Rankings are updated every Monday of the NASCAR season.
Busch provided the drama Sunday night and capped off one of the biggest sports stories in years. Eight months after suffering a broken leg and foot from a horrific crash in the season opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona, the 30-year-old Busch celebrated his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title in 11 seasons. Busch did it in dramatic fashion, taking the lead with less than 10 laps to go and winning the race and the title.
On Sunday night, Harvick did what he has done all season long: He finished second. It was his record 13th runner-up finish of 2015, but with Busch’s win, it was one spot short of the title. Harvick won three races this year and did have all those second place finishes, but he struggled much of the second half of the race after leading 46 laps. Last year, the roles were reversed and Harvick won the race and the title. Let there be no doubt, however: Harvick isn’t going away anytime soon and he’ll be a contender for another title for years to come.
Gordon had much of the attention on him prior to the start of the race, and for good reason. Sunday marked his last race as a full-time competitor. It would have been a great story to see him with a fifth title, but he never really had the speed to contend for the win, especially late in the race. He did make one last charge on the final restart, but came home sixth. The future Hall of Famer leaves the sport with 93 wins, four titles, and the admiration of all.
Martin Truex, Jr.
Truex was the underdog the entire Chase, but never really had the speed to contend this weekend. His single-car team made wholesale changes to the car, but it wasn’t enough. Truex finished 12th, and is now looking forward to next year, and rightly so. His team is switching manufacturers in the off season and will have an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, the organization Busch drives for. That move could pay dividends next season, and Truex may go from the underdog to a real threat to win it all.
About The Ranker:
Greg Engle is an Examiner.com writer and an award-winning columnist who has worked full time for the Sporting News and the NASCAR Wire Service—if you wanted to get any more inside the sport of NASCAR you’d have to wear a crash helmet. He has received bylines in hundreds of newspapers across the country on auto sports and has also been featured on NASCAR.com, ThatsRacin.com, ESPN and Fox Sports. His work can be found at Examiner.com.