Sunday belonged to Tony Stewart, who won his second Nextel Cup title with a clean, if unspectacular, 15th-place finish in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Stewart's steady effort clinched him the title by 35 points over Biffle, the Vancouver, Wash., native who won Sunday's thrilling season finale. Edwards, who finished fourth Sunday, ended up tied for second in points but will be third in the final standings because Biffle had more victories this season.
While Stewart did enough to win the championship at Homestead, it was Biffle and Roush teammate Mark Martin who had the crowd cheering as they fought for the lead over the final laps, with Biffle holding off the veteran at the line. Matt Kenseth, the 2003 champion and another Roush driver, was third.
Martin gave Biffle all he could handle over the last two laps, battling him door handle to door handle for the victory. Biffle won by 0.017 seconds.
"Man, it was close!" said Martin. "We were just inches short. I guess maybe we needed another lap, or maybe I would have crashed trying."
While Stewart was avoiding spinning cars and showing championship consistency down the stretch, each of the five Roush drivers who qualified for the Chase faltered at some point.
The biggest fumble came in Texas two weeks ago when Biffle had to pit under a green flag with a loose lugnut. He lost a lap and never regained it, finishing 20th.
There's no dought about one thing. Biffle has to be the hottest driver going into 2006.
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