Since 2011, there is a tradition of passing a journal between the former and existing Cup Series champion.
Speaking to NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton in 2011, Johnson opined that something should be passed between the former Cup champion and the current one every year. Since then, there is a tradition that 2018 Joey Logano labels as the “best-kept secret” in NASCAR.
“The coolest part about winning the championship,” Logano said about the journal. “It is the best-kept secret in our sport. That’s the best part about this is that nobody even really knows what it is. Nobody knows … what’s written in it.”
The latest recipient of the journal is the 2020 Cup Series champion Chase Elliott who got the journal from 2019 champion Kyle Busch. Elliott received the journal in December when both the drivers were competing in the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
“That’s been one of the coolest things about this whole deal is taking possession of it and getting to read it,” Elliott told NBC Sports. “It makes you wish that somebody had started that back 30-plus, 40 years ago to just see what some of those guys would have to say or even when NASCAR was started. I think it would be really cool.
“On the flip side, I think about the guy or the girl who wins the championship in 2050 or 2060. How cool is that going to be to look back to see what Tony Stewart had to say or what Jimmie Johnson had to say, two legends of our time. Really cool tradition and proud to be a part of that.”
Busch said that he had to write multiple drafts on what to write to Elliott.
“I ran out of space,” Busch told NBC Sports. “I filled a whole page. I probably could have done a page and a half on the backside if I kept going. I tried to keep it to a page because it seems everybody was keeping it to a page, so I didn’t want to be the guy to screw it up.”
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver shed some light on what he wrote to the 2020 champion. Having seen him climb up the NASCAR ladder and winning the ultimate prize, Busch said that he wanted to write about his growth of Elliott he has seen.