Over the last 34 laps, Busch clawed and scraped and pushed to dodge through the traffic and make it back to Truex. Eventually Busch made it to Truex's rear bumper. He swerved low, and then high again, and even tried going straight down the middle, but none of it worked. Truex, as has been the case all season, was just a teeny bit better.
The other contenders, Harvick and Keselowski, had their moments throughout the race, especially at points when Harvick led, but they were less of legitimate contenders on Sunday. That makes sense, considering Keselowski backed into the championship race and Harvick had really only peaked these last few weeks.
"They've had the fastest car all year," Harvick said of Truex and his No. 78 team, "so it was good to see him win."
Kyle Busch, though, was less congratulatory and more dejected, naturally so considering how close he came -- the official scoreboard will say he lost by barely half of a second -- to standing up on that stage and celebrating himself.
Instead, Busch knew with 25 laps to go that his odds were bad. He knew it would take some error by Truex, some miracle, some unforeseen feat to net him the championship.
And none of that happened.
"I tried to stay, and if he made a mistake or if he caught the wall or something like that, then I could try to pounce," Busch said, "but that never happened."
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