How Joey Logano won the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series

Joey Logano, right, talks with Ryan Blaney, left, before practice for the NASCAR Auto Race at Martinsville Speedway, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Martinsville, Virginia (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Joey Logano, right, talks with Ryan Blaney, left, before practice for the NASCAR Auto Race at Martinsville Speedway, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Martinsville, Virginia (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

AP

Joey Logano is champion again.

The #22 driver sat on the pole, dominating the first stage and never left behind a Championship 4 driver at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday on his way to a big win and the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

Lugano, 32, was the oldest driver in a Young Championship 4 – and the veteran confirmed himself on Sunday.

The Penske Team driver, who also won the 2018 Cup Series, racked up three wins at Phoenix Raceway.

Sunday’s race didn’t see much traffic, but the drama between the Championship 4 drivers – Lugano, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott – was always there.

There was the end of the second stage, with Lugano and Bell stressing whether they had the fuel to finish the stage.

There was a wreck mid-stage 3 between Chastain and Elliott, as Chastain got down under car number 9 and sent him into the wall. Elliott had to go down the pit path and bury him in a lap, effectively ending his playoff hopes.

There was caution with about 40 laps remaining, as the Lugano pit crew made a flawless stop and extended their lead over Bell, who was stopped for a suboptimal 19.8 seconds.

And then, despite a late push from Chastain that sealed the lead, Logano stood tall.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” The future Hall of Famer shouted over the radio right before the spin-off celebration at the start and finish line.

Penske’s Lugano teammate Ryan Blaney finished second. Chastain finished third.

He finished the tenth bell. Elliott finished 28th.

Kyle Larson, contender for the Owner’s Championship, finished seventh.

Unofficial results from Phoenix Raceway

POS. Sentences driver time behind Best Time best speed
1 22 Joey Lugano (P) 27.23 132.207
2 12 Ryan Blaney 0.301 27,229 132.212
3 1 Ross Chastain (P) 1.268 27,632 130,284
4 14 Chase Brisco 3.206 27.413 131.325
5 4 Kevin Harvick 3.436 27,575 130,553
6 24 William Byron 4.494 27,542 130,709
7 18 Kyle Bush 5.133 27.77 129.636
8 11 Denny Hamlin 6.463 27,762 129,674
9 5 Kyle Larson 7.011 27.513 130,847
10 20 Christopher Bell (P) 7.311 27,769 129.641
11 2 Austin Cendrick # 8.83 27,763 129,669
12 16 AJ Allmendinger (i) 9.215 27,733 129.809
13 3 Austin Dillon 10.406 27.978 128.673
14 43 Eric Jones 11,572 27,829 129.361
15th 19 Martin Truex Jr. 12.513 27,444 131.176
16 41 Cole Custer 12.622 27.984 128.645
17 23 Daniel Hemrick (I) 15.21 27,865 129.194
18 7 Corey Lagoy 19,754 28.1 128.114
19 21 Harrison Burton # 22.171 27,804 129,478
20 10 Eric Almerola 23,181 27,736 129,795
21 17 Chris Bucher 24,655 27.81 129.45
22 45 Bubba Wallace -1 27.972 128.7
23 8 Tyler Riddick -1 27.74 129,776
24 99 Daniel Suarez -1 28.112 128.059
25 34 Michael McDowell -1 28,243 127.465
26 42 Ty Dillon -1 28,245 127.456
27 31 Justin Haley -1 28,266 127,361
28 9 Chase Elliot (P) -3 27,633 130,279
29 38 Todd Gilliland # -3 28,357 126,953
30 51 kodi ware -5 28.314 127.146
31 78 PJ McLeod (I) -5 28,525 126.205
32 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -5 28,485 12126,382
33 15th Garrett Smithley (I) -8 28,523 126.214
34 48 Alex Bowman -8 27,849 129,269
35 6 Brad Kiselowski -42 28,031 128,429
36 77 Landon Cassel (I) -228 28.432 126,618

Alex Zietlow writes about NASCAR, Charlotte FC, and the ways sports intersect with life in the Charlotte area for The Observer, where he has been a reporter since August 2022. Zietlow’s work has been honored by the NC and SC Press Association, also as an APSE, which gave him a Top 10 Ranks in the Beat Writing and Short Feature categories in the 2021 Writing Contest. Previously wrote for The Herald in Rock Hill from 2019 to 22.