Chase Elliott made sure to keep his word as he repaid Ryan Blaney a favor on Sunday following the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway.
In 2020, Elliott won his first NASCAR Cup Series title at Phoenix Raceway. After the race, Blaney came up to give him a hug and congratulate him on winning the championship. Blaney went on social media and posted, "@chaseelliott I'm so proud of you and glad to call you my best friend. Looking forward to competing with you and the years to come".
Elliott quoted the tweet by saying, "I appreciate you brother. Can't wait to join you on stage when you get yours!"
This year, the two champions switched places. pic.twitter.com/jF8HPDO0RS
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 6, 2023
In a year that Elliott will probably want to forget, he did not forget to go up on stage and celebrate with Blaney. Elliott missed seven races, six due to injury and one for a suspension. He went winless for the first time since 2017. Overall, a tumultuous year for Elliott, but a great sign of sportsmanship to end the season.
Blaney and Elliott have practically risen through the ranks together. They both entered the Cup Series as rookies in 2016. Elliott started in the No. 24 at Hendrick Motorsports and Blaney was in the No. 21 for Wood Brothers Racing. In 2018, both drivers changed cars. Elliott stayed at Hendrick but switched to the No. 9 that his father, Bill Elliott, made famous. Blaney moved to Team Penske to drive the No. 12.
Although Elliott was the first of the two to win a Cup Series championship, Blaney was the first one to reach victory lane in the Cup Series. In 2017, Blaney won his first race at Pocono Raceway in the Wood Brothers No. 21. Elliott did not get his first win until the following season at Watkins Glen International.
This will be the friendly rivalry that the fans will love because these two drivers are two of the most popular drivers in the sport today. The next battle is to see who can score their second Cup Series championship first.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.