Chase Elliott’s clutch win in the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, gives him a chance to win a title at Phoenix Raceway.
The NASCAR Cup Series headed to Martinsville Speedway for one final time to decide which four drivers will be racing for a championship. Heading into Sunday’s race, all four drivers below the cutline faced a must-win situation to advance on to the championship round. It appeared as if the top-four had already solidified their place, but nothing is a guarantee, especially when racing at Martinsville.
The First Stage
Brad Keselowski paces the field to the green flag to begin Sunday’s 500 lap race. Martin Truex Jr. is quick to push him out of the way and take the early lead.
On lap 61, the competition caution comes out, and Truex Jr. leads the field down pit road for service. Truex Jr. wins the race off of pit road and continues to set the tone in the first stage. Shortly after the restart, Chase Elliott makes a pass for the lead.
Coming into the closing laps of the stage, Denny Hamlin makes a late pass on Elliott. Then, Hamlin presses on, to win the first stage.
The Second Stage
Kyle Busch brings the field to the green flag to begin the second stage, but Chase Elliott spoils the party. Elliott makes a quick pass to take the early lead in the stage.
Elliott leads through two small cautions involving Ryan Preece and Brennan Poole.
The second stage has a short green flag run to end the segment. So, with no challengers, Chase Elliott continues to lead and win the second stage.
Chase Elliott takes the green flag for the lead in the final stage of the race. 90 laps into the segment, Timmy Hill has a flat tire to bring out another caution. Joey Logano restarts with the lead after winning the race off pit road.
Logano is passed quickly after the restart by Ryan Blaney. Another caution comes out after William Byron spins. Chase Elliott has a great final restart and passes Martin Truex Jr. for the race lead.
The race runs green for the final 50 laps. Chase Elliott drives away and comfortably wins, advancing him to the championship round for the first time in his career.
A Career Victory for Elliott
Chase Elliott had a solid run to the checkered flag at Martinsville. At the beginning of the day, he was one of the drivers in a must-win situation to advance, and that is exactly what he did. This victory is the biggest one in Elliott’s career. Winning the elimination race to put himself into the Championship 4 is as big as it gets.
The Championship 4 at Phoenix
The final four drivers racing for a championship title are Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin. Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin have yet to win a championship. So, both are racing for their first title.
The competition will be fun to watch next week at Phoenix Raceway. The one-mile oval is a unique track where drivers navigate hard in and out of tight corners. The season finale will offer an action-packed championship race, and whoever wins the NASCAR Cup title will earn it the hard way.