Chase Elliott Captures NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Chase Elliott is a NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Just shy of his 25th birthday, the second-generation driver from Dawsonville, Georgia has already fulfilled much of the lofty expectations placed upon him as the son of 1988 NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott.

To be sure, the younger Elliott will continue to define his own legacy, but the sport’s most popular driver already has a resume that borders on the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Elliott was born to race at the highest level of his chosen discipline and validated it at every step along the way — twice winning the Snowball Derby, winning the Winchester 400 and All-American 400 in Super Late Models. He immediately won in the Truck Series, captured the 2014 Xfinity Series championship, and now the Cup Series championship.

Next Elliott will continue chasing championships alongside the crown jewels in the Cup Series, having already won the All-Star Race this summer.

Elliott started from the rear of the field on Sunday after his car twice failed technical inspection. He quickly worked his way into the top-20. He was in the top-10 by Lap 28. Clearly the best car, the No. 9 took the lead on Lap 79 and rarely surrendered the top spot for the remainder of the 312-lap race.

Brad Keselowski finished second ahead of Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin in a final four sweep of the top positions. Seven-time Cup Series champion completed the top-five in his final start as a full-time NASCAR driver. Johnson will compete for Chip Ganassi Racing in IndyCar next season.

Like the rest of his Hendrick Motorsport teammates, Elliott sported a fluorescent number in commemoration to his legendary teammate. In what represented a passing of the torch, Johnson gave an affection door slam during the cool down lap to Elliott and embraced him on the championship stage.

I’m so proud of you brother!!!!

The Elliotts become just the third to have a father-son combination win Cup Series championships; behind Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett.

“To win and lock the championship, this is moments you can only dream of,” Elliott said. “This is a dream. I’m just hoping I don’t ever wake up.”

Team owner Rick Hendrick has now fielded championships for Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Johnson and Elliott. He is the most decorated team owner in NASCAR history. With Kyle Larson joining Elliott, Alex Bowman and William Byron, one of the youngest cores in the Cup Series will continue to add to that legacy.

Elliott’s best friend, Ryan Blaney, finished sixth ahead of regular season champion Kevin Harvick, Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron and Martin Truex Jr.

Clint Bowyer, running his final race before moving to the FOX Sports television booth, and 2003 Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, returning to retirement, finished 14th and 25th in their final race.

Crew chief Chad Knaus, who engineered all seven championships for Johnson, led Hendrick teammate Byron to his ninth-place result.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer, who made the playoffs with an upset overtime victory at Kentucky Speedway, finished 28th to close out his rookie of the year season.

The night ultimately belongs to Elliott, crew chief Alan Gustafson and the Hendrick No. 9 team.

“I’m at a loss for words, this is unbelievable,” Elliott said. “Oh, my gosh. We did it. I mean, we did it. That’s all I’ve got to tell you. Unreal.

“Crew chief, Alan Gustafson, is now a NASCAR Cup Series champion, and very deserving. I just can’t say enough about our group. I felt like we took some really big strides this year, and last week was a huge one. To come out of that with a win and a shot to come here and have a chance to race is unbelievable. Heck, I don’t know. I don’t even know. This is unreal.”


1. Chase Elliott (P)
2. Brad Keselowski (P)
3. Joey Logano (P)
4. Denny Hamlin (P)
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Ryan Blaney
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Matt DiBenedetto
9. William Byron
10. Martin Truex Jr.
11.Kyle Busch
12. Kurt Busch
13. Aric Almirola
14. Clint Bowyer
15. Bubba Wallace
15. Alex Bowman
16. Christopher Bell
17. Austin Dillon
18. Tyler Reddick
19. Chris Buescher
20. Ty Dillon
21. Erik Jones
22. Michael McDowell
23. Ryan Newman
24. Matt Kenseth
25. John Hunter Nemechek
26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
27. Cole Custer
28. Brennan Poole
29. JJ Yeley
30. Daniel Suarez
31. Joey Gase
32. James Davison
33. Ryan Preece
34. Josh Bilicki
35. Timmy Hill
36. Garrett Smithley
37. Corey LaJoie
38. Quin Houff

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