A Brad Keselowski fan at the Dawsonville Pool Room cheered on Chase Elliott during the final lap of his 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning effort.
It’s no secret that Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott is the most popular driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, having won the Most Popular Driver Award in 2018 and 2019 and being the clear projected winner in 2020.
So simply by putting two and two together, it’s also no secret that his 2020 championship is the most impactful and significant championship that the sport’s highest level of competition has seen since his father Bill won it in 1988 when he also won the Most Popular Award for the fifth of what ended up being a record 16 times.
In fact, it is so impactful that even a Brad Keselowski fan — you know, the driver who had actually taken over a second out of Elliott’s lead in the closing laps of Sunday’s season finale at Phoenix Raceway after passing Team Penske teammate Joey Logano for second place — was actually seen cheering on the driver of the #9 Chevrolet on the race’s final lap.
As you might expect, there was a huge party at the Dawsonville Pool Room in Chase’s Georgia hometown in honor of Elliott’s first Championship 4 appearance, which he secured last Sunday when he won the round of 8 finale at Martinsville Speedway after a late pass for the lead on Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr.
Yesterday afternoon in the season finale, Elliott passed fellow championship contender Logano with 43 laps remaining in the 312-lap race around the four-turn, 1.022-mile (1.645-kilometer) oval in Avondale, Arizona, just a handful of laps after Logano took the lead away from him in the pits due to getting onto new tires one lap sooner.
After making the pass, he didn’t look back.
Most fans thought that a late caution flag may affect the outcome of the race, as it did in Friday’s Truck Series season finale and Saturday’s Xfinity Series season finale.
But it was clear sailing from there.
So once Elliott had taken the white flag, meaning that a caution flag could no longer force a restart, the loud bunch in the packed room began to chant “Chase! Chase! Chase!” while pumping their fists in the air as he made his away around the track several seconds ahead of Keselowski — and as his final seconds as a non-champion ticked away.
The Keselowski fan was among them — unless, of course, there was a secret hope of the #9 Chevrolet wrecking and thus Keselowski walking away with his second title and first since 2012.
However, the fan continued even after the checkered flag was flown.
Look closely at the video NASCAR posted on their Instagram account.
Keselowski ended up finishing in second place in both the race and the championship standings with Logano in third and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in fourth.