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Championship Seasons- Joey Logano (2022)


2022 was a year of uncertainty for NASCAR as an industry as the next-gen car made its debut on the racetrack. How was the car going to drive? How would the next-gen car drive on different tracks? If there was one driver that was certain about winning the Championship in 2022, it was Joey Logano. Logano drives for Team Penske in the NASCAR Cup Series and has driven for Penske since 2013. Logano, is already a Cup Series champion, winning his first title in 2018. The motto for Logano on social media throughout the season was “The 22 in ‘22”. Logano wasn’t kidding around about 2022 being his year. This is Championship Seasons- Joey Logano (2022).

The Clash at the Coliseum:


February 6th, 2022 marked the debut of the next-gen car in a race for the Cup Series. This was also a historical day for NASCAR as The Clash was the first NASCAR race to be held inside a football stadium. The Clash was held in the LA Coliseum, specifically. Everybody wanted to have bragging rights about winning the clash and the first race with the next-gen car. Logano would start fourth in the clash and would be in a close battle with Kyle Busch in the closing laps. Logano would beat Busch by three car lengths, to win the 2022 Clash at the Colosseum. This was a huge confidence booster for Logano and his team.

The Regular Season:


Throughout the beginning of the season, Logano had a mildly quiet season before breaking into victory lane. Up until Darlington, Logano had one top-5 finish and a handful of top-10 finishes. Darlington, the 12th race of the season, was Logano’s first win of the season after a late move on William Byron that put Byron in the wall. Logano never looked back with two laps to go and went on to win at Darlington for the first time in his career. Just three races later, Logano would go on to win his second race of the year at Gateway. Logano, once again, outdueled Kyle Busch, this time on a green-white-checkered finish. Throughout the past, Logano, and Busch have been known to be fierce competitors between each other on the track. Once even coming to blows after a race. But this was a great late-race restart between the two champions.

After Gateway, Logano finished up the regular season with five more top-10 finishes and two top-5 finishes. Logano would have a very solid regular season by finishing second in the regular season points standings to Chase Elliott. Logano would enter the playoffs as the number two seed and was one of the favorites for the championship. As previously said, Logano stood by the catchphrase “The 22 in ‘22” even when no one believed in them. Logano was going to spend the next 10 weeks proving the doubters wrong in pursuit of a second Cup Series championship.

The Playoffs:


Right away, the playoffs were looking up for Logano from the get-go. Logano would win the pole for Darlington, the first race of the playoffs and where he won earlier in the year. He would go on to finish fourth at Darlington after leading 64 laps and winning stage one. Surprisingly for Logano, the playoffs didn’t produce the results that Logano was expecting. After Darlington, Logano finished outside the top 15 four times, including one DNF. However, Logano was able to earn enough points throughout the regular season and the playoffs to make it to the round of eight. The Round of eight was the most crucial time for drivers to punch their ticket to the championship four. That is exactly what Logano did.

Las Vegas, the seventh race of the playoffs and the first race of the Round of eight, was going to be a great shot for Logano to go to the Championship four. Las Vegas was a track where Logano had won twice before. A late race caution set up a restart with 16 laps to go, and Logano’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, made a gutsy call to pit Logano and put four fresh tires on the car. This is what won Logano the race. Logano passed Ross Chastain with less than three laps to go, to win the race. This secured Logano a shot to race for a second Cup Series championship. This would be Logano’s third win at Las Vegas and the third win of the season. Logano and the entire #22 team were not going to give up this championship without a fight.

The Championship Race:


Three weeks after Las Vegas, it was time for the Championship race. The four drivers who would fight for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship were Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, and Christopher Bell. Much like at Darlington, Logano would win the pole for Phoenix. This was a statement to the rest of the championship four that Logano had the fastest car on the weekend. Come Sunday afternoon, it was apparent very early that Logano was going to dominate the race. On a late race restart with 34 laps to go, Logano was in fourth but had four fresh tires after a round of pit stops. It would only take three laps to take the lead back from Chase Briscoe. Logano would not look back. Joey Logano would go on to win at Phoenix for the third time in his career and win his second NASCAR Cup Series championship.

2022 was an up-and-down year for NASCAR, to say the least. But for Joey Logano, it was a year that he proved the doubters wrong. He was right with his catchphrase, “The 22 in ‘22”. Logano finished out 2022 with four wins, 11 top-5 finishes, 17 top-10 finishes, 784 laps led, and an average finish of 13.5. Logano may have not been the most consistent driver throughout 2022, but he was always in the mix. Not many drivers can say that they have won a Cup Series championship. Joey Logano can say that he is a two-time Cup Series champion. With being 33 years old, Logano could have at least 10 years of racing ahead of him. Only time will tell to see how many more championships Joey Logano can win, and if he can solidify himself as one of NASCAR’s elites.

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