A season full of tributes for NASCAR's most popular driver culminated with one more: Earnhardt was the last one brought out before the four Championship 4 contenders. The only one of the three drivers without a championship in the Cup Series, Truex explains, "Than means it's my turn".
"Tonight's going to be a hell of a party".
"We finished this together". What else was there for either of them to say? "Those relationships I'll have beyond driving race cars".
As the man drove over the line, and thousands of fans rose in ovation, and a cacophony of cheers engulfed the entire stadium at once, the woman finally peeked.
That didn't mean his final Cup race lacked some tears. The championship was JR Motorsports second driver's championship in the past four seasons. Just not as much as the team would like. As his balance improved throughout the fuel run, Truex continued his march through the field using every inch of the 1.5-mile speedway to gain positions. "Winning one championship is really great; it's a special thing to do". In the four mile and a half tracks in the playoffs, Harvick finished 8th, 3rd (twice) and won at the most recent one in Texas. "We didn't last year and we didn't make it. So everybody is on board, no option", Pearn said. He's going to leave a massive void that no driver will be able to fill in the near future.
He thrived in that role, didnt flinch when fellow Toyota driver Busch tried to use a different pit strategy to steal the race and then held off a hard-charging Busch over the final 12 laps to capture the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Junior has been the face of NASCAR for most of his career, even amid the dominance of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson. "I couldn't be happier about that". "Ive wanted this since I was a little kid". Now that that race along with the whole 2017 Cup Series season are both in the books, Earnhardt Jr.is officially a NASCAR Cup Series retiree. "If anything, it's only made me realize that I have made the right decision".
Busch is seeking a repeat of his 2015 title, which some have marked with an asterisk. It's also the end of the careers for three of the sports biggest names, something no one saw coming at the beginning of the season. Earnhardt was also given a tribute lap before the green flag dropped to start the race. It was retaliation for Hamlin wrecking Elliott out of the lead at Martinsville earlier in the playoffs. While that race will still run (now a couple of weeks later), it will be a "special event" that Pirelli World Challenge hosts.
The sport, which already has seen attendance and television ratings dip, certainly won't be the same without him.
By that time, the raw emotions had to give way to the official processional. He admits that a sport minus Earnhardt might not be as popular. The result was his career-best finish in any series at Homestead-Miami and secured a ninth-place finish in the point standings in his first-career NCWTS season. Patrick said this weekend that she would race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 next season then retire.