William Clyde “Chase” Elliot became the third youngest driver to win the Cup Series on Sunday. Meanwhile, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson raced in the series for the final time on Sunday. Johnson signed a contract with Indy Car team Ganassi Racing in September and is expected finish his career there.
A Fulfilled Legacy
At just 24-years-old, Elliot adds yet another trophy to his repertoire. In 2014, Elliot was crowned NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion and was named NASCAR Sprint Series Rookie of the year in 2016. This is not the first time we’ve seen an Elliot thrive on a national stage. Chase’s father, Bill Elliot, won the 1988 Winston Cup Championship, amassing 44 wins in that series. For Elliot, it was a dream come true to share a championship victory with his father.
“When I’m dead and gone and my dad is dead and gone, he and I will share a championship with the last name Elliott forever. I don’t think it gets any cooler than that.”
Courtesy of USA Today
— #NASCARPlayoffs on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 8, 2020
Elliot drives the No. 9 Chevrolet car, the same number his father drove.
A Season to Remember
A truly incredible season came to close on Sunday, but the win was merely the icing on the cake. Elliot won five races this season, including first place finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and in Phoenix. Elliot also won the 2020 NASCAR All-Star race despite starting in 13th place after qualifying.
Chase and Bill Elliot became the second father-son duo to win the All-Star race joining only Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. In the 2020 Cook Out Southern 500, the first race of the playoff, Elliot honored his friend and mentor, Jimmie Johnson, with a new paint scheme on his car. As mentioned, Johnson will now switch to Indy Car, with Phoenix being his final race with NASCAR.
Jimmie Johnson’s Final NASCAR Race
Jimmie Johnson, who drives Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 48 Chevrolet, finished 18th in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series, after coming in fifth on in Phoenix. It was a successful ending for Johnson in his NASCAR career, especially after beginning the race 26th. Johnson is a seven-time NASCAR Series Champion and a six-time Driver of the Year Award winner, the most of any driver in history. At 45-years-old, Johnson is ready for a new challenge and to fulfill his life-long dream of driving in the Indy Car Series.
Friends and teammates Johnson and Elliot leave Phoenix with new exciting challenges ahead. Johnson, a veteran of racing, finds himself as in unchartered territory, reading to race in a brand-new style of racing. Elliot, on the other hand, will enter next season as one of NASCAR’s best and most exciting young drivers. A plethora of great racing to look forward to.
Audio Courtesy of ABC Newscall