NASCAR Playoff Recap – Championship Race


Justin Byers, Author

Phoenix, AZ — Champion favorite Joey Logano (P) grabbed pole position in the Saturday qualifying session. He led the field to the green flag on Sunday. Whoever finishes highest will be the 2022 cup series champion. With Joey Logano’s car number being 22, the hashtag “22in22” was trending on Twitter. Alex Bowman is back this week after his medical absence. 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson announced an owner partnership with Petty-GMS Racing. Johnson will race a 3rd car in the 2023 Daytona 500. Sadder racing news, Coy Gibbs, co-owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, passed away in his sleep Sunday morning just hours after celebrating with his son, Ty Gibbs, for winning the Xfinity Series Championship on Saturday. Because of that, Ty Gibbs would not take part in the race. In his place, Daniel Hemric would drive the no. 23 cars with last minute. It was only a 60-lap first stage and nothing much happened. Joey Logano (P) led all 60 laps and everyone stayed the same. A few drivers gained a few spots, but nothing notable. All lead lap cars pitted under this yellow. Joey Logano kept the race lead for the stage 2 restart on lap 69. On lap 85, the no. 77 would spin off, turn 2 and bring out our 2nd caution of the race. Joey Logano (P) would fall to 3rd during pit stops. Cole Custer would lead the field to green. Towards the end of stage 2, multiple drivers were told to avoid shifting out of 5th gear to help save fuel. The no. 12 of Ryan Blaney barely makes it to the end of the stage on his tank of gas. Joey Logano would finish 2nd on the stage. Chase Elliott (P) and Ross Chastain (P) are in the top 10. Christopher Bell (P) struggled early on. On the stage restart, the no. 16 would have contact and spin on lap 193. That would set up a restart where the no. 12 of Ryan Blaney would keep the lead. On this restart, the no. 9 of Chase Elliott (P) would spin and hit the wall. His team would fix the damage, but Elliott would report his steering was not straight. As per the NASCAR rules, a broken toe link cannot be fixed mid-race. Elliott would stay in the race but be scored a lap down. The 12 would keep the lead on the lap 205 restart but Christopher Bell (P) would report engine issues, but nothing would come of it. On lap 268, Alex Bowman would spin and bring out another caution. Lap 280 restart, the no. 14 of Chase Briscoe would take the lead and restart 1st. On lap 283, Joey Logano would take the lead and keep it until lap 312, where Joey Logano would win the race and his 2nd championship.

As another off-season begins, a good deal of news is to still come out before the Daytona 500 in 102 days (as of Nov. 7, 2022). Questions still remain on if anyone will take part in the Rolex 24, a 24-hour sports car race at Daytona in January.