The NASCAR championship weekend in Phoenix, Arizona was a thriller did not disappoint. It was full of great stories and exciting moments which will be reviewed in this article.
It started out with many news announcements and team changes for the next season being said the most notable being 21 year old Riley Herbst moving from Joe Gibbs Racing after a fairly disappointing season to another powerhouse team in Stewart Haas Racing in the Xfinity Series. The replacement for Herbst’s ride is former NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year Daniel Hemric who announced he would not return to JR Motorsports next season. With plenty of shuffling in that series it should end up being a very fun series to watch once next season comes around.
But the most important topic of the weekend were the championship races for each series as for the Final 4 drivers that is the grand prize. In the lower of the top 3 series in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series the 4 drivers who would compete for the championship were Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Brett Moffitt, and Sheldon Creed. After a wild race and what seemed like a sure championship for Brett Moffitt as he had a dominating performance a caution would fly with 2 laps to go leading to an overtime run to the finish. On the restart Sheldon Creed on a fresh set of tires would make a big pass on Grant Enfinger and come home to win his first championship.
Then, in the Xfinity Series another set of 4 drivers would have their shot at greatness being Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Justin Haley. It seemed like every driver had a chance to win at some point but it again would come down to an overtime dash to the finish after championship contender Chase Briscoe spun out causing a caution. Austin Cindric would end up passing Justin Allgaier in a thrilling 3 wide move and showed his mid-season dominance was no fluke and took home his first championship. Then the biggest race of the weekend the NASCAR Cup Series race had the last set of the 4 drivers competing for the championship that being Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin. The race ended up being the tamest of the weekend and after a late race charge by Chase Elliott he would pass Brad Keselowski and face no challenge in the final stage of the race to take home his first career championship becoming one of the youngest champions in series history at 24 years old.
The weekend was very exciting and a great cap off to a hectic season that at one point due to COVID-19 seemed very difficult to get back on track. But with lots of great action and a weekend full of first time champions it definitely didn’t disappoint.
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