In the fading Phoenix sun this past Sunday, a champion was crowned for the NASCAR Cup Series. Joey Logano captured his second Cup Series Championship, in dominating fashion. Logano silenced the doubters by winning the race and the Championship. This is how Joey Logano became a two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion.
How Logano won the 2022 Cup Series Championship:
Joey Logano started the 2022 season strong with a win at the exhibition Clash at the Colosseum race, in the debut race of the next-gen car. Logano would start the regular season off strong with seven top-10 finishes in the first 11 races. Logano would win his first race of the season at Darlington, which would be the first win at Darlington for Logano. The Penske driver would continue to keep up the consistency with another win on the season, just three races later. In the Cup Series debut at Gateway in St. Louis, Logano and Kyle Busch would have an epic battle in an overtime restart for the win. Logano would get the edge over Busch to take the win at Gateway. Logano would have six top-10 finishes in the final 11 regular season races before the playoffs started.
Though the finishing results throughout the playoffs may not show, Logano was consistently in the fight throughout the playoffs. Despite one DNF in the playoffs, Logano arguably had the best playoff run out of the Championship four drivers. Logano would win his way into the Championship four with his third win of the season at Las Vegas. As soon as the team unloaded the car on Friday afternoon, it was evident that Penske and the #22 crew had brought a fast car to Phoenix. Practice went well for Logano but qualifying on Saturday went even better. Logano qualified on the pole position for Sunday’s Championship race. Right from the green flag on Sunday, there was no catching Logano. He led 187 of the 312 laps en route to the win and the Championship. Does the question remain if Logano deserves his second Championship?
Did Logano deserve this Championship?
In short terms, yes. Back in 2018, some were calling Logano’s first Cup Series Championship a “fluke” and “non-deserving.” Now that Logano has won a second Championship, how does this compare to his first Championship? Now, nobody is saying that Logano is undeserving of this Championship because he had the best car to win and did so in Phoenix. Logano and the entire #22 team believed that they were the best all season long. Logano finished the season with four wins, 11 top-5 finishes, 17 top-10 finishes, 784 laps led, and an average finish of 13.5. Logano’s numbers through the season were very strong, considering the unknowns of the next-gen car.
The end of some eras:
While the sun sets on the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, it also means the end of various partnerships within the garage. Kyle Busch, who has spent the past 15 years with Joe Gibbs Racing, will be moving on to race for Richard Childress Racing starting next season. Busch has put up some immaculate numbers with JGR. Busch has earned 56 Cup wins, 91 Xfinity wins, the 2009 Xfinity Series Championship, and the 2015 & 2019 Cup Series Championships with JGR. Tyler Reddick, who has spent his entire Cup Series career with RCR, will be moving on to 23XI Racing next season. Reddick has earned three Cup Series wins, and the 2019 Xfinity Series Championship with RCR. These moves already have fans and analysts looking forward to the 2023 season even more.