This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Joey Logano bucked the trend of the season and upset Monster Energy NASCAR Cup's "Big 3" drivers to win his first race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and his first championship in the series. The championship contenders finished the final race in the top four positions, proving that they were the men to beat as the series title battle progressed to its close Sunday evening. Each driver had his share of problems throughout the year but worked to be at their best on Sunday. Logano seemed to be the best prepared, as he dominated the weekend's practices and made a strong late-race move on Martin Truex Jr. to take the lead, winning the title over the rival with whom he clashed just a few weeks earlier.
The finale at Homestead also marked the end of several familiar things to fantasy owners. Daniel Suarez, A.J. Allmendinger, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth have unannounced plans for 2019, but are out of their current roles. One of the most successful pairings in series history also ran its last race together, as Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus end their partnership of 17 years. The race was also the final one for the current Ford Fusion body. The manufacturer is bringing the Mustang to race in 2019, and its impact won't be fully felt until a few weeks into the new racing season.
For now, the series heads into the winter break to rest and prepare for 2019. A new rules package, new Ford machines and new