After 36 races, ten playoff races, eight drivers eliminated and a thriller in Phoenix, Joey Logano is a two time NASCAR champion after winning the final race of the season. Logano was always just on the cusp of greatness all season. Overshadowed by Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain and the issues between Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson, Logano came up big when it mattered and added a second championship trophy to his collection.
Logano found victory lane four times in 2022, once in the Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race before the season and then three times in points paying races, including Sunday. He won at Darlington to lock himself into the playoffs. But, after a disappointing summer that included four consecutive finishes of 20th or worse, Logano returned to Victory Lane at Las Vegas, locking himself into the finale. On Sunday, he was a constant presence in the Top 10 and was often first place of any of the Championship Four drivers. Eventually, Logano found his way to first place and didn’t look back winning his third race and his second championship. Ross Chastain came in second in the points standings. Christopher Bell was third, and Chase Elliott was fourth.
JOEY LOGANO: ELITE COMPANY
Joey Logano previously won the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Championship in 2018. This second title makes him only the 17th driver to win multiple championships in the Cup series. He’s also the third driver to clinch multiple titles in the past ten years, joining Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. With 31 career wins and two championships, so far, I think it’s safe to say that that Joey Logano will be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame one day.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Congratulations are also in order for Austin Cindric who finished the season as the 2022 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Cindric, the 2021 Xfinity Series Champion, shocked the world in February when he won the Daytona 500. From there, his season was far more like a traditional rookie season, but he will always be able to call himself a Daytona 500 champion. Plus, he’s got a lot of upside, so I’m willing to bet we will see him in Victory Lane in the Cup Series again soon.
RACING WITH A HEAVY HEART
A dark cloud was hanging over the season finale following the passing of Joe Gibbs Racing president and co-owner, Coy Gibbs. A moment of silence was held before the race. And Coy’s son, Ty Gibbs, was pulled from the 23 car and replaced by Daniel Hemric. Very few details have been released, but the entire NASCAR community is extending thoughts and prayers to the Gibbs family.
NASCAR heads into the offseason before returning to Los Angeles for the second ever Clash at the Coliseum. There will be some major changes next season as Kurt Busch is retiring. Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Ty Dillon are all changing seats. Plus, AJ Allmendinger makes a full time return to the Cup Series. And Jimmie Johnson joins the ownership team with Richard Petty. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, but I can’t wait for the Clash.
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