Joey Logano regained the race lead with 29 laps to go and drove away to an extraordinary double, winning the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season finale and walking out of Phoenix Raceway with his second Cup Series championship Sunday in Avondale, Ariz.
In his third career win at Phoenix, Logano maneuvered his No. 22 Team Penske Ford past leader Chase Briscoe and held off teammate Ryan Blaney for the victory. He led 188 laps around the flat track.
“It’s all about championships, and we worked so hard the last couple of weeks to put ourselves into position,” said Logano, who also won the 2018 title. “I told the guys we were the favorite from Daytona, and we truly believed it. I had a good team with a bunch of confidence.”
Logano, 32, became the first two-time Ford championship driver since David Pearson when the legendary South Carolina driver was with Holman-Moody (1968, 1969). The Middletown, Conn., native is the 17th multiple title winner in NASCAR history.
Logano started and closed 2022 with wins: He was triumphant in the season-opening all-star race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 6.
Rounding out the top five drivers were Ross Chastain, Briscoe and Kevin Harvick.
“I think we did everything right at the end — that was a heck of a drive for us,” said Chastain, who made it to the Championship 4 with a miracle, last-lap charge at Martinsville Speedway a week ago. “Who had the (number) 1 car in second in points on their bingo card February 1st? This is a continuation of a lot of people believing in me.”
Logano started from the pole position, followed by fellow Championship 4 competitors Chase Elliott (fifth), Christopher Bell (17th) and Chastain (25th) in the 312-lap season finale in the Arizona desert.
The hard-charging Bell — racing on an emotional day after the overnight death of team owner Joe Gibbs’ son Coy, the father of Xfinity Series champion Ty Gibbs — was foiled at the end by a 19.8-second pit stop. A crew member got his finger caught in the wheel during the tire change on the left rear.
Coming to the start/finish line on Lap 200’s restart, Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet went low onto the track apron and was clipped by Chastain’s No. 1, positioned right behind him. Chastain didn’t lift and sent the Hendrick Motorsports driver into the inside wall with hard impact.
“He wrecked us,” Elliott simply said over the radio. The 2020 Cup champion finished 28th.
Back from a concussion after missing five races, Alex Bowman hit the backstretch’s inside wall while running 15th with 44 laps to go. That brought out a caution and the lead-lap cars into the pits for the season’s final stop for service, with Briscoe leading the way and Logano beating Chastain onto the track.