RELATED: Complete Miami race results " Final 2015 standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Kyle Larson took out a season of frustration on the NASCAR XFINITY Series field Saturday in the season finale, tracking down Austin Dillon in the closing laps to win the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by slightly less than a second. Despite Larson's dominance in leading 118 of 200 laps, Chris Buescher ran a clean race, finishing 11th to clinch his first XFINITY Series title. Buescher came into the race needing to finish 13th or better to guarantee himself the championship. After winning a pair of XFINITY Series races last season, Larson, 23, had visions of qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this year. Those hopes failed to materialize. He sits 20th in Sprint Cup points heading into Sunday's season finale (3 p.m. ET on NBC). And prior to Saturday, although managing three top-five finishes, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity alum had gone winless in 13 XFINITY starts. But Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet out of the Harry Scott Jr. shop was so strong on Saturday that by Lap 97, only three other cars were chasing him on the lead lap. Larson had opened a 6.7-second lead over early-race leader Kyle Busch (who led 62 of the first 79 laps from the Coors Light Pole) when the race's third caution flag waved on Lap 117. Busch's threat fizzled when he was penalized for having a loose tire in the pits, then crashed after contact with NASCAR Drive for Diversity alum Darrell Wallace Jr . on Lap 182. On the final restart, however, Larson slipped to fourth and had to recover with a late race charge to catch Dillon. Both Larson and Dillon, seeking the speed of the outside line at Homestead-Miami Speedway , brushed the wall in the final laps. "To win is really special, especially when you haven't won in over a year in a NASCAR national series," said Larson, admitting he wasn't sure he could catch Dillon, who led laps 180-195. "There's no other track that suits me like this track. I'm just really comfortable running up against the wall. I seem to always have good race cars when I come here. "We've been frustrated a number of times this year. Some races, we haven't had the speed we had last year. Also, we've had a lot of races where we were pretty fast, then had something happen to us in the last run of the races. It's just been a really inconsistent year." When it came time to celebrate, however, Larson drove directly to Victory Lane, respectfully leaving the burnout to the XFINITY Series champ. "This is championship week, so congratulations to Chris Buescher ," Larson said. "I wanted Chris to have his moment there." Buescher, who won races at Iowa and Dover this season, came into the race with a string of nine consecutive top-10 finishes, but played it safe throughout the day at HMS. Crew chief Scott Graves did make a pivotal call, electing to pit while other title contenders remained on the track for the final 21 laps. That put Buescher in position to claim the free pass, which he did moments later when Busch hit the wall. "We thought having fresh tires on it was going to put us in a better position," Graves said. "We knew if we could be in the 'Lucky Dog' situation … we were basically going to be on even ground (with our competitors). With the number of laps that was left, we felt that was going to be our best option." "Our Fastenal Mustang had good speed in it, but we just had to be careful out there," Buescher said. "It's unbelievable for us to be able to pull it off. I’m not a 'points' racer. I don't like it. But it was important (to finish) what we've been fighting for since February and Daytona." Chase Elliott , the defending series champion who is poised to take over the No. 24 Sprint Cup car for Hendrick Motorsports in 2016, finished eighth in the race and 15 points behind Buescher. Ty Dillon , seventh on Saturday, finished 18 points behind Buescher, and Regan Smith , ninth on Saturday, settled for fourth in points, 22 points back. "We had an up-and-down season," said Elliott, who won three XFINITY Series races in 2014 but lamented his ability to win just once this year (at Richmond). "They just outran us, fair and square. No reason to be upset about that. We just need to do a better job." Dillon recorded his 25th top-10 finish of the season but failed to win a race. He did finish in the top 10 in eight of his last nine races. Smith, runner-up to Elliott last season, ended the season with 13 consecutive top-10 finishes. While Buescher gave Roush Fenway Racing Owner Jack Roush his fifth XFINITY Series title, the owner's championship went to Team Penske 's No. 22 Ford for a third consecutive season. Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano , Alex Tagliani and Ryan Blaney -- who finished fifth behind Erik Jones (Toyota) and Brian Scott (Chevrolet) in the Ford EcoBoost 300 -- all made starts in the No. 22 this season.
