After working his way from the back of the pack to the front following an issue in pre-race inspection, Chase Elliott dominated the season finale at Phoenix Raceway to take the checkered flag and become the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion. After making his way into Championship 4 of the NASCAR Playoffs following a walk-off win at Martinsville Speedway, Elliott outlasted Championship 4 rivals Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin to win by over three seconds.
Keselowski, Logano and Hamlin would finish second, third and fourth, followed by Jimmie Johnson, who finished fifth in the final race of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
“I’m lost for words. This is unbelievable,” Elliott said. “We did it. That’s all I’ve got to tell you. Unreal. … I just can’t say enough about our group. I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one. And to come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable. This is unreal.”
After working his way up through the field following a pre-race inspection issue that forced him to give up the pole position and start at the rear of the field, Elliott found the front of the field and stayed there, taking the lead from Logano for the final time after the final round of green flag pit stops. In a notably clean race – only one caution came out for an accident – Elliott was able to cruise the rest of the way with clean air and clean racetrack on his side.
Elliott’s first Cup Series title comes in his fifth full season of Cup Series racing, and is a significant achievement for both him and his family. Elliott now joins father and NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott – the 1988 Champion – as only the third father-son duo in NASCAR history to win a Cup Series Championship. The Elliotts now join Lee & Richard Petty and Ned & Dale Jarrett, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame.
Elliott’s championship season saw him win five races (Charlotte II, Daytona Road Course, Charlotte Roval, Martinsville II, Phoenix II) with 15 Top 5 and 22 Top 10 finishes with 1,247 laps led and an average finish of 11.7.