19 stage wins to lead all drivers. He added one more first-place finish Sunday to bring home a championship over fellow finalists Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.
Here are the top results from the final race of the year:
1. Martin Truex Jr. (78)
2. Kyle Busch (18)
3. Kyle Larson (42)
4. Kevin Harvick (4)
5. Chase Elliott (24)
6. Joey Logano (22)
7. Brad Keselowski (2)
8. Matt Kenseth (20)
9. Denny Hamlin (11)
10. Ryan Newman (31)
Full results available at NASCAR.com.
NASCAR could not have hoped for more drama to feature at the end of the race, as Truex and Busch fought for the top spot in the last few laps and Kyle Larson refused to go away.
The excitement was obvious as the championship came to a close:
In the end, Truex was able to stay in front of his competition and grab the checkered flag:
Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports provided his thoughts on the eventual winner:
Truex was the regular-season champion and the best driver over the course of the season, leaving with a well-deserved title.
While he didn't win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. also gained recognition as he took 25th place in the final race of his career. NASCAR on Fox showed the response from the various opposing crews as he completed his swan song:
It put an exclamation point on an eventful final day of the year.
Denny Hamlin earned the pole through qualifying, but his lead didn't even last a single lap before Truex moved ahead.
It was Larson who dominated the rest of both Stage 1 and Stage 2, leading virtually every lap for a pair of easy victories. Meanwhile, the playoff contenders were right behind him and jockeyed for position around each other, as all four tried to set themselves up for the end of the race.
While she wasn't involved in the title hunt, Danica Patrick had a disappointing end to her day during Stage 2 when she hit the wall after 139 laps:
Like Earnhardt, this was Patrick's last race as a full-time driver in the Monster Energy Series. She is expected to return for the Daytona 500.
Those still in the race battled for the title as the action really picked up in the final 100 laps. Truex moved to the front with a fast pit stop, although Busch passed him a few laps later.
Jeff Gluck then described the key decision by Busch's team down the home stretch:
He came in with 52 laps left, which would have been fine if not for a caution following a Kurt Busch spin. This allowed Truex and Harvick to pit, putting the top three drivers on a level playing field with 34 laps remaining.
Truex gained some space, but Busch closed quickly, and it became a two-man battle for the title.
Although Busch moved around the track trying to gain the lead, Truex wouldn't let him and led 78 total laps for the victory.
As for every other driver, it will be a long few months waiting to get back onto the track at Daytona International Speedway in February.