Chase Elliott Reflects on 2020 NASCAR Martinsville Heroics: “I Don’t Think We Were Able to Embrace It”

Published 04/11/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
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 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


In late 2020, the NASCAR Cup Series witnessed one of its most exciting finishes to a season. Chase Elliott was at the center of it all, winning back-to-back races in some style for his first Cup title. This weekend, Elliott returned to the venue of one of those two epic wins – Martinsville Speedway.

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He suffered a couple of setbacks in the race he had to win to book his place in the ‘Championship 4’ race but eventually won in a stunning finish. In a week’s time, he won the NASCAR Cup Series title at Phoenix.

So, the Martinsville win goes down as one of his most special Cup wins ever. Elliott looked back on that day last November and expressed it was important to halt the celebrations and focus on the title race ahead.

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“I don’t think we were able to embrace or enjoy how big a win it was, not only for me but our whole team. We had a long road up to Martinsville,” he said during a recent interview.

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) makes a pit stop during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Elliott reminisces racing at Martinsville over the years

Martinsville is even more special for the 25-year-old as it was also the venue of his maiden Cup Series start. Last year’s win came after a few struggles at the challenging track, which adds more meaning to the win for Elliott.

“Just a lot of eventful races there. Over the years, a lot of times we were really close. Also, a special place, it being my first start,” Elliott said further.

“Kind of the struggles that led to having good runs there that makes those types of tracks special. And obviously, everybody wants the clock,” he added.

Will Elliott score back-to-back Martinsville wins?

While Elliott highly cherishes the 2020 playoffs win at Martinsville, his Phoenix victory will always be the most special. However, his focus is back to the present and he will aim to get another Martinsville win on Sunday.

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“It was an amazing win for us, a huge win. The following Sunday was definitely the biggest win of my career and the biggest win our team has had since we’ve been together as a group. So definitely proud of all that and looking forward to going back,” he concluded.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Elliott and the rest of the field took to the track at Martinsville on Saturday night. However, after just 42 laps, rain pushed the race to Sunday evening. Elliott started well and will restart the race in the top-5.

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DIVE DEEPER

Weather Update: Will Rain Affect NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville Race During the Sunday Restart?

4 months ago

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 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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