Chevrolet has its first shot at a Cup driver’s title for first time since 2016

Chase Elliott qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 race with a victory at Martinsville Speedway in his last chance to advance.

That marks the first time since 2016 that a Chevrolet driver will compete for the championship in NASCAR’s top division. That was the year Jimmie Johnson won his record-tying seventh title.

Elliott isn’t the only representative of the bowtie brand competing during Championship Weekend. Three Chevrolet drivers qualified for the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series—Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith—all representing GMS Racing.

Two Camaro drivers are racing for the NASCAR Xfinity Series title on Saturday, Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports and Justin Haley of Kaulig Racing. All told, six of the 12 drivers competing for titles this weekend driver Chevrolets.

“We’re really happy this time around,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, performance and motorsports for Chevrolet. “We’re competing in all three of the series, Truck, Xfinity and Cup—three, two, one—three Chevy drivers in the truck race, two in the Xfinity on Saturday and obviously Chase Elliott on Sunday. So three, two, one—ready to go.

In contrast, Cup contender Denny Hamlin is the only Toyota driver in any of the three Championship 4 races.

“For Toyota, this is not really the season that we would expect it to be for us, only having one car in the Cup championship, and then no one competing for a championship in Trucks and Xfinity,” said Ed Laukes, outgoing group vice president of marketing for Toyota North America.

“That’s really not how we normally would end a season. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I’m retiring, I don’t know.”