Joey Logano tops off his season with a Phoenix win and the 2022 NASCAR Cup title

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, receives the Bill France NASCAR Cup Series Championship trophy from NASCAR President Steve Phelps presents in victory lane after winning the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 06, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It seems that not only can he talk the talk, but Joey Logano can walk the walk. Logano topped off a dominating weekend with a race win and his second NASCAR Cup series title Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

Logano led from pole and a race high 187 of the 312 laps run, taking the lead with 30 laps to go and cursing to victory over his teammate Ryan Blaney by .301 of a second.

“We did it!” a jubilant Logano said after climbing from his car. “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.”

Blaney led the second most laps on the day 109 but had to settle for second and a winless 2022. Ross Chastain was the only other of the Championship 4 to come close to the lead but finished third, 2 seconds back.

Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick completed the top five.

William Byron was sixth, Kyle Busch in his last race for Joe Gibbs Racing was seventh, Denny Hamlin eighth with Kyle Larson ninth.

Christopher Bell was the third highest finishing of the Championship 4 coming home 10th.

The race started under a somber atmosphere as an hour before the green flag Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed the passing of Coy Gibbs the team’s vice-chairman and COO, son of team owner Joe Gibbs, and father of Ty Gibbs. Coy had been celebrating his son’s Xfinity title only hours before.

Earlier in the morning Ty Gibbs stepped out of the 23 car where he was subbing for Kurt Busch citing a ‘family emergency’, and Daniel Hemric took over. JGR driver Kyle Busch could be seen in tears on the pre-race grid and Denny Hamlin tweeted: “Today we will do what we don’t want to do, but we will unite as a family and race for the name on our chest.”

NASCAR held a moment of silence prior to the start of engines. But once the green fell it was all Logano who led every lap of Stage 1 winning the stage handily.

Logano’s only threat during the early part of the race was his Penske teammate Blaney who entered Sunday’s race without win on the season. Blaney finally took the lead becoming the first driver to pass Logano under green on lap 156.

Blaney would hold serve through the end of Stage 2 at lap 185 and lose the lead on the restart to Logano; Blaney would not be denied however and re-took the top spot on lap 189.

On a re-start after the races 4th caution at lap 200, Chastain got into Chase Elliott as the field fanned out entering Turn 1. Elliott’s car turned around and made contact with the inside safer barrier.  The Hendrick Motorsports crew for Elliott worked furiously on the car to make repairs. Elliott came back out in 30th 1 lap down but his championship hopes were over. He would end the day 28th 2 laps down.

Blaney would cycle back to the lead on lap 254 after a round of green flag stops. At that point the fight for the title was between Logano and Christopher Bell and 4th place. Chastain meanwhile had a slow stop during the cycle and was running 9th.

Alex Bowman making his return after missing races with a concussion, spun on lap 269 after contact with Michael McDowell bringing out the races sixth caution. Chase Briscoe came out of the pits with the lead, followed by Blaney and Logano. Bell, however, had a slow stop and lost 11 spots and came out 16th while Chastain’s crew got him out eighth.

Briscoe was able to keep the lead until lap 283 when Logano charge back to the point, followed by Blaney. From there Blaney wasn’t able to make up enough ground to catch Logano, and Chastain could only rally to third.

The title for Roger Penske marks the first time Team Penske has won an IndyCar and NASCAR title in the same season. The win caps off a year that saw Logano win the first race of the season, the Clash at the L.A. Coliseum in February, and end with a win and his second championship.

“It’s all about championships,” Logano said. “That’s what it’s all about, and we worked so hard the last couple weeks trying to put ourselves in position. And everything that happened in 2020, I knew we just wanted to have a solid run and do this today.”

“Obviously the news this morning with Coy, too, I don’t know what to think. But obviously my condolences go to the Gibbs family. But just an incredible day for us, and kind of mixed emotions at the moment.”

Photos: NASCAR at Phoenix Raceway Sunday Nov. 6, 2022

NASCAR Cup Series Race Results NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race
Phoenix Raceway
Avondale, Arizona
Sunday, November 6, 2022

1. (1) Joey Logano (P), Ford, 312.
2. (2) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 312.
3. (25) Ross Chastain (P), Chevrolet, 312.
4. (3) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 312.
5. (7) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 312.
6. (8) William Byron, Chevrolet, 312.
7. (22) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 312.
8. (21) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 312.
9. (4) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 312.
10. (17) Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 312.
11. (14) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 312.
12. (16) AJ Allmendinger(i), Chevrolet, 312.
13. (15) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 312.
14. (30) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 312.
15. (12) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 312.
16. (9) Cole Custer, Ford, 312.
17. (10) Daniel Hemric(i), Toyota, 312.
18. (27) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 312.
19. (6) Harrison Burton #, Ford, 312.
20. (13) Aric Almirola, Ford, 312.
21. (19) Chris Buescher, Ford, 312.
22. (23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 311.
23. (11) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 311.
24. (28) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 311.
25. (20) Michael McDowell, Ford, 311.
26. (32) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 311.
27. (26) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 311.
28. (5) Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 310.
29. (31) Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 309.
30. (34) Cody Ware, Ford, 308.
31. (33) BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 307.
32. (29) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 307.
33. (35) Garrett Smithley(i), Ford, 304.
34. (24) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 304.
35. (18) Brad Keselowski, Ford, Electrical, 270.
36. (36) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 84.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 104.757 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 58 Mins, 42 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.301 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 6 for 39 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Logano (P) 1-87;C. Custer 88-90;J. Logano (P) 91-158;R. Blaney 159-187;J. Logano (P) 188;R. Blaney 189-251;A. Allmendinger(i) 252;A. Bowman 253;R. Blaney 254-270;J. Logano (P) 271;C. Briscoe 272-282;J. Logano (P) 283-312.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Joey Logano (P) 5 times for 187 laps; Ryan Blaney 3 times for 109 laps; Chase Briscoe 1 time for 11 laps; Cole Custer 1 time for 3 laps; Alex Bowman 1 time for 1 lap; AJ Allmendinger(i) 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,12,14,5,19,9,24,4,8,2
Stage #2 Top Ten: 12,22,19,14,4,20,24,5,8,2

Greg Engle