Chase Elliott, the handsome cover-boy of stock-car racing, needs to win Sundayâs NASCAR Cup race at Phoenix to earn a spot in the four-driver championship race on Nov. 17 at Homestead, Fla. That would prop up attendance and TV ratings. Elliott could have the fastest car in the field, or . . .
Green flag for Elliott: 2:40 p.m. Eastern time. Green flag for the other five guys in contention for the two open title-race spots: 2:40 p.m. Phoenix time.
A 200-lap head start for the driver who gets the biggest cheers in pre-race introductions.
Automatic disqualification for Kyle Busch if he is booed just once in introductions.
A rolling fuel truck gets to fill up Elliottâs tank on the track. All others need an ATM card with a worn-out magnetic stripe.
Bonus laps for each Cup race won by the fathers of the six drivers. Bill Elliott won 44 Cup races, the other five, zero.
New rule for the weekend: Each manufacturer must have at least one car in the championship race. Toyota (Truex) and Ford (Harvick) are represented, but Chevrolet is not, so far. Only Elliott and Larson drive Chevys among the six that can still make the title race. Regardless of finish, Elliott gets in because he sells more merchandise than Larson.
Elliottâs windshield will include a toll transponder. All other drivers must throw 98 cents in a broken basket at the start-finish line upon the completion of each lap for a gate to rise.
The race trophy goes to the driver with the coolest racing-related nickname. Chaseâs full name is William Clyde Elliott II, but they have called him Chase since he was a pup because he was destined to chase championships! You canât denny or kyle a championship, can you?
The Dawsonville Pool Room (@dawsonpoolroom) in Chaseâs home town just reminded NASCAR that it has not used its siren in more than one month.