Last year's championship experience taught Kevin Harvick that he'd likely have to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim back-to-back Sprint Cup titles.
His car was strong enough to lead 46 laps, but didn't have enough to catch Busch on the final restart.
"The 18 car just had us beat all night, for the most part," Harvick said. "We kept throwing stuff at it but never really found anything that helped the car. As the night went on, it seemed the 18 got better and we never got any better.
"It's been a great couple of years. After last year, when we had everything go our way, I've learned not to be greedy. I know we're disappointed about finishing second tonight, but that's been kind of the theme of the year -- finishing second."
Although he set career highs in top-fives (23), top-10s (28) and laps led, Harvick also settled for second place in 13 races this season.