AUBURN, Ala (EETV) – With the NASCAR season coming to a close, a new champ is crowned, and the excitable debut season of the Next Gen car has ended.
As far as the other two championship contenders Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell. They just didn’t have anything for the now two-time champ Joey Logano. Logano set pace for the field all day long. Chastain and Bell just couldn’t keep up.
“22 in 22’” is the phrase coined by Logano and his team this year.
“I knew going into this thing that we’re going to win the championship. I told the guys we were the favorite from Daytona, and we truly believed it, and that’s the difference.” Logano said. “Like I said, I had a good team with a bunch of confidence, and we had all the reason in the world to be confident. I said I never been truly this ready for a championship race, and we did it, man. I can’t believe it.”
Confidence is something Logano has been known to have throughout his ten-season career, and after the performance he’s had this year, it is evident where this confidence comes from.
Logano has been a winner all season long. He won the Clash at the Coliseum before the season started, the same race NASCAR unveiled the Next Gen car. During the season he won at Darlington Raceway, World Wide Technology Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phenix Raceway to secure his 2022 Cup Series Champion title.
Logano’s championship gives Team Penske its third NASCAR championship, and second American racing championship this year, with Indy Car being the other. This marks the first time a team owner has won the championship in both Indy Car and NASCAR in the same year.
Coming into the championship race Chase Elliott was the favorite, as he won the regular season championship title. However, Elliot made a costly mistake early in the final stage of the race, turning into fellow championship contender Ross Chastain’s nose causing Elliott to spin and hit the wall. This move put Elliott out of the running for a chance at his second Cup title.
NASCAR’s most popular driver Chase Elliott tied his career high of five wins this season at Dover Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. At just 26 years old Elliott has already won a Cup series championship and 18 career wins.
Chastain recorded his first career win this season. After that first victory he went on to win two races this season at Circuit of the Americas and Talladega Superspeedway, giving his team, Trackhouse Racing, their first win in the NASCAR Cup series. This was Chastain’s first appearance in the playoffs.
Bell won a total of three races this season, including two in the playoffs. Bell’s wins happened at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Charlotte Royal at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. In his second year making the playoffs, Bell made it to the round of four and his first appearance in the championship race.
Fans can expect a lot more from these two drivers who are still young in their Cup series career.
This was the debut season of the highly anticipated Next Gen car. Aside from some engine issues and structural damage issues, this season showed a lot of promise for the Next Gen car and the future of NASCAR. There were many exciting races this year and overall, the racing itself was more action packed and suspenseful. 19 different drivers put up a win this year, tying a NASCAR record. Five of those winners scored their first ever Cup series victory.