Denny Hamlin just couldn't hold it together and Kevin Harvick took the end of season Ford EcoBoost 400 and the 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
With only twelve laps to go, yet another caution flag fell on the track. When the race restarted again (rerestarted?), Harvick leapt up from his sixth place start to pass Hamlin, and then pushed it on his newer rubber past Newman, taking the lead and passing the finish line, exclaiming over the radio, "This is unbelievable, what a year!"
Harvick joined Tony Stewart for a victory embrace as the fifth win for Harvick made it his first Sprint Cup Championship, and the second championship for Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick had nothing but good things to say about the team.
They gave us all the resources that we needed, and said whatever you guys think you need, you go get. We never talked about money, we never talked about any anything financial. It was just go get what you need. We built all brand new race cars, trucks, trailers ... all new people.
Homestead was the finale for the ten race Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR completely modified the playoff format, which meant that four drivers entered the finale tied for first in the championship. The new system included the field expansion of 12 to 16, adding eliminations after the third, sixth and ninth events, with the combined effect being that the season finale race was basically hold-onto-your-seats, this-is-for-all-the-marbles winner takes all match up.
Harvick, understandably, seemed pretty supportive of the new system.
This format really helped us build through the year. We had really fast cars but it helped us build as a team. All the character-building moments that led to this moment here; to close that deal out at the end to get a championship.
Okay, so, uh, maybe supportive is an understatement for a system that you just used to take yourself to a championship win.
And so, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, sentient beings of all kinds, that's the end of our season. What was your favorite part of the finale? The entire season? Tells us in the comments!
Images via Getty.