HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Denny Hamlin managed to salvage a disappointing season by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was the final race of the 2013 Sprint Cup season and the only win for Hamlin.
Hamlin had been sidelined for four races earlier in the season with a broken back, but finished on a high note looking forward to 2014.
In Victory Lane, Hamlin took a moment to acknowledge the accomplishment of Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowes team.
“The 48, they just never have that one bad race,” Hamlin said. “You have to beat them on performance. To do that, that’s really hard.”
The night and the season belonged to Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson claimed his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a ninth-place finish.
Johnson finished 19 points ahead of pole winner and second place race finisher Matt Kenseth, who held off a furious run by third-place finisher Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Johnson is now just one title behind all-time leaders Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. The title was the 11th for car/team owner Rick Hendrick.
“I don’t even know where to start,” Johnson said from Victory Lane. “I’m at a loss for words, but I’m so proud and so thankful for this opportunity at Hendrick Motorsports.”
Kevin Harvick finished third on the year, followed by Kyle Busch in fourth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in fifth, Jeff Gordon in sixth, Clint Bowyer in seventh, Joey Logano in eighth, Greg Biffle in ninth, Kurt Busch in 10th, Ryan Newman in 11th, Kasey Kahne in 12th and Carl Edwards in 13th.
Martin Truex Jr. completed his driving duties at Michael Waltrip Racing with a fourth place finish, one spot ahead of teammate Clint Bowyer. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 10.
For more images from the Ford EcoBoost championship race weekend visit www.NorthBeachPhotos.smugmug.com