Story By: MORGAN OVERSTREET / HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS – CONCORD, NC – With his victory Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, Chase Elliott clinched the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title and became the third-youngest champion at the top level of stock-car racing at 24 years, 11 months and 11 days old.
THIRD YOUNGEST: In Cup history, only Bill Rexford in 1950 (23 years, 7 months and 15 days) and Jeff Gordon in 1995 (24 years, 3 months and 8 days) were younger. Gordon, who also drove for Hendrick Motorsports, won his 1995 title 16 days before Elliott was born.
LUCKY 13: With his first career NASCAR Cup Series championship, Elliott delivered a record-extending 13th to car owner Rick Hendrick. Hendrick Motorsports is now the only team in NASCAR history to win Cup titles with four different drivers: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Gordon (four), Terry Labonte (1996) and Elliott (2020).
ANOTHER BOW-TITLE: With Elliott’s 2020 result, Chevrolet now has 32 NASCAR Cup Series driver titles to its credit. The manufacturer’s first Cup champion was Buck Baker in 1957. Hendrick Motorsports has fielded Chevrolets since Hendrick founded the team in 1984, winning a modern-era record 263 points-paying Cup Series races. Chevrolet has won 795 Cup events since 1949, the most of any manufacturer in NASCAR history.
WINNING PERCENTAGE: With Elliott’s performance, Hendrick Motorsports has won 13 of the last 26 NASCAR Cup Series championships (50%). Gordon won the team’s first in 1995, then Labonte in 1996 and Gordon again in 1997 and 1998 – a streak of four in a row. Gordon won his fourth Cup title in 2001, followed by Johnson’s unprecedented five consecutive championships from 2006-2010. Johnson won his sixth in 2013 and a record-tying seventh in 2016.
HISTORY REPEATING: Elliott’s 2020 achievement marked the record-setting fourth decade in which Hendrick Motorsports has won a NASCAR Cup Series championship: the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. The organization was previously tied with Petty Enterprises, which won titles in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
SWEET 16: The 2020 Cup Series car owner championship is the 16th for Hendrick Motorsports across NASCAR’s three national series, extending the team’s all-time record. Richard Childress Racing ranks second among owners with 12 combined titles. In the car owner category, Hendrick Motorsports has won 13 championships in the Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also won a NASCAR Xfinity Series driver title in 2003, giving the organization 17 total national series championships.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: The legendary Elliott racing family from Dawsonville, Georgia, now boasts two NASCAR Cup Series champions with Chase joining father Bill, who won the title in 1988 when he was 33 years old. They are just the third father-son duo in history to win Cup Series championships, along with Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett. Both Elliott titles were won with the No. 9 car.
GOT YOUR NUMBER: Hendrick Motorsports has now won NASCAR Cup Series titles with a record-extending four different car numbers: 48 (seven), 24 (four), 5 (1996) and 9 (2020). With the return of the No. 5 team, the organization will field all four of its championship car numbers in 2021.
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: With today’s performance, Alan Gustafson, 45, became the fifth crew chief to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship for Hendrick Motorsports, joining Chad Knaus (seven), Ray Evernham (three), Robbie Loomis (2001) and Gary DeHart (1996). Hendrick Motorsports now holds the record for the most different crew chiefs with a Cup Series title, breaking a tie with Junior Johnson and Associates. Gustafson’s team led a race-high 153 laps today at Phoenix for the crew chief’s 31st career Cup Series victory.
ENGINE, ENGINE NO. 9: Engines built by Hendrick Motorsports have now powered 15 NASCAR Cup Series championships and a combined 22 NASCAR national series titles.
2020 VISION: In 2020, Hendrick Motorsports extended its streak of NASCAR Cup Series seasons with at least one points-paying victory to 35 in a row dating back to 1986. The organization has won at least one race in 36 of its 37 active seasons, missing only 1985, and is tied with Petty Enterprises for the most total seasons with a Cup victory. This year, the team won seven combined races with Elliott (five), William Byron and Alex Bowman.
THE STATS: Since its inception in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 263 race victories and holds the all-time records for championships (13), pole positions (226), top-five finishes (1,101), top-10s (1,900) and laps led (70,823) in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Including 2020, the organization has won at least one race in 35 consecutive seasons, the longest-ever streak. Hendrick Motorsports is five wins away from tying Petty Enterprises’ all-time Cup team record of 268.