Harvick's trip to victory lane hardly came easily, and there was some tight racing in the closing laps. According to NASCAR.com, Harvick was back in 12th place with about 15 laps to go. "It came down to a pit call," he said after the race. The fresh rubber in the closing laps let Harvick start clawing his way back up the order. With eight laps to go, he passed Ryan Newman to take the lead.
The fight still wasn't over, though. A yellow flag meant that the title fight came down to a three-lap sprint between Harvick and Ryan Newman, who was also a contender for the title. Harvick stuck it out and pulled into victory lane to claim his championship with 5,043 points, just one more than Newman in second place.
Harvick joined Stewart-Haas Racing this season from Richard Childress Racing, and according to the video below, the team gave him carte blanche to build the group that he needed to win. Clearly that worked out well in the end. "I think he's definitely a game changer," said team owner Tony Stewart about the champ to NASCAR.com. "The talent has been there." Scroll down to watch Harvick climb out of his car and celebrate the win.