• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Joey Logano dominates at Phoenix to win second NASCAR Cup Series title

BySean Clark

Nov 6, 2022
Logano celebrates in Victory Lane

Photo courtesy of Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Joey Logano felt that in 2020, the championship should have been his. In 2022, he made amends and dominated the other Championship 4 drivers at Phoenix Raceway to win his second NASCAR Cup Series championship (2018 was his first).

“My team, you guys are amazing!” Logano said. “You guys gave me a good race car and a good pit stop at the end to put us out in front. It’s all about championships, it’s such a big deal to win a championship because it affects so many people’s lives.”

Logano won the race on a somber day for all of NASCAR as Joe Gibbs Racing co-owner Coy Gibbs sadly passed away last night at the age of 49. He was the father of Saturday’s Xfinity Series champion Ty Gibbs and the son of Joe Gibbs.

Christopher Bell was the representative for JGR in the Championship 4 and raced with a heavy heart on Sunday.

“From being out, to wins at Charlotte and Martinsville and all of the sudden, you wake up this morning and you’re racing for a championship, you’re happy, you’re elated and your world comes crashing down,” Bell said. “The Gibbs family is in all of our prayers.”

Bell started the race 17th and tried to work his way through the field. He got loose in Stage 2, putting him back behind the other three championship drivers in 14th place. He got close behind Logano as the race wound down, but with 42 laps to go, Bell dropped from fifth to 16th after a slow pit stop. He finished 10th and third among Championship 4 drivers.

“Speaking of today, the best car won,” Bell added.

Logano, like the Camping World Truck Series champion Zane Smith and Gibbs on Saturday, won the championship from pole position and won the first stage. While he only finished second in Stage 2, he led all other Champ. 4 drivers as Ryan Blaney won the stage (finished second in the race).

The Penske driver led the championship field all but one green-flag lap and won his fourth race of the season to clinch his second Cup Series championship.

“I knew going into this thing we were gonna win the championship,” Logano said. “I told the guys we were favorites from Daytona and we truly believed it.”

Ross Chastain came in third place, finishing as the runner-up finish in points in his first season with Trackhouse Racing. After his miracle “Hail Melon” move at Martinsville last week, Chastain could not track down Logano as the final laps ran away.

“Who had the No. 1 car second in points on their bingo card on February 1st,” Chastain said. “I didn’t think it [Hail Melon move] would [work], we were just going too fast here.”

The big incident took place in the final stage with 113 laps to go on a restart, Chastain clipped Champ. 4 driver Chase Elliott, causing him to crash into the wall.

Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion, failed to recover from the wreck and suffered a 28th-place finish.

“I saw an erratic move that he [Elliott] made to turn left to cover it and I was already there,” Chastain said on the incident. “I feel like I had position on him and he tried to cover it late.”

Elliott refused to comment on the incident in his post-race interview.

“The regular season championship is what got us here, it’s been a rough nine weeks up until today,” Elliott said. “I thought today was going pretty good. It’s just the way it goes.”

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season will begin with the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 5. Then, the first points race will be the 2023 Daytona 500 on Feb. 19.

This story will be updated. 

Unofficial results: