Sound the siren, folks. Chase Elliott has scored a pivotal win in the penultimate race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season in Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Elliott overcame pit road issues all race long, to rally for an impressive win.
Elliott reached the finish line more than 6.5-seconds ahead of Ryan Blaney in second.
This win, Elliott’s fourth of the season, locks the Georgia-native into the Championship 4 for the first time in his young NASCAR Cup Series career. According to Elliott, this is the biggest win of his career.
“Oh my gosh. Biggest win — ever — for us,” an emotional Elliott stated. “Just so proud. There’s not — to be able to be backed into the corner like that and have to win tonight, I feel like that’s what we’ve been missing these last four or five years, you know? To perform when we don’t have a choice. To do that tonight, you couldn’t ask for a better night, it’s unreal.”
Blaney’s Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski finished third and fourth. Keselowski will join Logano in the Championship 4 at Phoenix next weekend with his solid finish.
Kurt Busch finished fifth and was eliminated from the Playoffs.
Alex Bowman, as well, was eliminated from Playoff contention after finishing sixth. He was followed by Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Matt DiBenedetto in the top-10.
Denny Hamlin, who finished 11th, was the fourth driver who secured a berth into the Championship 4.
Kevin Harvick, who was one point out of the cut line on the final lap, made a wild move in the final turn of the race in an effort to knock Kyle Busch out of the way. Unfortunately for Harvick, it spun his No. 4 Ford Mustang into the wall, ending his championship hopes.
Harvick had a rough race, and was at one point two laps down after pitting under green for a flat tire. He worked his way back into contention, but in the closing moments of the race, he had to make one last desperate move, which didn’t work out.
“I tried to run into the door of the No. 18 there as a last ditch effort there and spun him out,” Harvick explained. “Sorry to put him in the middle of trying to gain a point.”
Harvick said it was his team’s shortcomings over the entire three-race Round of 8 that caused Sunday’s disappointing conclusion.
“Just not a great three weeks,” Harvick said. “Didn’t go our way. We fought for everything we had and just came up short.”
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.