Despite entering the NASCAR finale with the longest odds of the Championship 4 drivers, Joey Logano picked up the win at Homestead to win his first Cup Series championship.
Logano finished 17th in points last season, missing the playoffs after finishing as the runner-up in points in 2016. That's the worst finish in points for a driver in the season before a championship in the Modern Era (since 1972 - drivers often didn't run the full schedule from year-to-year before 1972).
This might be Logano's 10th full season in the Cup Series, but he's still just 28 years old. He's the 4th driver since 1990 to win a Cup Series championship before turning 30, joining his current teammate Brad Keselowski, along with Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon (Gordon did it 3 times). Gordon and the four drivers to do it between 1960-90 are all enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Logano didn't have a standout regular season, only winning once in 26 races, and that was in a wild card race at Talladega in April. Logano was also winless for the first six races of the playoffs, but won at Martinsville to punch his ticket to the Championship Round, and then won again on Sunday.
It's been a roller coaster ride for Logano, both in the last three seasons and for his entire career.
Logano had 7-2 odds to win the championship entering Homestead, the worst of the Championship 4 drivers. Most of the season, he wasn't a frontrunner for the championship.
Joey Logano - Other Championship Notes
• 2nd driver to win championship for Team Penske (Brad Keselowski, 2012)
• 3 wins is fewest by Cup Series champion since Kurt Busch also had 3 in 2004 (tied for fewest in Playoff Era; last with fewer was Matt Kenseth: 1 win in 2003)
• 33rd different driver to win Cup Series championship
• 7th driver to win Cup championship, Daytona 500 and Cup Rookie of the Year (joins Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson and Richard Petty)
--- ESPN Stats & Info 000