NASCAR at Miami 2018 Results: Joey Logano Captures 1st Career Cup Title with Win

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2018

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18:  Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2018 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Joey Logano is the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series champion after his win at the Ford EcoBoost 400.

The entire season was on the line at Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Raceway, with Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Logano all battling for a championship in the final race of the year. It was the No. 22 car that eventually came through with the win after a late pass with 12 laps left.

He led 80 total laps on his way to the first-place finish.

Logano was the only member of the Championship 4 without a prior championship, but his strong finish helped him win his first career title.


Final Results

1. Joey Logano (22)

2. Martin Truex Jr. (78)

3. Kevin Harvick (4)

4. Kyle Busch (18)

5. Brad Keselowski (2)

6. Matt Kenseth (6)

7. Chase Elliott (9)

8. Clint Bowyer (14)

9. Aric Almirola (10)

10. Kurt Busch (41)

Full results available at NASCAR.com.


While it was a hectic race throughout, the title came down to the final 15 laps after a caution created a late restart.

Busch began in front, but it was Truex who came away with the lead:


Martin Truex Jr. TO THE LEAD with 13 laps remaining on NBC! #NASCARPlayoffs https://t.co/3jvPNuxUF1

Three laps later, it was Logano who stepped up to pass Truex on the outside:


What a power move by Joey Logano! The championship on the line, he takes the lead away from Martin Truex Jr.! https://t.co/6R1hoykbxu

Kelly Crandall @KellyCrandall

Logano makes it no contest! Drives around Truex for the race lead with 12 to go #NASCAR

No one was able to catch him from there, as the 28-year-old earned the checkered flag and the title:


Joey Logano is the 2018 @NASCAR Cup Series CHAMPION! What a season for the @CocaColaRacing team. #TeamJL https://t.co/kxkKox9S0P


It's time to celebrate! #TeamJL | @joeylogano https://t.co/RHzzscozXC

After Logano and Truex had several close battles throughout the season, Logano was able to win it all thanks to a strong move late against his competitor.

The four contenders were in control for most of the race, although there were some gaps in the action. Denny Hamlin began the race on the pole and led the first 37 laps before Harvick moved toward the front.

Harvick eventually led for the rest of Stage 1, although there was a lot of competition from the rest of the Championship 4 after 80 laps:

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

After the first 80-lap stage at Homestead, the four championship contenders are running in the top-5. Kevin Harvick won the stage, while Kyle Busch was third, Joey Logano fourth and Martin Truex Jr. fifth. Non-championship-contending driver Kyle Larson... https://t.co/P2H4g2DJ5B

There was more shuffling in the second stage, with Kyle Larson trying to play the role of spoiler while Logano and Truex worked their way into the lead at separate times.

Harvick then moved back into first place and appeared ready to win his second stage of the day, but Larson showed he was willing to fight the hardest for the narrow Stage 2 victory:


The last stage of 2018 had an exciting finish. Kyle Larson slingshots by Kevin Harvick at the line! https://t.co/UNQ4LPnN9G

The four title contenders were all in the mix this time as well, all finishing the stage within the top six spots. By the time there were 60 laps remaining in the race, they were running 1-2-3-4.

There was some strategy employed with under 40 laps to go, with Busch choosing not to pit while hoping for a caution. The others battled for positioning, with Harvick's short-pit helping him stay ahead of Logano and Truex:


Joey Logano beats Martin Truex Jr. off pit road, but Kevin Harvick beats them . both! Less than 33 laps remaining on NBC. #NASCARPlayoffs https://t.co/Fgfwrdy6Zf

Busch needed a caution to remain in the hunt, and it finally came with 20 laps to go after a Daniel Suarez spin. However, he couldn't take advantage while losing the lead on the restart.

Logano saw the opportunity and took it, earning himself a championship.

He now has several months to enjoy his championship, but the rest of the field will be back in February hoping to find more success in 2019.