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Chase Elliott to start at rear in Phoenix championship race

It hasn't been JJ's expected or envisioned farewell. His closing act is yet to be written but his career's carved in stone. History will remember his Cup titles as he transitions to IndyCar as a member of NASCAR royalty.

Championship contender Chase Elliott, who was to have started on the pole for Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway, instead will start from the rear after his car failed inspection multiple times.

The cars of the other three title contenders - Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano - all passed inspection and will start at the front of the field.

Elliott is coming off his win last weekend at Martinsville that put him in the Championship 4 round. He seeks his first title, matching what his dad did. Elliott has won two of the last four playoff races.

His appearance in the title race marks the first time since 2016 that Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet have had a car compete for the Cup championship in the season finale.