Coming into Sunday’s season finale at Phoenix, Chase Elliott was the man to beat. He had won last weekend at Martinsville, in a virtual must-win, and he was slated to start on the pole on Sunday. However, two failures during inspection dropped him to the rear for the start. He wasted little time dispatching others, coming through the field and residing in the top ten by the first time the caution flag flew. That was an omen for the day.
Much like last week, he hung around the top five, and he would make it pay late in the going as he passed Joey Logano and drove away to capture his first series title. In doing so, he and his dad, Bill, joined the likes of Richard and Lee Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett as the only father-son duos to win the Cup Series Championship. Brad Keselowski finished second, with Logano and Denny Hamlin, the other final four competitors, following behind him. Jimmie Johnson, in his final race, came home in a very respectable fifth.