Chase Elliott Captures First NASCAR Cup Series Title with Phoenix Win

After 312 miles around Phoenix Raceway, Chase Elliott was able to capture both the win and the NASCAR Cup Series championship. This win marks his fifth win of the season and this championship is the first of his career.

Championship contenders Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-four.

“Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. We are the champions,” Elliott screamed over the radio.

In his post-race interview with NBC, Elliott said, “I’m at a loss for words. This is so unbelievable. We did it, that’s all I have to tell you. Championship crew chief, Alan Gustafson, is now a NASCAR Cup Series champion.”

“I can’t say enough about our group; we took some really big strides this year and having a chance to race is unbelievable.”

Pole-sitter, Elliott, had to start at the rear of the field due to multiple failed inspections, so Joey Logano led the field to green. From the top spot, Logano pulled away from Keselowski by 1.5 seconds in the first ten laps.

Chase Elliott made his way up into the tenth position when the competition caution came out on lap 31. By lap 40, Elliott entered the top-five.

Joey Logano led all but one lap in the first stage in way to his stage one victory.

Stage One

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Chase Elliott
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Ryan Blaney
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Alex Bowman
  8. Clint Bowyer
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Matt Dibenedetto

Stage two was highlighted by an almost 50 lap battle between Logano and Hamlin. Elliott was able to drive up from third to steal the lead from Logano on lap 120.

Halfway through the stage, green flag pit stops began with Keselowski being the first of the championship contenders to make his way down pit road.

The first incident related caution came on lap 160 when James Davison scraped the wall in turn two. All the leaders pit under this caution and Kurt Busch won the race off pit road taking two tires.

Keselowski was able to just edge out Elliott to rally for the win in stage two.

Stage Two

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Ryan Blaney
  6. Jimmie Johnson
  7. Kurt Busch
  8. Kyle Busch
  9. Matt Dibenedetto
  10. William Byron

Green flag pit stops allowed Logano to pass Elliott after short pitting, but Elliott soon fought back and took the lead on lap 270. Elliott led 154 laps as he captured his first Cup Series title.

In their final starts in full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition, Jimmie Johnson finished fifth and Clint Bowyer ended up with a 14th place finish.

This race marks the end of the 2020 NASCAR season. The 2021 season starts in February at the historic Daytona International Speedway.


Josh Slate