Joey Logano finished off a strong playoff performance by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, capturing not only the race but also his first career NASCAR Cup Series title in the process.

Joey Logano NASCAR championship
Joey Logano won the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a victory that earned him his first career NASCAR Cup Series championship. (Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

By winning, Logano prevented the so-called Big Three of NASCAR Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch from continuing their season-long domination of the series, beating them out in the championship race and claiming the title.

Championship 4 Dominate Final Race

The NASCAR rules dont require a driver to win the final race in order to become champion. Instead, the Championship 4 whittled down from an initial field of 16 playoff drivers race alongside a full field of cars, with the top finisher among those four earning the title.

But late in the race, there was never a doubt that it would be one of the four championship contenders who would win the final event of the season. Truex had the lead late, with Logano passing him only with 12 laps left to take the checkered flag. Harvick finished in third place, while Busch took fourth.

We were the favorite, like I told you before the race started, Logano said while celebrating his win in Victory Lane. Im so proud of everybody for rising to the occasion. We executed down the stretch like nobodys business.

Logano would ultimately finish a clear 1.725 seconds ahead of Truex, running the final laps cleanly with no pressure from behind that might force him into a mistake.

Busch, Truex Have Chances Late

Busch also had a chance to win the race after a bold gambit. While he had not been in contention for most of the day, he stayed out on the course while the leaders all pitted. That catapulted Busch into the lead, but left him on old tires and without enough fuel to finish the race.

It was a desperation move that paid off, as an accident between Daniel Suarez and Brad Keselowski with 20 laps remaining forced a caution that gave Busch a chance to safely pit without giving up his position. The race restarted with 15 laps to go, at which point Truex quickly took the lead.

Our car was just not even close, Busch said afterwards. I dont know what happened to it, I thought we were way better than that and way closer than that.

Meanwhile, Truex was left to lament his inability to hold on to the late lead.

We were able to get the lead, I just couldnt do anything, Truex said after his runner-up finish. We turned and Id try to go as fast as those guys and Id be dead sideways and I just couldnt do it. I dont know what else I couldve done. He passed me so fast I didnt even get a chance to do anything. We needed more laps.

The 28-year-old Logano has been driving full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2009, and has been with Team Penske since 2013. Before this season, his previous best finish in the series came in 2016, when he came in second overall.