"We've built a strong organization that should be able to compete for championships for a long time," Stewart says. "But there's only so much you can control. Luck definitely plays a role—guys wrecking in front of you, a blown tire here or there. You need to have luck on your side to win the championship."
Nearly four hours after he'd won the most hard-fought title of his career, the driver and owner of Stewart-Haas Racing strolled back onto the Homestead track one last time and looked up into the dark, empty stands with a Schlitz Tall Boy in his hands. "I don't want this feeling to end," Stewart said, smiling. "I can't wait to see what we can do next year."