Martin Truex Jr. wins Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Martin Truex Jr. won the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and scored his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

Three of the four drivers with a chance to win the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway had previously won a NASCAR Cup Series championship.

The only driver who had yet to win was Martin Truex Jr. After the 400 mile race at Homestead, that changed.

Martin Truex Jr. led 78 laps, the most of the Championship Four, and finished first, just a few car lengths ahead of his closest championship contender, Kyle Busch, in second.

“This means the world,” said Truex Jr. in victory lane. “Barney Visser, 11 years of working towards this goal.  He couldn’t be here tonight.  We’re thinking of him.  Definitely wish he could be here.  I know he’s probably about as much in shock as I am.  But Jim Watson, Cole’s best friend, Sherry, everybody battling something, this one’s for you guys.

This is the first championship for Furniture Row Racing and team owner Barney Visser.

“All my buds back in New Jersey, all my Wall Stadium guys back there, thank you, and I don’t even know how to put this into words.  It’s not sunk in yet.  Tonight’s going to be a hell of a party.”

Truex’s victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway was his eighth win of the season, the most since Denny Hamlin won eight races in 2010. Before this season, Truex had seven career wins.

Kyle Larson dominated the race, leading 145 laps, but ultimately finished third.  Truex ran inside the top-five for a majority of Stage 2 and the Final Stage of the race, battling with Larson and Busch for the top spot.

Kevin Harvick finished fourth but was unable to lead any laps and his highest position all day was second while Brad Keselowski finished seventh.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his final race finished 25th, three laps down.

Follow Matt on Twitter, @mattlovisa.