This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Kyle Busch continued the tradition of winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the season championship. His pace earned him the regular-season championship as he lacked his early-season edge through the playoffs. He steadily improved as the final 10-race run to the finish progressed, however. He was second in Phoenix and then dominated the second half in Homestead to earn his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series championship. His five wins contributed to a record season from Joe Gibbs Racing, who put three of four drivers into the championship finale and won a record 19 races this season. Busch and the JGR organization enter the winter knowing the rest of the garage will be aiming to knock them off their perch in 2020.
That quest begins Monday as teams begin working toward the first on-track action of next season. The teams will unload their wares at Daytona in February and all will have their sights set on the success the JGR Toyotas achieved in 2019. There is not much time for adjustments to be made, plans to be hashed out and equipment to be refined, though. In just three months these teams, drivers, and cars will be back in action aiming to win the biggest race of the season – the Daytona 500. That winner will be the first to claim his or her spot in the 2020 playoff fight, too.
Kyle Busch – Busch was the season's early championship favorite as he seemed nearly unstoppable, but