Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing reach NASCAR's peak


And the quartet of Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski gave it their all during the 267-lap season finale much to the delight of the sold-out grandstand and a national television audience. The manufacturer has not won a Cup title since 2004.

The win marked Truex's eighth of the season.

NASCAR's four championship contenders were seated elbow-to-elbow previewing their upcoming title race when they were asked to give one word to describe the season.

With a cooler of beer propped on the trunk of his race auto, Earnhardt chugged one, then partied with his crew and fans as Truex collected the Cup trophy.

And Truex's never give up attitude prevailed when he put the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota into the winner's circle. Saturday morning live on the Facebook page. But Truex? Well, he's got nothing to complain about after a truly dominating season. Homestead is a 1.5-mile track.

"It's unbelievable. To think about all the bad and rough days, this is just overwhelming", the new champion said.

Truex climbed from his auto on the frontstretch of the track and was mobbed by Furniture Row teammates. The other three were former champions.

"I don't know how we won that thing", Truex said. He had to beat Jimmie Johnson that day on points, and pulled it off.

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Kenseth, who finished 15th, has no ride lined up for next year and said he will take time away from NASCAR. Penske won the IndyCar title in September.

Harvick has thrived under crew chief Rodney Childers from the moment he first drove the No. 4 Chevrolet and had another sturdy season, yet without the flashes of dominance that earned him the nickname "The Closer". Busch missed the first third of the season with injuries suffered in a season-opening race at Daytona, but still raced himself into title contention on a shortened schedule. But with Erik Jones leaving for Joe Gibbs Racing, Furniture Row Racing sold the charter for the No. 77 team and there's no plan to run a second vehicle next year.

"It sends a statement to everybody what hopefully they can look forward to next year with this team", team co-owner Tony Stewart said.

"Then when I got with this team ... they resurrected my career and made me a champion".

Keselowski tried to downplay a feud. "And sometimes we just get kind of nudged there", said Patrick. "I never ran into Matt Kenseth, I don't think Matt Kenseth ever ran into me, so there is a respect factor out there on the race track and you certainly do a better job sometimes when you're around some of those guys that you may or may not necessarily like".

"I'm 35 years old and I've raced every year of my life since I was 6 years old, and I spent every year of my life before that going to watch my dad at the racetrack". Denny Hamlin starts on the pole. I've been racing long enough where I don't want to do anything else except for that. "And I'm glad I get to run it", said Earnhardt, Jr. Truex didn't know what was happening and ended up getting a points penalty that kept him from competing in the playoffs that year.

"I'll wreck any damn one of these three", he joked. "I never would have dreamed that this would have been possible, especially growing up where I did in Canada", Truex said. "I have not thought about any desperation moves".