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NASCAR: Chase Elliott wins at Martinsville, clinches spot in Championship 4

Chase Elliott led a race-high 236 laps to win the 2020 Xfinity 500 on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI
Chase Elliott led a race-high 236 laps to win the 2020 Xfinity 500 on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Chase Elliott's No. 9 Chevrolet crossed the checkered flag first at Martinsville Speedway to win the Cup Series Xfinity 500 and clinch a spot in the Championship 4.

Elliott, 24, will join Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin at the Season Finale 500 to determine a Cup Series champion on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

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"This is a big moment for us, having to perform in a tough spot," Elliott told reporters. "We had to [win to get into the Championship 4]. We didn't have a choice.

"I think that's something we've been missing as a team, something we haven't been able to achieve over the last handful of years."

Elliott led 236 of 500 laps on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. He took the lead for good with 43 laps remaining when he passed Martin Truex Jr.

Truex -- the race favorite -- led 129 laps, but finished 22nd. Hamlin led 42 laps and finished 11th.

Ryan Blaney finished in second place. Logano, Keselowski and Kurt Busch rounded out the Top 5 finishers. Kevin Harvick -- who had been a near-lock to make the Championship 4 -- finished 17th and missed the cut for a run at the 2020 title.

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"It didn't go our way," Harvick said. "We fought for everything we had and it just came up short."

The Season Finale 500 starts at 3 p.m. EST on Sunday in Avondale, Ariz. The 312-lap race airs on NBC.

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