After 35 races, we have reached the finale. Tomorrow at 3:00 EST, the final championship four drivers will face off for the chance to be crowned a champion in NASCAR’s highest series. We did not get to this point, however, without some drama. Last weekend at Martinsville speedway, we saw regular-season champion Kevin Harvick get eliminated. Harvick needed another position point to advance into the Championship 4. In an attempt to pass Kyle Busch on the last lap to gain that point, Harvick intentionally spun Kyle Busch. This method backfired and Harvick ended up getting too much damage and was eliminated.
Chase Elliott, on the brink of elimination, led a career-high 236 laps and took the checkered flag to advance to the championship race in Phoenix. This is Elliott’s first career championship berth, and at 24 years old, he’s the youngest ever to advance to the Championship 4. The other three drivers joining Elliott in a run for the title are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski. So let’s take a look at all four of these contenders.
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs #11 Fed Ex Toyota
Denny Hamlin has 44 career wins, including 7 this year alone. He has the most career wins among all active drivers that does not have a championship title. Along with his 7 wins this season, Hamlin has also amassed 11 stage wins, 20 top 10s, and 17 top 5s. The Virginia native driver is making his third career championship appearance in his 16th year and is looking to cement his career with a title this weekend.
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports #9 Napa Chevrolet
Chase Elliott has 10 career wins and is already making a championship run. Elliott is making this championship appearance in his 5th full-time season, the same career year when his predecessor, Jeff Gordon won his first championship title. With 4 wins this season, Elliott has also earned 21 top 10s, 14 tops 5s, and 10 stage wins this season. Elliott was bred into racing, with his father being a previous NASCAR champion in 1988, and now Chase has a chance to add to his family’s legacy tomorrow.
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske #2 Miller Lite Ford
Brad Keselowski was one of two drivers to advance to the Championship 4 this year on points, (the other being Denny Hamlin), instead of a win in the round of 8. Keselowski is in his 11th full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, with a total of 34 wins and one championship title from 2012. This season, Brad collected 4 wins, 12 top 5s, 25 top 10s, and 7 stage wins. Keselowski hasn’t made the Championship 4 since 2017 where he finished 4th out of a possible 4 positions, so it’s safe to say he’s looking to redeem himself from his last performance.
Joey Logano, Team Penske #22 Penske Ford
Joey Logano won the first race in the Round of 8 at Kansas Speedway, locking him into the Championship 4. In his 12th full-time season, Logano has a total of 26 wins, including 3 this season. Logano has 4 championship 4 appearances, including a championship victory in 2018, earning his first title. Along with his wins this season, Logano also has 11 top 5s, 20 top 10s and 5 stage wins. He will definitely be one to keep your eye on Sunday because he will not shy away from the chance to take out one of his opponents for the win.