Rick Hendrick said Chase Elliott and Alan Gustafson were “super calm, super cool and super confident” before the Championship race.
Going into the race at Martinsville Speedway, the No. 9 team knew that nothing but a win would suffice if the team wanted to make their first Championship 4 race. Elliott turned in an assured performance in the race and went on to win the championship at Phoenix even though he had to start from the rear after inspection issues before the race.
Witnessing the No. 9 performance in those races, the Hendrick Motorsports owner said:
“I’ve never seen Alan as confident as he was in both races. And Chase.
“I thought when they had to go to the back (at Phoenix), that would rattle Chase a little bit. He was like, ‘Hey guys, we’re going to have fun today.’
“They were super calm, super cool and super confident.”
On one side was a young driver win his first championship and on the other a seven-time champion retiring from full-time racing in the sports.
“When they got together on the track when it was over, man, the emotions just exploded. So, it was kind of like passing a baton,” Hendrick said.