RELATED: Race results " 2015 final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Team owner Joe Gibbs sees Daniel Suárez as a big part of the future -- not only for NASCAR but for his team. Part of the equation is about the 23-year-old’s talents as the driver who just earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Suárez moved up to fifth in the final series standings with his sixth-place effort in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . But a lot of it is about how Suárez got to that point, advancing through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program to become a factor in both the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series this year. "It's exciting for our sport," Gibbs said. "I don't think I've been in any business meeting the last five years where (somebody) didn't say 'We've got to reach the Hispanic market.' It's a big deal for us to have Daniel on board. "It helps me from the standpoint that I want to be a good partner in every part of NASCAR. We've been heavily involved in the (Drive for) Diversity program with a number of different guys. We think it's good for our sport. I know it is. I think our sport belongs in every part of the market in America and I think this is a big step." Suárez is the first Mexican driver and second Drive for Diversity product to win Sunoco Rookie of the Year in one of NASCAR's national series. Although he didn't win an XFINITY race, he won three Coors Light Pole Awards, recorded 18 top-10 finishes and placed second to Joey Logano at Bristol Motor Speedway . "It's been a long journey so far, but a very fun one," Suárez says. "We had a goal early in the year to get the Rookie of the Year, be strong and try to contend for some wins. We didn't win, but we were close several times. We ran in the front. I don't think it was a surprise to see the ARRIS No. 18 in the front, which for me was something really good." Suárez, has been fast ever since arriving on the scene from Monterrey, Mexico, where he was accustomed to open-wheel racing and road courses, not ovals. He was Rookie of the Year in NASCAR’s Mexico Series in 2010. Advancing to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing, he placed third in the 2013 standings with nine top-10 finishes. But he's also had a lot to learn [[ from mastering the English language to mastering how to handle NASCAR's race cars and tracks. "These cars are different," he says. "They are so aero-dependent and to move around the race track, '’m not used to that. When I was racing in Mexico, you used to start in one line and I was used to staying in that lane. So, all this is new to me." Saturday's race was a tribute to how far Suárez has come. After qualifying on the front row, he dropped all the way to 16th, a lap down, after his team was penalized for a loose tire in the pits. Clawing his way back into contention, he was one of only 10 finishers on the lead lap. His sixth-place finish enabled him to bump veteran Elliott Sadler (13th) from the fifth and final seat at Monday night's XFINITY championship banquet. Still, Suárez, who gained additional experience by driving 13 races for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series, knows he has a long way to go. "There is a huge difference between racing fast, racing in the front and winning a race," he says. "And this is one of the steps I have to make for next year. This was one of my goals for this year. I didn’t get that one. So in the offseason I am looking forward to working as hard as possible with my team to take that next step and win races." As for a chance to drive in the Sprint Cup Series, Suárez believes that will come in due time. "I feel if I'm in the right place and with the right people to make that step at the right time," he said, "But for now we need to focus on what we're doing right now." His owner will be watching closely. "We are really proud of Daniel," Gibbs said. "He has done a fantastic job both on and off the track and I know ARRIS and Toyota are extremely excited to have him earn this honor. "He has been consistent throughout the year but also showed improvement each week and that really showed up as he returned to tracks for a second time. He has put a lot into this and I'm just thrilled for him and his family, the team, and everyone that supports him, both here and back in Mexico.
