NASCAR Cup Series 2020: Chase Elliott, 24, third-youngest driver to win title

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 08: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 and the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The new substance of NASCAR surrounded Phoenix Raceway for a celebratory lap of his best accomplishment. Pursue Elliott, NASCAR’s most well known driver, was currently a Cup champion, as well.

He happened upon partner Jimmie Johnson, who slammed entryways with Elliott. At that point the seven-time champion, in his last race, gave Elliott a clench hand knock. The light has authoritatively been passed.

This is NASCAR’s Camelot. Elliott did what Dale Earnhardt Jr. couldn’t and parlayed the fame shined off his Hall of Fame father into a NASCAR title.

The child of “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” Georgia hardened himself as the new substance of Hendrick Motorsports, of Chevrolet and of NASCAR on the day the best driver of this age considered it a profession. Elliott drove from the rear of the field to triumph path at Phoenix to win for Hendrick and Chevrolet, which had been closed out of the title race since Johnson won his seventh and last crown in 2016.

“I just never would have thought that this year would have gone like it has,” Elliott said. “I mean, NASCAR Cup Series champion, are you kidding me? Unreal.”

He imparted a long embrace to Johnson, who joined Elliott for the party. “Oh my gosh, I mean, to share a moment like that, Jimmie’s last race, to win and lock the championship,” said Elliott, “those are moments you can only dream, you know, and this is a dream.

“Just hoping I don’t ever wake up.”

Elliott’s vehicle bombed pre-race review and the punishment cost him the post when he was shipped off the back. Be that as it may, he hustled his way through traffic in the main stage and afterward assumed responsibility for the title. Elliott drove multiple times for a race-high 153 laps. Johnson completed fifth – his best outcome since August – in his last ride in Hendrick’s No. 48 Chevrolet.

“My heart is full,” said Johnson, who is attached with Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with seven titles. His 83 triumphs rank 6th on the profession wins rundown and his stretch of five continuous titles from 2006-2010 is a NASCAR record. Gotten some information about his 686th race, Johnson said it will be Elliott’s discovery.

“Chase Elliott won his first championship. I’m so happy for that guy,” he said. “I can recall going snowboarding with Bill out in Colorado and Chase was maybe 8 years old on skis, super quiet, wouldn’t say much.

“To watch him grow up and to be around him and to give him some advice from time to time has really been meaningful for me. I think more about him winning a championship more than anything.”

Elliott, who turns 25 in the not so distant future, has followed his dad’s strides. Bill Elliott won the 1988 title and multiple times was casted a ballot by the fans NASCAR’s most well known driver. Pursue Elliott turned into the fan top pick in 2018 after Earnhardt Jr. resigned. He’s the primary most mainstream driver to win the title since his dad won his solitary title.

The Elliotts joined Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett as the third dad child mix to win a NASCAR Cup title. The Elliotts, alongside Hall of Famer Tim Flock, are the main three drivers from Georgia to win the title.

Hendrick Motorsports expanded its NASCAR record with a thirteenth title.

Elliott passed Joey Logano with 42 laps remaining and pulled away in a race Elliott controlled even as the four title competitors ran 1-2-3-4 the vast majority of the evening. Elliott had charged through the field during the main stage to bunch the four competitors in the champ bring home all the glory season finale. It was Elliott’s fifth success of the period, following just Kevin Harvick (nine) and Denny Hamlin (seven).

Elliott’s success at Martinsville a week ago secured him in the last four, however wiped out ordinary season champion Harvick.

“I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one,” said Elliott, who also won the All-Star race at Bristol. “To come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable.”

Elliott beat Brad Keselowski, who was trailed by Team Penske partner Logano and afterward Hamlin, who is presently 0 for 4 in title races. Hamlin is considered alongside Hall of Famer Mark Martin the best driver without a Cup title.

“No one has won more than we have over the last two years. Pretty proud what this team is doing,” Hamlin said. “We’ll come back and do it again next year.”

Hamlin was the main driver among the last four not to lead a lap at Phoenix, where he won last November. Logano drove 125 laps, yet a large portion of them early. “It stings not winning, I’m not going to lie. It hurts,” he said.

Keselowski had been holding out trust in a late alert to set up a short run to the completion, which is the way both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series titles were chosen the past two evenings.

“I would have loved to have raced it out,” Keselowski said. “We just didn’t get any yellows.”

The race had only four all out alerts, three of them planned breaks. It made Elliott’s crowning ritual look simple.

The race finished NASCAR’s excited 38-race plan that was updated on account of the pandemic. The season was suspended five days after NASCAR dashed at Phoenix in March, a race won by Logano, and the motors lingered for 10 weeks. Be that as it may, confronting devastating monetary misfortunes to the groups and the business, NASCAR was one of the primary games to continue rivalry. NASCAR went dashing again May 17 and utilized doubleheaders, midweek races and a monstrous planning mix to finish the season for each of the three of its public arrangement.

For the finale, the first at NASCAR’s claimed and renovated Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR relaxed its “bubble” and permitted families and visitors unexpectedly since, well, the last time they hustled at Phoenix. The post-race festivity was the first run through Johnson had seen Rick Hendrick, his supervisor of 20 years, since March.

“If you can get through a year like this and you’re NASCAR, certainly it bodes well,” Keselowski said. “I thought it was really amazing what the sport was able to achieve, that we were able to get all the races in. To be here today and have a great race for a championship, I think that’s really impressive.”

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