Joey Logano made a two-time champion out of the No. 22 Nascar Ford Mustang on Sunday, November 6th, 2022, holding off his fellow Playoffs contenders to take home the victory.
Logano poled the No. 22 Mustang during Saturday’s qualifying session at Phoenix Raceway, proving that his machine was the one to beat heading into the final race of the 2022 season. He went on to lead 187 laps, despite being challenged by his Penske Racing teammate, Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 Mustang. In fact, the margin of victory was just .301 seconds at the line.
“We did it!” Logano said after the race. “We’re champions again – yes! Oh, my God, I’m so excited. Thank you to everybody, my team. You guys are amazing. Gave me a good race car, good pit stop there at the end, got us up in front. Boy, that was just intense there at the end. It’s all about championships. That’s what it’s all about, and we worked so hard the last couple weeks trying to put ourselves in position.”
Logano’s championship victory makes him the first active Nascar Ford driver to hold two championships since David Pearson did the same in 1968 and 1969.
The only other Playoffs driver who had something for Logano’s No. 22 Mustang at the end was the No. 1 Chevy Camaro ZL1 driven by Ross Chastain, who ran consistently faster lap times heading to the checkered flag. However, Chastain’s No. 1 Camaro didn’t have enough time to seal the deal.
Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Camaro finished two laps down after contact with Chastain’s No. 1 Camaro mid-race, eliminating his chances of securing a second championship. Meanwhile, Christopher Bell’s No. 20 Toyota TRD Camry suffered a bad pit stop and wasn’t able to make up ground despite challenging Logano’s No. 22 Mustang for several laps.
Additionally, the No. 6 Mustang of Brad Keselowski caught fire in the latter stage of the race after rubber buildup from the tires caused his race car to burn. He exited safely, but it appeared eerily similar to the incident that struck the No. 4 Nascar Ford of Kevin Harvick at Darlington in September.
|1||22||Joey Logano (P)||Shell Pennzoil Ford||26.788||134.389||Ford Mustang|
|2||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Dutch Boy Ford||26.791||134.373||Ford Mustang|
|3||14||Chase Briscoe||Mahindra Tractors Ford||26.825||134.203||Ford Mustang|
|4||5||Kyle Larson||HendrickCars.com Chevrolet||26.897||133.844||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|5||9||Chase Elliott (P)||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||26.979||133.437||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|6||21||Harrison Burton #||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford||27.011||133.279||Ford Mustang|
|7||4||Kevin Harvick||Busch Light Ford||27.056||133.057||Ford Mustang|
|8||24||William Byron||Axalta Chevrolet||27.09||132.89||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|9||41||Cole Custer||HaasTooling.com Ford||27.125||132.719||Ford Mustang|
|10||23||Ty Gibbs(i)||Monster Energy Toyota||27.175||132.475||Toyota TRD Camry|
|11||8||Tyler Reddick||Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet||26.831||134.173||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|12||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops Toyota||26.846||134.098||Toyota TRD Camry|
|13||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||26.873||133.963||Ford Mustang|
|14||2||Austin Cindric #||Discount Tire Ford||26.874||133.958||Ford Mustang|
|15||3||Austin Dillon||Get Bioethanol Chevrolet||26.877||133.944||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|16||9||Chase Elliott||Hooters Chevrolet||32.941||136.608||C|
|16||16||AJ Allmendinger(i)||Celsius Chevrolet||26.88||133.929||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|17||20||Christopher Bell (P)||DeWalt Toyota||26.881||133.924||Toyota TRD Camry|
|18||6||Brad Keselowski||Kohler Generators Ford||26.903||133.814||Ford Mustang|
|20||4||Kevin Harvick||#BuschLightPolite Ford||33.019||136.285||C|
|19||17||Chris Buescher||Fastenal Ford||26.932||133.67||Ford Mustang|
|22||38||Todd Gilliland #||First Phase Ford||33.055||136.137||C|
|20||34||Michael McDowell||Love's Travel Stops Ford||26.943||133.615||Ford Mustang|
|21||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express Toyota||27.009||133.289||Toyota TRD Camry|
|22||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Thank You Fans! Toyota||27.015||133.259||Toyota TRD Camry|
|23||45||Bubba Wallace||McDonald's Toyota||27.021||133.23||Toyota TRD Camry|
|24||48||Alex Bowman||Ally Chevrolet||27.025||133.21||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|25||1||Ross Chastain (P)||Worldwide Express/Advent Health Chevrolet||27.064||133.018||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|26||31||Justin Haley||LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet||27.071||132.984||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|27||7||Corey LaJoie||Schluter Systems Chevrolet||27.085||132.915||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|28||99||Daniel Suarez||Freeway Insurance/CommScope Chevrolet||27.114||132.773||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|29||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Fry's/Nature Valley Chevrolet||27.143||132.631||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|30||43||Erik Jones||FOCUSfactor Chevrolet||27.226||132.227||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|31||38||Todd Gilliland #||Boot Barn Ford||27.256||132.081||Ford Mustang|
|32||42||Ty Dillon||Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet||27.292||131.907||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|33||78||BJ McLeod(i)||Pala Casino Ford||27.561||130.619||Ford Mustang|
|34||51||Cody Ware||Nurtec ODT (Rimegepant) Ford||27.718||129.88||Ford Mustang|
|35||15||Garrett Smithley(i)||Jacob Companies Ford||27.787||129.557||Ford Mustang|
|36||77||Landon Cassill(i)||Mutoh/General Formulations Chevrolet||28.414||126.698||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
# – Rookie
i – Points ineligible
* – Part-time driver
P – Playoffs eligible
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Congrats to Joey and his team! This is surprising considering the trouble the Mustangs seem to struggle with during the entire season.
After winning at Las Vegas, which put them in the final four, the 22 team had several weeks to prepare for the final race at Phoenix while all the other teams were still trying just to make the final four. The Ford teams were also more competitive on the less than mile and a half tracks. Phoenix is a one mile track. I’m sure NASCAR will pick a different track for next season’s finale for that reason alone. The unwritten rules say the Hendrick teams must always win.