Full race results
| Final championship standings
Matt Crafton became the first man to successfully defend his drivers' title in the history of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, after finishing in ninth place in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
That was more than enough for Crafton to retain the title he'd won 12 months ago, thereby becoming the first driver in series history to win back-to-back titles. He had only needed to finish in 21st or above to put him out of reach of his sole remaining challenger, Ryan Blaney, who in any case was handicapped on the night by a broken gear lever and unable to do anything to prevent Crafton from claiming a significant piece of NASCAR history.
"To say I made history is definitely very, very cool," said Crafton, driver of the #88 ThorSports Racing Toyota said. "It's all about these guys that are behind me. Without them, I'm just an average race car driver at best.
"Definitely an awesome feeling," he beamed, after becoming only the fourth driver in the series to pick up more than one title, along with Ron Hornaday Jr., Todd Bodine and Jack Sprague. "To be on the list with those guys is unreal. To say that I've done it back-to-back and no one has done that, it's such a good, good feeling.
"I think I'm the luckiest man on earth," he added. "I'm getting paid to do what I love. I'm getting paid to drive a race car!"
Although the broken gear lever ultimately thwarted any hopes he might have had of challenging for the title, Blaney battled on and finally crossed the line in fifth place to secure the runners-up spot in the championship. "We struggled all night," the Brad Keselowski Racing driver admitted. "It was one of the worst trucks I've ever had. I can't believe we finished fifth."
In the owners championship, Kyle Busch Motorsports managed a similar back-to-back feat to Crafton by retaining the title it had won last year with the #51 car, in this case by 24 points over Crafton's #88 ThorSport Racing truck. Third place in the owners standings went to the BKR #29 driven by Blaney, and fourth to the second KBM entry - the race-winning #54 driven by Darrell Wallace Jr.
"It's a great milestone for us and a great accomplishment," hailed team owner Kyle Busch, having taken the wheel of the #51 himself this weekend and finished in fourth place to lock up the the team's latest title, its third in five seasons. Erik Jones had shared driving duties with Busch over the season, taking the wheel on 12 occasions to Busch's ten, and will be duly rewarded for his breakthrough success with a full-time drive at KBM in 2015.
"It's a true testament to all the hard work and dedication of [crew chief] Eric Phillips and the team," Busch said. "That's what the Truck Series is all about as a proving ground. Truly to have two drivers to compete and to capture an owner's championship says a lot about our team and our organization.
"It's what we can race for. We've had a lot of people come to KBM to work who have stayed a long time. Some move on to other things. That's really what the Truck Series is all about: a proving ground and a growing series."
In the other KBM entry, Darrell Wallace Jr. managed to overcome long-time race leader Kyle Larson to head all but four of the last 32 laps of the 134-lap season finale under the floodlights on Friday night to claim the race win at the chequered flag. It marks the 14th victory for KBM as a whole in 2014 and the 18th win of the year for Toyota, equalling the existing manufacturers record originally set by Chevrolet in 1996.
"We didn't have a shot at the title but we wanted it more than anything else," Wallace said after claiming his fourth win of the year and his fifth in 44 series starts to clinch third place in the overall championship standings. "We beat the boss, finally!" he added.
"We came down here and tested and I felt pretty happy with what I found out," Wallace continued. "Practice wasn't great but these guys never gave up on me. I might get a little bratty but we always come together. We've strung together four wins and it's been a lot of fun."
Having won pole position earlier in the day, Kyle Larson had led for a total of 96 laps during the night only to see the victory slip away to Wallace at the end after dropping two spots during the final round of pit stops on lap 100, leaving him struggling to fight his way back to the front.
"We were so even," Larson said. "Bubba did a good job once again. Two tracks he beat me at where he ran the rim. I hate it that we finished second but it was a good run for us.
"We definitely had the best truck," he insisted. "We had a bad pit stop that last stop and I had a couple bad restarts. It's hard to find clean air in the trucks as they punch such a hole."
Third place in the race went to Red Horse Racing's Timothy Peters, who thereby finished in fifth position in the championship just behind Crafton's ThorSport team mate Johnny Sauter.
"It was a lot of fun," said Peters afterwards. "What a way to finish and end the season. It feels good to come to Homestead and do this. Wish we had about 20 more laps but we'll build on it and go to Daytona ... I just wish that the second half of the season was the first half for us as that could have been us celebrating the championship."
Turner Scott Motorsport's Ben Kennedy finished in 17th place at Homestead, but it was still enough to allow him to narrowly clinch the rookie of the year title by three points over Blaney's BKR team mate Tyler Reddick, who himself crossed the line in sixth place ahead of Ty Dillon on Friday.
"We weren't really all that great tonight," Kennedy admitted. "But it pays off for the whole season we put together. It's a testament to this team and how hard the guys at Turner Scott Motorsports worked. When we were on we were really on, up there with the top dogs. When we were off we struggled a little bit, but we worked hard and we worked together to make the most out of each position and each lap."
As the burnouts, fireworks and victory lane celebrations continued long into the night at Homestead, it seemed that everyone had something to celebrate as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drew to a close for another year. The drivers will be back in action again next February when they reconvene at Daytona for the 2015 season opener.
Full race results from Homestead-Miami Speedway
Current Camping World Truck Series Championship standings
Get the latest NASCAR news straight to your Twitter feed! CLICK HERE to follow Crash.net's new dedicated NASCAR Twitter feed