Truex Holds Off Kyle Busch in Final Laps to Win Cup Championship Title

Four years ago, Martin Truex Jr. sat on his front porch thinking his career was over. Four years later, he held off a hard charging Kyle Busch to win the Ford EcoBoost 400 and the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

When the final caution flew with 39 laps to go, everyone hit pit road for tires and fuel. Truex exited with the race lead.

It went back to green with 34 to go.

Busch was held up a few laps by Joey Logano, which, in his words, is what cost him in the end.

Once he passed Logano for third with 25 to go, he essentially hit the nitro button, because it took him only seven laps to run down and pass Kevin Harvick for second.

Five laps later, he caught up to Truex.

The gap between him and Truex went back and forth from 13 to go, until eight to go, when it remained around three-tenths of a second to the checkered flag.

“I don’t even know what to say,” a teary-eyed Truex said after getting out of his car. “We just never gave up all day long. We didn’t have the best car. I don’t know how we won that thing. Never give up, dig deep. I told my guys, ‘We’re gonna dig deeper than we ever have today.’ With 20 to go, I thought I was done. They were all better than me on the long run all day long. I just found a way. I found a lane that I could use and I found a lane that blocking enough of the air that they couldn’t use it. I just made it happen.”

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – NOVEMBER 19: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, celebrates with teammates after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

As Truex drove his car down the front stretch of Homestead-Miami Speedway, fans and pit crews lined along the outside pit wall to congratulate the journeyman his share of frustration, heartache and tragedy. Even Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Director David Hoots told Truex, “Congrats, you finally did it.”

When he got out, he was swarmed by his overjoyed crew and he joined in the sea of emotion.

“It’s overwhelming. You think about all the rough days, the bad days, the days that we couldn’t run 20th to be here. I never thought this day would come and to be here is unbelievable!

“I can’t believe it. I’ve wanted it since I was a little kid. Just never give up. Just never give up on your dreams, no matter what happens, or what kind of crap you go through. Thank you Barney (Visser). I wish you were here buddy.”

Busch finished second and Kyle Larson rounded out the podium.

“Yeah, that’s what happens when you lose in this format. But we gave it everything we had. We gave it our all. So congratulations to the 78 (Truex). They deserved it probably on every other race, but today, I thought we were better. Don’t matter though. They were out front when it mattered most. Just unfortunate for us that that caution came out and ruined our race strategy and we weren’t able to get back to where we needed to be and then I had to fight way too hard with some of those guys trying to get back up through there. But that’s racing.”

“Yeah, we had a great Credit One Bank Chevy today,” Larson said. “Throughout the first half especially. It seemed like the 18 and them guys were probably a little bit faster than me the first, I don’t know 15 laps a run and then I was really, really good. I was definitely better than them in front of me, but I was just stuck in their dirty air a little bit. I was going to race them, I just could never get close enough. I wanted to win the race bad, but a good way to end the year. It showed we had a lot of speed all year long and congrats to the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) team they were the class of the field all year. It is pretty neat to see the top three there they were the three best cars all season. I wish I could have been a part of the final four, but had a little bit of bad luck here lately. It’s nice to see a checkered flag, it’s been about a month since I’ve seen one. That was good and yeah, we will try and make our stuff even better than next year just fine tune on little things and try and come back even stronger. Hats off to everybody on my Chip Ganassi Racing team. They busted their tails throughout the off season and that prepared us to be good this year. Thanks to them and thanks to all of our other partners, Target, wish they were still with us, but we will miss them. Looking forward to our future with all of our other partners. Good year all-in-all.”

Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five.

“We just got really loose and then got a hole in the nose and it started to get tight in. We got that fixed,” Harvick said. “We were pretty good on the next-to-last run and we were just really loose on the last run. I want to thank everybody on my Jimmy John’s, Busch Ford for everything they’ve done. It was great to have a chance. We were in the mix all day. Didn’t quite have what we needed at the end. I want to thank Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Building, Textron, everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. Thank you guys for everything you did all year. We’ll be back.”

Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-10.


Hamlin led the field to the green flag at 3:15 p.m., but didn’t lead a single lap as Truex quickly took the lead in Turn 1. He led the first 13 laps, before Larson passed him in Turn 1 to take it. Aside from one lap by Keselowski during the first stage break and Busch during a cycle of green flag stops on Lap 122, Larson lead from Lap 13 to Lap 160, sweeping the stages in the process.

Truex exited pit road during the second stage break with the race lead and led the field back to green on Lap 166. Busch swung around him through Turns 1 and 2 to take the lead on Lap 179.

Keselowski hit pit road with 69 laps to go. Truex and Harvick pitted a few laps later.

Rather than follow suit, Busch elected to stay out until 55 to 50 to go to get within the 55-lap fuel window to one-stop the rest of the race. His plan went up in flames when Kurt Busch spun out in Turn 3 and laid debris on track, bringing out the caution with 39 to go and setting up the run to the finish.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 25th in his final career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start.

Jimmie Johnson’s 27th-place finish ended his 13-year streak of winning at least one race in the Playoffs.

Danica Patrick brought out the third caution of the race on Lap 142 when she got loose and slammed the Turn 1 wall, and was rear-ended by Kasey Kahne. She finished 37th.


The race lasted three hours, two minutes and 11 seconds, at an average speed of 131.900 mph. There were 13 lead changes among four different drivers and five cautions for 26 laps.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles