Newman Wins Sixth, Truex Gets Second Straight Busch Title
Ryan Newman won the battle, but Martin Truex Jr. won the war as he picked up his second consecutive NASCAR Busch Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He becomes the fifth driver in series history to win back-to-back titles.
Truex had to work his way through the field from the back of the pack twice during a day of frustration and drama to finish seventh. Truex ended the race 68 points ahead of Clint Bowyer to win the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series championship. Bowyer finished the event in eighth spot.
Point leader Truex came into the season’s final event leading by a margin of 64 points over second place Bowyer. Truex wrecked his primary car in qualifying, had to go to an untried back-up car and started on the back of the pack in 42nd spot. He worked his way into the top 20 by lap 16. Shortly after, title hopes were nearly dashed for the two point leaders as J.J. Yeley’s car broke loose between Truex and Bowyer as Truex tried to make it three wide in turn 4.
Truex experienced a vibration due to a loose rear wheel and had to make a green flag pit stop on lap 60 putting him a lap down to the field.
He made up the lap but again was forced to work his way through the entire field. Truex moved steadily to the front, brushing the wall in turn 4 as he passed Carlos Contreras on the outside, though Truex’s Chevrolet was not affected by the contact.
Ryan Newman picked up his sixth NASCAR Busch Series win in eight starts for 2005. Newman and runner-up Greg Biffle had many stirring fender-to-fender duels throughout the event with their main competitor Kasey Kahne being taken out in a multi-car incident on lap 87. Kahne was penalized during the first caution period for entering pit road while it was closed and had to start on the end of the longest line at the restart. Kahne was caught in traffic at the time of the incident.
Brent Sherman brought out the ninth and final caution on lap 193 to set up a three lap shootout between Newman and Biffle who led at the restart. Newman went to the outside of treacherous turn 1 for the lead and held on for the win. Biffle hung on for second spot – his eighth runner-up finish in NASCAR Busch Series competition for 2005. Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard rounded out the top five. There were 14 lead changes among four drivers.
The top five finishers in series points for 2005 where Truex, Bowyer, Carl Edwards – who also won the Rookie of the Year Award – Reed Sorenson and Denny Hamlin. All five drivers will be regulars in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2006.