By: Becca Cottingham
Headline photo courtesy: NASCAR Twitter page
We head out west for what is the final race for two drivers as well as a championship race for another driver. Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer will race their last race in the desert. Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott are all racing for a championship. Before the drop of the green flag, Chase Elliott had to go to the back of the field for failing pre-inspection twice. He will have to drive through the field and that is exactly what he has done. At the time of the competition caution, he had made his way into the top ten. Coming back to the green drivers go up to five wide trying to get the best of the restart. Kyle Busch is driving off off the normal track surfaces. Brad Keselowski had an issue on pit road and lost six positions. Joey Logano did bring us back to the green flag and stayed upfront to win stage one.
Joey Logano brings us to the green for stage two Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano are battling for the lead. However, both Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski have reported vibrations in the car for a possible loose wheel. Joey Logano has fallen backward and Brad Keselowski has pitted under green. Chase Elliott was able to get around everyone and take on the lead. This allowed him a little more flexibility when he had to make a green-flag pit stop. The green flag pit stop fixed the vibration for Joey Logano but something else has happened. He is currently the furthest back championship driver. The caution came in time for Joey Logano as he was able to back up to the front. Brad Keselowski took over the lead but Chase Elliott is not leaving him alone. They have battled the last several laps of stage two. Brad just does edge out Chase Elliott in turns three and four to win stage two.
Stage three starts with all four championship drivers nose to tail. This will make for an eventful stage for the drivers. There are no promise cautions as well the high chance of green flag pitstops. With just above fifty laps to go green flag pitstops begin. Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano came down first quickly followed by Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski. Brad Keselowski had an issue with his pitstop and came out behind Denny Hamlin. Chase Elliott was able to chase down Joey Logano and they have had some great racing today. Most had already counted Chase Elliott out before today’s race because of the number of veterans in the chase for the cup. However, once Chase passed Logano and was able to space out himself from Joey there was no looking back. Chase Elliott becomes the unofficial winner of the race and the unofficial 2020 Champion.