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Chevrolet earns first Championship 4 berth since 2016

Photo: Justin Melillo/TRE

With Chase Elliott’s win in Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Chevrolet has earned a Championship 4 berth for the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2016.

Elliott is the first driver to earn a Championship 4 berth since Jimmie Johnson locked in his berth with a win at Martinsville in October 2016. Johnson went on to win his seventh Cup championship that year.

Elliott’s berth is only the fourth time in the seven Championship 4s that a Chevrolet team has earned a Championship 4 berth.

In comparison, Toyota has had at least one team earn a berth every year and Ford team has accomplished the same feat in every year except 2015, when there were no Ford teams in the Championship 4.

Driving for Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman earned Championship 4 berths in 2014, while Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon earned berths in 2015 and Johnson earned a berth in 2016. Harvick won the title in 2014 while Johnson won in 2016.

Chase Elliott will be joined by two Ford drivers and a Toyota driver in the Championship 4 race at Phoenix.

Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano will represent Ford in the Championship 4 while Denny Hamlin will Toyota.

Logano won under the Championship 4 race format in 2018 and won the March race at Phoenix.

Unlike Logano, Hamlin and Keselowski have yet to win under the Championship 4 race format.

Hamlin has never won a Cup championship but enters the championship race as the defending winner of the fall Phoenix race.

Keselowski has won a Cup championship, in 2012, but he has never won at Phoenix.


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