Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 60 Ford Mustang, won his first NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, following an 11th-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300.
Buescher was never lower than third in the 2015 points standings and ended up leading the series for the final 24 weeks of the season in posting his first championship. He was able to hold off defending champion Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro, by 19 points to clinch the championship title. This year is just Buescher’s second full-time XFINITY Series season after driving in the development driver program at Roush Fenway Racing. Buescher finished the 2015 season with two wins (Iowa and Dover), 11 top-5 finishes and 20 top-10 finishes in 33 races.
It was a points battle heading into the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway between Buescher, Elliott, Regan Smith and Ty Dillon, as only 24 points separated the four drivers. Following Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300, Buescher won the championship title by 15 points over Elliott. Elliott was looking to defend his 2014 XFINITY Series championship title, before he begins his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in the coveted No. 24 car in 2016 for Hendrick Motorsports.
“That was such an amazing race, just being careful,” Buescher said. “I was a little nervous. All things considered, that was exactly what we needed to do and we knew that and knew we were capable of doing it. It is so nice to have everybody out here to support us and be with us for this accomplishment.”
While Buescher won the XFINITY Series championship title Saturday night, it was Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet, who won the Ford EcoBoost 300. The win is just Larson’s third win in the XFINITY Series, and his first win in only three starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Roger Penske and Team Penske claimed the 2015 XFINITY Series Owner’s Championship title on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The win is Penske’s third straight XFINITY Series owner’s championship, and he is only the second owner in XFINITY Series history to win three consecutive owner titles joining William Baumgardner (1995-97). Penske won the title with four drivers – Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Alex Tagliani.
With his sixth place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300, Daniel Suarez, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, won the Rookie of the Year award in his first year competing in NASCAR’s premier series. Suarez, a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, is the first driver from the program to win the award. Suarez finished the 2015 XFINITY Series season with eight top-5 finishes, 18 top-10 finishes and three poles.
“It was a good 2015 – a lot of new things,” Suarez said. “A lot of learning processes and we learned a bunch of things. I’m happy with that and earning Rookie of the Year was one of the goals of 2015 and thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing, ARRIS, Toyota, Telcel, Juniper – we were able to make this happen. Very happy overall.”