Event: Season Finale 500 (Round 36 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/115 laps/122 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/14th (Running, completed 311 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 12th with 2,254 points
Champion: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Clint Bowyer started ninth and finished eighth to earn three bonus points.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford Mustang held the ninth spot by the lap-30 competition caution.
● Bowyer moved to fifth during the pit stop and remained in the top-10 for the rest of the stage.
● During the break the crew made adjustments to help Bowyer’s car turn in the middle of the corners.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-190):
● Bowyer started fifth and finished 12th.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford Mustang climbed to fourth at the start of the stage.
● Bowyer pitted under green for routine service on lap 143 but 20 laps later a caution trapped him midfield.
● Bowyer pitted under caution on lap 163 and restarted 15th. He climbed to 12th before the stage’s end.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 191-312):
● Bowyer started 10th and finished 14th.
● He said the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford Mustang couldn’t make the grip needed to race with the leaders.
● Bowyer remained in the top-10 making what appeared to be a routine stop under green with 55 laps remaining.
● The jack broke slowing the pit stop which dropped Bowyer to 16th.
● Bowyer fell off the lead lap with 13 to go.
● Sunday marked Bowyer’s final race in his career. He’ll serve as a television commentator for Fox next season.
● Bowyer ends his career with 10 wins, 82 top-five and 226 top-10s in 541 races.
● Chase Elliott won the Season Finale 500 to score his 11th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his first at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Brad Keselowski was 2.740 seconds.
● Elliott earned the NASCAR Cup Series championship at Phoenix by virtue of his win. He is the 34th different driver to win the series title.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 27 laps.
● Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Ford clinched its 17th manufacturers’ championship with a series-leading 18 victories in 2020, 10 of which were scored by SHR. This is the second time in the last three seasons Ford has won the manufacturers’ title. Its 18 wins rank as its third-highest total in the modern era (1972-present). Ford won 19 races in 2018 and 1997, one less than its modern-era record of 20 in 1994.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I appreciate all the texts and well wishes, but I was ready for the green flag this morning. That was kind of emotional. Seriously, that was a fun day. I want to thank everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing as well as the partners who have made the last four years so special. I have had a lot of people help me in my career and certainly wouldn’t be here without them. I don’t know if this has sunk in yet, but I think this will all hit me when we get to Daytona next season.”
The 2021 season kicks off with the 63rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14 with live coverage from FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.