Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read praised his side for remaining positive during a dramatic climax to the LV=County Championship season.
The Outlaws overcame wet weather and a bout of end of season jitters at Old Trafford to claim their first Division One title in five years by virtue of winning more matches than rivals Somerset.
Notts and Somerset finished the 16-match campaign locked on 214 points with Yorkshire, beaten by Kent earlier in the day, 11 points adrift in third.
With Marcus Trescothick's Somerset only managing a draw at last season's champions Durham, Notts needed eight bonus points on day four against Lancashire to lift the crown.
But the chances of achieving that haul looked slim when only 28 overs were possible during the first three days.
But Notts, resuming the final day on 89-2, collected the five maximum batting points on offer by reaching 400-9, and then claimed three early wickets to clinch the title.
Speaking after the match, skipper Read, runner-up with Notts in 2008 and 2009, praised his players for never giving up hope with the odds stacked against them.
"We had to stay positive. We knew we had to go one way or the other to get the requisite points," he told Sky Sports.
"The majority of the team said 'let's go out there and bash 400 and take three wickets' and I don't think any of us thought it would be an easy ride, but what an incredible day's play."
At one stage it looked as though a draw would not be sufficient for Notts to end their five-year wait for the title.
With Somerset on top against Durham, Read admitted the task of setting up a result with opposing captain Mark Chilton had crossed his mind.
"I'd be lying if I said that was the only plan. Last night a lot of the guys got together and we have a chat over a meal over what we should do," he added.
"Both options were mooted and this morning we were devastated because we decided we wanted to go out and get 400, but we couldn't start on time and that looked like it could scupper our plans and we would have to go down another route.
"I had a word with Mark Chilton and Glen Chapple in the morning but decided on balance that the best route to go down would be to back ourselves to get 400 and then leave ourselves enough time to take three wickets."
With three wickets needed in the final two hours, departing Notts seamer Ryan Sidebottom edged his side closer with the wicket of Karl Brown - his last for the club.
New Zealander Andre Adams then finished the job when he removed Chilton and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in quick succession.
"Andre Adams, I couldn't heap enough praise on the way he has bowled this year and whenever Ryan Sidebottom is with us he is a fantastic asset for us. They finished off the job," said Read.
"That was the part I was most confident about. If we had 16-18 overs to get three wickets I'd back us. The 400 part - having not stepped on the wicket for three days - I had no idea what the wicket was going to play like.
Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell added: I'm very proud. It's fantastic for our club.
"To win it like that, people will look at it as an honest and fair way to win.
"We had to work hard to get there. (Lancashire) gave full commitment and fielded like a Twenty20 game."
Newell conceded he had been far from confident at times in recent weeks. He said: "There's been a number of times when I couldn't see us winning it - last week at Yorkshire, 59 all out was a disaster for us, then this morning (when rain held up play).
"We've been criticised in the last couple of weeks for bottling it, so to come up with a performance like that, I'm very, very pleased."