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: 11th/7th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: (5th with 2,410 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):
● Kevin Harvick started fourth and finished 13th.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 32 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure and chassis adjustment. Harvick, who was 11th, said the car was not handling well.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-190):
● Kevin Harvick started 16th and finished 11th.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 78 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. The car was not handling to Harvick’s liking.
● On lap 138, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Harvick, who was 10th, said the car was handling better.
● Harvick pitted on lap 163 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He said the car still hard to handle and he was 10th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 191-312):
● Kevin Harvick started sixth and finished seventh.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 196 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He was 11th.
● On lap 257, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He was eighth.
● 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.
● The Elliotts join the Pettys (Lee: 1954, 1958, 1959 and Richard: 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979), and the Jarretts (Ned: 1961, 1965 and Dale: 1999) as just the third father-son combo to win NASCAR Cup Series titles. Elliott’s father, Bill, won the 1988 Cup Series championship.
● 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
● Harvick earned his series-leading 27th top-10 of the season and his league-best 25th top-10 in 36 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
● Harvick ends the year with the most wins (nine), the most top-fives (20), the most top-10s (27) and the most laps led (1,531).
● Harvick’s 7.3 average finish in 2020 is the best among active drivers. Denny Hamlin is next best with a 9.3 average finish.
● Harvick has not finished outside the top-10 at Phoenix since March 2013. It is a 15-race streak that includes six wins, two runner-up finishes and 12 top-fives.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only finished outside the top-five twice at Phoenix. He has never finished outside the top-10.
● By completing lap 27, Harvick surpassed NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace for 13th on the all-time laps completed list. Harvick has now finished 205,104 laps in his NASCAR Cup Series career.
● 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.
● The Season Finale 500 marked the final NASCAR Cup Series race for Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time champion ends his career with 686 starts across 19 seasons that in addition to his record-tying seven titles, includes 83 wins, 36 poles, 232 top-fives, 374 top-10s and 18,941 laps led. While he is retiring from NASCAR, Johnson is not retiring from motorsports. He has a 13-race IndyCar Series schedule planned for 2021.
● Also retiring from the NASCAR Cup Series is Matt Kenseth. He won the championship in 2003, and in a career spanning 22 seasons with 697 starts, Kenseth scored 39 wins, 20 poles, 182 top-fives, 331 top-10s and led a total of 11,769 laps.
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.