Dale Earnhardt Jr. raised a cold one. Martin Truex Jr. hoisted a trophy .
Two friends who hunt together, own property together and once raced on the same team had another reason to come together: To revel in Truex's first Cup title.
Truex capped the most successful season of his journeyman career as NASCAR's champion Sunday by winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He beat Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski — all former series champions — to claim the crown. He was mobbed by his Furniture Row Racing team, sobbed during a long embrace with cancer-stricken partner Sherry Pollex and thanked team owner Barney Visser for saving his career.
Truex, the regular-season champion, was the favorite to win this title. He dominated nearly every statistical category all year — he led the most laps and won the most stages — and his victory was his series-best eighth in 2017.
It was the first championship for Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. It was the second title in three years for manufacturer Toyota.
Busch finished second for Joe Gibbs Racing, helping Toyota — the most dominant manufacturer this season — go 1-2 in the finale.
Kyle Larson, who was eliminated from the playoffs last month, finished third in a Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. Harvick, seeking his second title, was fourth in a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
Keselowski wound up seventh, failing to give Team Penske a season sweep of the two top American racing series. Penske won the IndyCar title in September.
Truex also denied Ford its third win of the weekend. Ford drivers won titles in the Truck and Xfinity series. The manufacturer has not won a Cup championship since 2004.