Can Chase Elliott and Joey Logano Make the Most of Front Row Honors in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race?

Published 11/04/2020, 9:53 AM EST
Oct 11, 2020; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads the field during the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


In the final starting line-up of the NASCAR Cup Series 2020 season, Chase Elliott bags pole position in his first-ever Cup Series championship race. The championship contenders take the first four spots on the line-up for the season finale. Elliott’s win at Martinsville last Sunday earned him pole position honors.

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The only other winner in the previous round among the ‘championship 4,’ Joey Logano, starts on the front row with Elliott.

His teammate Brad Keselowski starts on the second row, in third place. Keselowski finished in fourth place at Martinsville after he pipped championship-favorite Kevin Harvick into the final four. Keselowski and Logano are both competing for their second title.

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Denny Hamlin, gunning for his first title in his second straight championship race, starts in fourth place. He finished 11th at Martinsville.

Nov 1, 2020; Martinsville, VA, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads the field during the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Who starts behind the ‘top 4’ in the NASCAR Cup Series 2020 finale?

Meanwhile, Ryan Blaney, who bagged a second-place finish at Martinsville, starts in fifth place. Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman shares the third row with Blaney.

The Busch brothers are slotted in the next row. Older brother Kurt Busch starts in seventh place, while Kyle rounds off the top-8.

Elliott on the pole, Logano on the front row for the Cup championship race Sunday at Phoenix. #nascar pic.twitter.com/f3xFBZyXHJ

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) November 4, 2020

In the final race of his NASCAR Cup Series career, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson starts in 26th place. William Byron’s Crew Chief Chad Knaus, who was Johnson’s Crew Chief for all his seven titles, will also be atop the pit box in his last-ever NASCAR race.

Sep 12, 2020; Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races during the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer will go for one final push

Johnson’s final race is set to be an emotional one for his team and his fans. Fellow Hendrick Motorsports drivers, Elliott, Bowman, and Byron, will have special adjustments to their paint schemes this Sunday. They will run a special tribute scheme for Johnson.

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Another veteran, in his last race as a full-time NASCAR driver, Clint Bowyer, starts Sunday’s race in ninth place. He will hope to make use of a top-10 spot on the starting grid and turn his final race into a memorable one.

Nov 1, 2020; Martinsville, VA, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) lead the start of the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Bubba Wallace runs his final race in the iconic 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports. Wallace starts Sunday’s race in 23rd place, which is, interestingly, his car’s number next season. Wallace will drive the No. 23 for Michael Jordan and Hamlin at 23XI Racing in 2021.

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The main focus will be on the championship contenders, come Sunday. The driver who finishes the highest among the four will take home the coveted trophy. However, each of them would like nothing more than a win, and to clinch that title.

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Aayush Majumdar

948 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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