Jimmie Johnson-Chase Elliott ‘Passing of the Torch’ Image One of the Most Iconic of the Era, Says Photographer

Published 01/04/2021, 11:00 AM EST
LONG POND, PA – JUNE 01: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, talk in the garage during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)


Chase Elliott winning at Phoenix Raceway was more than just another title victory. It gave everyone at Hendrick Motorsports the opportunity to see the ushering in of a new era with the departing Jimmie Johnson.

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The image which saw the two of them share a ceremonial handshake became one of the more popular pictures from the 2020 NASCAR campaign. And photographer Tyler Barrick, who captured the image, talked about exactly why it symbolized so much importance for him.

He said, “I’ll be honest, it probably took me about a good two to three days once I got home to realize this was something of an iconic image. By Friday of that week after Phoenix, it was starting to settle in that this was quite possibly — and I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but it’s probably one of the more iconic images of the era that’s been taken.”

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Chase Elliott – Jimmie Johnson handshake a beginning of a new era, says Barrick

“So to me, it’s significant because it’s the beginning of a new era. You have arguably one of the greatest drivers of the modern era congratulating presumably one of the next generation of that, passing the torch.”

Jimmie Johnson delivered a golden period of success in the two decades that he spent with Hendrick Motorsports. Being one of the greatest drivers ever, it showed class and humility on his part when he congratulated young Elliott.

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, poses for a portrait after winning the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Barrick further continued, “But it’s just an iconic handshake or finger slap that will hopefully show Chase’s success in the future.”

“It’s nice to be able to help drivers celebrate championships after they win, and I feel like this was a very poignant image just to celebrate the whole weekend and the day with Seven-Time retiring and Chase winning. Just the ushering in of a new era,” concluded Barrick on the subject.

Elliott could possibly become the next dominant champion in NASCAR

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Johnson has now retired from Cup Series racing, giving an opportunity to the next generation to build or further their own legacies. Naturally, Elliott is also a massive contender to add to his collection of silverware with a title already in the bag.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and his father Bill Elliott pose for a photo 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)

His win at the Phoenix Raceway showed that he can definitely step it up on the bigger occasions. And it is certainly intriguing to wonder if Elliott will reach the same level of greatness as his predecessor did.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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