RELATED: Full race lineup Weather played a role in Saturday's XFINITY Series qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway , canceling the final round and handing the pole to second round leader Kyle Busch . The Joe Gibbs Racing driver wheeled his No. 54 Toyota at 168.140 mph to earn his fifth pole of the season. The middle round of qualifying became a race against weather for drivers, as rain drops decorated the windshields toward the end of the session. Qualifying was ultimately called at the end of the second session. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate and Busch's JGR teammate Daniel Suarez earned the outside pole position, piloting his No. 18 Toyota at 168.046 mph for the front row spot. Richard Childress Racing 's Austin Dillon (167.266 mph) and Brian Scott (167.219 mph) earned the third and fourth starting spots, respectively. Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five with a fast lap of 167.110 mph in his No. 22 Ford . Points leader and title contender Chris Buescher earned an 11th -place starting position, while fellow championship-contending driver Chase Elliott qualified 13th. The XFINITY Series is back on track for the Ford EcoBoost 300 (2:45 p.m. ET, NBC/Live Extra/MRN/SiriusXM).
RELATED: Full race results " Final season standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- As it turned out, the final step in Chris Buescher 's march to the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship was almost pedestrian. None of his closest pursuers could mount a serious challenge for the victory in Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway . In fact, Buescher, title runner-up Chase Elliott and fellow contenders Ty Dillon and Regan Smith all went a lap down to race winner Kyle Larson during a long green-flag run in the middle of the race. Ultimately, Buescher got a free pass back to the lead lap and finished 11th, leaving him with a 15-point edge in the standings over Elliott, the defending series champion, and 18 over third-place Dillon, who finished seventh on Saturday. With no real pressure from his competition, and with 18 points in hand entering the race, Buescher's primary task was to keep his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford out of trouble, and the 23-year-old Texan did exactly that. RELATED: Buescher's path to becoming a champion If the pressure of an impending first NASCAR national series championship was weighing on him, Buescher didn't show it. "I did a good job masking it didn't I?" Buescher said after the race. "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. "I'm glad we could pull it off for all the people that were on board all year, AdvoCare, Roush Performance, Cheez-It and all the fans. I know the weather wasn't ideal today (rain caused the fourth caution), but they hung in there with us and we made it through this thing and get to celebrate." More than seven years earlier, Buescher left home to pursue a racing career, despite the reservations of his parents. "I'm glad (my mother) let me," Buescher said. "I think she's OK with it now. I have to thank my parents so much for the opportunity to be here and leave home and do this. That was such an amazing race, just being careful. "Our Fastenal Mustang had good speed in it. We just had to be careful out there… It's pretty amazing to be in this position." Keeping his desire to race for victories in check, however, has been a difficult proposition for the young champion. "I am not a points racer," Buescher said. "I don't like it. It's not the most fun way to run the last 10 races of the season, but it is important. "This is what we have been fighting for since February at Daytona, and these guys (the team) have done such a great job and stuck in there with us all year and had no mechanical failures or DNFs. It's a huge accomplishment for our team." Austin Dillon , who finished second to Larson on Saturday, wasn't surprised Buescher and his team exhibited that sort of race management. "Chris is a smart race car driver," Dillon said. I think that's what won him a championship. I noticed it earlier on in the year. I've noticed it from when he was driving ARCA against Ty (Dillon, Austin's brother). Him and Ty had good battles then, and Chris is always smart with his equipment. "I think he knows the ability of the equipment, uses it to its ability every time, and finishes races well. So I think Chris is going to be good. He's smart. He doesn't tear up stuff. He's raced with less before, and it teaches you what you have in the car, so I think he's very good at managing his equipment and getting the best out of it." Interestingly, even with a championship to his credit, Buescher hasn't settled his plans for next season. "I'm optimistic about it," Buescher said. "I feel like we'll have something ... I just don't have anything right now. We don't have everything planned out at the moment. It will be a couple weeks, I'm sure, before we get everything lined up and get a little bit closer – not that I'm worried about it. "I feel pretty confident that the guys back at the shop are doing everything they can to get sponsors on board and to try to put together a 2016 season, wherever that may be." Team owner Jack Roush indicated Buescher would run some NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races next season. What's unknown is how many. "We're still not sure what his arrangement is going to be next year," Roush said. "He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent, but whether it's a part-time program or a full program, we're still in the midst of finalizing the conditions. "We've got a number of possibilities, but we're not ready to announce that today."
