With the 2020 Cup Series winding down, the Texas race threw a massive spanner in the works. The race was delayed at least twice due to inclement weather. In the end, Kyle Busch won that race and continued his winning streak for the 16th consecutive season. However, he was not in the championship 4 running, so it all came down to Martinsville. Obviously, Chase Elliott and the other drivers had to turn it up to 11.
In light of that, Hendrick Motorsports crew chief, Alan Gustafson, spoke about the situation heading into the race.
He said, “Super proud of all the NAPA guys, they did an amazing job. We knew going into Martinsville was a must-win and going through that situation and overcoming that challenge gave us a lot of confidence.”
He also admitted that the finale at Phoenix was far from easy. However, the Martinsville triumph gave the team a much-needed confidence boost. Since they won the race in Martinsville, Chase Elliott and Co. believed that they could repeat the feat.
During the Phoenix weekend, it seemed like fate was conspiring against Elliott. His #9 car failed post-race inspection twice, and he was promptly sent to the back of the grid. With Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski in the top three, Elliott had his work cut out for him. Never one to turn down a challenge, Elliott put his head down and charged.
However, he managed to rally forth and put in an inspired drive to win the race and title. This was Chase Elliott’s maiden Cup Series title and one that was very well-deserved. Owing to his incredible race, he has established himself as the next flag-bearer of Jimmie Johnson’s legacy. Considering that this was also Johnson’s last race in NASCAR, it was very poetic.