Chase Elliott has been penalized and will drop to the rear before the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway.
After his #9 Chevrolet failed pre-race inspection twice, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott has been penalized and will drop to the rear prior to the start of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway.
Elliott had been slated to start this 312-lap race around the four-turn, 1.022-mile (1.645-kilometer) oval in Avondale, Arizona from the pole position alongside Team Penske’s Joey Logano, one of the other three drivers battling for the championship.
A formula set the starting lineup for this race, with the four Championship 4 drivers up front. Set to start behind Elliott in third place was Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski. Now Keselowski has been promoted to the front row alongside Logano, with Logano set to effectively be the new polesitter, although he is only the control car and does not have lane choice.
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Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin, the other driver set to battle for the title, is still set to take the green flag from the second row, but he is set to do so alongside Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, the highest starting driver among those not in championship contention.
The good news for Elliott is that the last time one of the four Championship 4 drivers had to start the title race from the rear was in 2016. That season, it was also a Hendrick Motorsports driver who was penalized, but that driver, Jimmie Johnson, battled from the back of the field to win the race and win his seventh championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Tune in to NBC at 3:00 p.m. ET this afternoon for the live broadcast of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 race from Phoenix Raceway.