RELATED: Full results " Final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Three contenders with outside chances at winning the season-long NASCAR XFINITY Series fight had their brush with taking the trophy away from eventual champ Chris Buescher . Unfortunately, the trio had another brush -- with the Homestead-Miami Speedway wall during Saturday's season finale. The latter brushes aside, title hopefuls Ty Dillon , Chase Elliott and Regan Smith finished seventh, eighth and ninth respectfully, coming up short in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 . The results -- combined with Buescher's 11th-place effort Saturday -- left Elliott second (15 points back), Dillon third (-18) and Smith fourth (-22) in the final standings. All three emerged from scraped Chevrolets with wishes of what might've been. Elliott came closest, but was unable to take a repeat XFINITY championship with him as he moves to the Sprint Cup Series next year as Jeff Gordon 's replacement with Hendrick Motorsports . Elliott ranked either second or third for the majority of the season, closing the year with seven consecutive top-10 finishes. The 19-year-old notched one win (in September at Richmond), but said those opportunities were fleeting over the course of the 33-race season. "Yeah, chalk it up to we got beat and didn't win enough races. That's the bottom line," said Elliott, who won three times as a championship-winning rookie in 2014. "… The most important thing in this sport is being able to win and give yourself chances to win a race every weekend. We race from February to November, and we didn't give ourselves enough chances. I didn't do a good enough job to put ourselves in position to go and try to win races. "That's the most important thing, and like I said, that's what I chalk it up to is just not being in contention enough." Dillon led the standings for the majority of the spring and soldiered ahead after a midseason crew chief change. His biggest lament came in October at Dover International Speedway , where a blown tire and slap of the outside wall with his Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet left him with a costly 28th-place finish. Dillon righted the ship slightly, closing out the year with five straight top-10 finishes to take third place away from Smith down the stretch. "It's a good year," Dillon said. "It's always a good thing to be disappointed with not winning the championship but having an opportunity, I feel like. Just proud of my guys' effort. We really turned it around the second half of the year and were a championship team. If Dover wouldn't have happened, there's always ifs and buts, but if Dover wouldn't have happened, we would've probably would've won this championship by about 15 points. So, I'm proud of what we did in the second half. … "We'll be back next year and we won't be sitting here third in points. Hopefully, we'll be lifting that trophy." Smith had the best closing kick of the four title hopefuls, coming in the face of job uncertainty as his three-year tenure at JR Motorsports drew to a close. The 32-year-old veteran won twice, with his first victory of the season at Mid-Ohio touching off a streak of 13 consecutive top-10 finishes to round out the year. The steady streak didn't unseat any of the three drivers ahead of him, but Smith said he hoped it was enough to draw interest from a prospective team owner for 2016. "I'm glad we were in the conversation," Smith said of his title campaign. "There's a couple points in the air that probably shouldn't have been and probably really weren't just because of common mistakes or other people's mistakes on the race track. So that's good. I'm frustrated today. I guess that's the only thing you focus on is how your night went tonight and we really struggled. … "We'll see how things play out for next year. I know what I'm capable of in a race car and I've still got some championships left in me, and we need to go get one."
