Sunday afternoon, NASCAR driver Chase Elliott won the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway to secure the first Cup Series championship of his career. He led for much of the race, leaving his competitors far behind, while also repeating history. The 24-year-old joined the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers at the top of their respective sports, continuing a unique trend.
In 1988, the Lakers and Dodgers both won their respective championships. NASCAR driver Bill Elliott then won the Cup Series championship while driving the No. 9 car. Fast-forward to 2020, the Lakers and Dodgers won championships once again and created questions about whether Bill's son could repeat history. He did just that, crossing the finish line in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
"The more things change, the more they stay the same..." one person commented on social media after learning about history repeating itself 32 years later. Others joined in on the conversation and said that this trend was just "cool." Others expressed disappointment that Elliott didn't match his father in one category. Bill won six races during his championship season in 1988 while his son only won five in 2020.
"This is a moment that I've dreamed about," Elliott said after the race. "I mean, this is all I ever wanted to do — be a race car driver — and to race in NASCAR. The stars aligned to be here, and this moment is something that not a lot of people get to enjoy. To be honest with you, I'm just humbled and not sure I believe that we get to enjoy it as a team and go home tonight [as] champions."
Prior to the start of the playoffs and the Southern 500 in Darlington, Elliott and the other NASCAR drivers met with reporters. He told PopCulture.com and other members of the media that he had concerns about specific races in the 10-week schedule. He saw Richmond, a track where he has traditionally struggled, and said that it could play a role in whether he moved beyond the round of 16.
Ultimately, Elliott didn't have to worry. He performed consistently, secured a fifth-place finish at Richmond and continued to move on in the playoffs. Elliott then won two races during the later round to move him into the championship round. Once he arrived, Elliott dominated the Season Finale 500, led 153 laps and won the Bill France Cup.