Kyle Busch thought a broken leg suffered in an accident at Daytona put an end to his Sprint Cup title dreams before it even started. But despite missing the first 11 races, Busch came back to not just qualify for The Chase, but to win it.
Busch took the checkered flag in the final race of the season, running out ahead of Kevin Harvick on a restart at Homestead to earn the 2015 Sprint Cup.
The Sprint Cup title chase came down to four drivers out of 16 qualifiers: Busch, Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr.
In the end, no one had a car to compete with Busch.
A caution flag was thrown for debris on the track with 11 laps left, bringing out the green flag restart with eight laps left. When the leaders came in to pit, Busch came out second with Harvick fourth, Gordon 10th and Truex Jr. 13th.
Busch came out of the gate ahead with Brad Keselowski second and Harvick third. Keselowski gave way to Harvick with six laps left, but Busch extended his lead in turn four one lap later.
It was Gordon’s final race of his career after announcing before the season that 2015 would be his last year. If he had the feel-good story to root for, Busch’s wasn’t far behind.
Busch received a waiver from NASCAR to be allowed to have a chance at The Chase. Busch would have to win a race and finish in the top 30 of the points. Rolling off four wins, including three in a row, propelled him in.
Sixteen total drivers started in the new format this year. Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer were the other qualifiers.