CONCORD, N.C. – With a hard-fought win, Chase Elliott outran three of the best drivers in stock-car racing to earn his first NASCAR Cup Series championship Sunday after a thrilling 2020 season finale at Phoenix Raceway.
The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE clinched the title after he led for 153 laps, including the final 42, en route to Hendrick Motorsports’ record-extending 13th championship.
“This is unbelievable," Elliott said. "We did it. Man, we did it. It's unreal."
Elliott became the third-youngest NASCAR Cup Series champion at 24 years, 11 months and 11 days. He and father Bill also became the third father-son duo to win a NASCAR Cup Series title, joining Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett. Bill Elliott won the 1988 Cup Series championship while driving the No. 9 car.
The title also is the first for Alan Gustafson. It was the crew chief’s second appearance in the Championship 4 after he called the shots for NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon in 2015.
“Championship crew chief Alan Gustafson now is a now a NASCAR champion, and very deserving," Elliott said. "I really cant say enough about our group. I feel like we took really big strides this year."
Elliott’s championship win was no fluke. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native led all playoff drivers in laps led (564), points earned (364), stage points (110) and average running position (5.9) in the previous nine post-season races.
His victory came six years to the day after he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. On Nov. 8, 2014, at 18 years, 11 months and 11 days, Elliott became the youngest Xfinity Series champion when he clinched the title, also at Phoenix Raceway.
The accomplishment Sunday night not only marked Hendrick Motorsports’ 13th title – the most of any Cup Series team in history – but its 47th playoff win, which is 17 more than the next-closest organization.
Elliott punched his ticket into the Championship 4 after a dominating win at Martinsville Speedway on Nov. 1. He closes out the 2020 season with five points-paying wins on top of winning his first All-Star Race in July.
"To win and lock the championship, those are moments you could only dream of," he said. "This is a dream. I'm just hoping I don't ever wake up."