NASCAR Cup Series points leader Chase Elliott clinched the Regular Season Championship at Sunday’s event at Watkins Glen International.
Elliott — pole-starter for Sunday’s race — finished the first stage of the Go Bowling at The Glen with an insurmountable lead in the Cup Series standings. He secured a bonus of 15 playoff points, which will be added to his total once the standings are reset for the 10-race postseason.
Elliott went on to finish fourth, leading 29 of the 90 laps. He was in front for the final restart with five laps remaining, but was carried wide in Turn 1 in a contest with teammate Kyle Larson, who went on to notch his second victory of the season.
Elliott sealed the No. 1 seed with one event left in the 26-race regular season. The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is the Cup Series’ only four-time winner this year. He grabbed the points lead in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway after the fifth race of the season and has not relinquished it.
Elliott is the second consecutive Hendrick Motorsports driver to claim the regular season crown. Teammate Kyle Larson took those laurels last year on the way to his first Cup Series title.
Elliott has made the cut for the Championship 4 field in the last two seasons. The first of those bids yielded his first Cup Series title in 2020.