Chase Elliott Receives the Torch, Becomes NASCAR Cup Champion at Phoenix Raceway

While doing a Polish victory lap, running the reverse direction on the track post race, one of the greatest to ever climb in a race car concluded his celebration as the newest champion in NASCAR drove by, his teammate, Chase Elliott.

The two stopped, door to door, in turn four, and shared a high five, or as most saw it, a passing of the torch, signifying the greatest in NASCAR.

Chase Elliott, the son of 1988 Cup champion, Bill Elliott, led a race-high, 154 laps, making the race-winning move 42 laps prior to the checkered flag against fellow championship competitor and March winner at Phoenix, Joey Logano.

“This is a moment that, heck, I’ve only dreamt about,” said Elliott. “I’m still not sure I completely realize what has exactly happened, I don’t feel like I’m a crier in these situations, but dang, I feel like there’s going to come a time where I’m probably going to break down and really lose it.”

The title makes Chase Elliott one of just 35 total champions since the NASCAR Cup Series began in 1949 and the third father-son duo to both earn Cup titles.

“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,” Chase said. “I don’t think it gets any cooler than that, in my opinion.”

The NASCAR 2021 season begins at Daytona on February 14, it is still unknown how many fans will be in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Arizona native, Devon Henry, joined the Sports360AZ crew in 2018 after graduating from Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Devon has avidly partaken in coverage of the Arizona high school sports scene since 2013 and has covered NASCAR and INDYCAR at Phoenix Raceway since 2017. Devon is also a play-by-play announcer, calling over a dozen different sports and hundreds of events.