This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Chase Elliott led 236 of 500 laps to score an emphatic win in Sunday's Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The win pulled Elliott out of the playoff drop zone and put him into the championship finale at Phoenix Raceway. It was Elliott's fourth win of the season and gives him his first chance of winning the NASCAR Cup Series title. He'll have to outduel Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin to hoist the trophy, however.
Leaving Martinsville with championship dreams shattered were Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch. Harvick and Truex should feel the most disappointment. Truex had early speed and led 129 laps before a loose wheel sent him tumbling out of contention and out of the playoff picture. Harvick was on a razor-thin edge of making it through on points but came up a few positions short. An ill-advised lunge down the inside of Kyle Busch on the final lap sealed his fate as he spun into the inside wall just feet from the finish line. Those four drivers combined to win 12 races in the 2020 season but could not muster enough in the last three races to join their competitors with a championship chance in Phoenix. As a result, fantasy players may have one of the most entertaining championship finale races on their hands this coming week in the 2020 series-deciding Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway.
Chase Elliott – Elliott exuded confidence before Sunday's Xfinity