RELATED: Race results " 2015 final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Brian Scott stood beside his car on pit road at Homestead-Miami Speedway satisfied but not thrilled. And somewhat emotional. Scott finished fourth in his No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet and made a respectable run to be up front in the waning laps of Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 season finale only to finish fourth -- behind two Sprint Cup regulars. Scott is confident he can win these races and is not satisfied with top-five finishes. The most immediate big issue is "if" he will take another fulltime shot in these ranks next year. "Just trying to get all the horsepower I could out of this Chevy Camaro,'' Scott said after the race. "I needed every trick that we had to beat those guys. I was just trying really hard on those restarts to get clean air and see if I could block. The right car won the race. The four-two (No. 42 of Kyle Larson ) was unbelievably fast. "We're disappointed and obviously not where we should have been in the points. We decided after a couple mechanical failures and some wrecks of my doing that we weren't going to win the championship so we wanted to win races. That hurt our consistency but we've led a lot of laps at different tracks and qualified up front consistently. Those are things I’m really proud of. I'm kind of sad it's all over with." The big question going forward is whether it's over, paused, or about to reinvigorate. Both Scott and his wife Whitney Kay have been genuinely dismayed about the uncertainly. His wife tweeted out a photo via Instagram in the closing laps: It's a bittersweet weekend here for us! So proud of my hubs for always having a smile on his face… https://t.co/e7u9SLgcIj — whitney kay scott (@whitneykay_) November 21, 2015 Scott essentially agreed that he would seek sponsors, work and rely on his faith during this uncertainty. "There are plans, but the plans are we're still working on it,'' Scott said. "I've just been praying a lot and putting the faith in the good Lord whatever direction he wants me to go in. "We will just keep working on it and see if anything happens and opens up. Just praying a lot as a family and for the right opportunity to open up and lead us along." His current team owner Richard Childress was non-committal after the race, but remained hopeful. "Not right now, but we're going to be working on him,'' Childress said when asked about a potential deal for his driver. "I like Brian. I think he can win races. "We don't know yet (if he'll be back). We're still talking."
Kyle Larson wins the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway while Chris Buescher finishes 11th to earn his first NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship.
Kyle Larson passes Austin Dillon with four laps remaining to win the Ford EcoBoost 300 .
RELATED: Full practice results Reaching a top speed of 169.470 mph in his No. 42 HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi Chevrolet, Kyle Larson topped the leaderboard early in Friday's final NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series regular is making his 14th and final XFINITY start of the season. Roush Fenway Racing 's Elliott Sadler -- who will drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr .-owned JR Motorsports next season -- nabbed the second spot on the charts, piloting his No. 1 Ford at 169.231 mph. Joe Gibbs Racing 's Erik Jones laid down a lap of 168.676 mph in the opening lap to earn the third-fastest spot. The Dillon brothers rounded out the top five, with Austin in the fourth spot (168.287 mph) and Ty in the fifth (167.780 mph). For the fastest 10 lap consecutive average speed, it was Kyle Busch leading the way at 163.597 mph. Larson was second, followed by Austin Dillon , Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola . Points leader and title contender Chris Buescher ranked 11th on the speed charts, his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford coming in at 165.873 mph. Reigning series champion -- and Buescher's primary competition for the title -- Chase Elliott was 16th-fastest (165.042 mph) in his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. The practice began later than anticipated, as track officials worked to dry the track from the rainfall that had halted Sprint Cup practice minutes before. Cars began rolling off the grid at 1:45 p.m. The XFINTY Series is back on track Saturday for Coors Light Pole qualifying (11:15 a.m. ET CNBC/Live Extra).
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, Nov. 16 6 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 7:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR 120, NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Tuesday, Nov. 17 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Wednesday, Nov. 18 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Thursday, Nov. 19 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 7 p.m., NASCAR K&N Series West: Phoenix International Raceway (tape), NBCSN 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Friday, Nov. 20 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 9 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1 Noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 4 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 7:30 p.m., NCWTS Setup, FS1 8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 , FS1 Saturday, Nov. 21 4 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 (re-air), FS1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC 11 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, CNBC 12:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 , NBC 6 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN Sunday, Nov. 22 11:30 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1 1:30 p.m., NASCAR America Sunday, NBC 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Countdown to Green, NBC 3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 , NBC 3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Second-Screen Experience, NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race, NBCSN 8 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN 10 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 2:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FS1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;