HOMESTEAD, Fla., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Joe Nemechek took the lead with five laps remaining Saturday to win the Busch Grand National series GNC Live Well 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Series champion Kevin Harvick was running away with the season finale before the engine on his Chevrolet Monte Carlo blew up on lap 161 of the 200-lap race. He led three times for 128 laps to that point.
That put Scott Wimmer in the lead, but Nemechek's Chevrolet was able to track him down and pass him with five laps left. He won by 1.247 seconds over Elton Sawyer's Ford Taurus.
Nemechek scored his 11th career Series win and his third victory at the 1 1/2-mile speedway -- the same track where his brother, Jon, was killed in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in 1997.
"We thought we would have won a couple of the races by now, but this crew made some great pit stops and we didn't change anything all day long," Nemechek said. "Everything I've through and my family has been through, it's nice to be able to come here and win. We thought we should have qualified in the top five and we were loose, but starting 20th we drove to the front."
Nemechek's car was a new one built for this race. On his final pit stop, he took two tires while Sawyer took four, but it did not matter.
"I thought we were as good as we were all day, but Joe was just faster there at the end," said Sawyer, who was a contender all race. "If we do that every week next year, maybe we can start talking about championship. I didn't consider anything, I was just driving my (rear) off. I thought we had enough time but Joe was better at the end."
Biffle scored his 16th top-five finish of the year, including five wins, and captured the Rookie of the Year honors.
Wimmer's previous best finish was fourth in March at Nashville Superspeedway. He ran the last 89 laps without a pit stop, gambling on a full tank of fuel for his first career victory. But Nemechek got fresh tires with less than 30 laps and handled the pass with ease.
Green, who last year won the title by a record 616 points, had to settle for runner-up this season, 124 points behind Harvick.
There was just one caution period on lap 111 when CART driver Christian Fittipaldi was hit from behind and crashed into the second-turn wall.