The exciting and unpredictable NASCAR Cup Series 2022 season ends Sunday when the green flag drops just after 3 p.m. ET at the Phoenix Raceway.
Who will come out as a hero?
Here are the contenders:
The #1 driver has been surprising people all year long and starring for Team TrackHouse Racing, a group that has been surprising the motorsports world since it was announced in 2020. Chastain has won two races this season – a Making more enemies for drivers compared to drivers and friends along the way – But his bold style, which has everything on the line Took him to Championship 4 and into the world of NASCAR. (Remember “Hail melon?” or “Pull the wall” As his brand of merchandise? The rest of the sports world is still puzzled.)
The 27-year-old driver at Joe Gibbs Racing has a story ending waiting for him. After living in the Cup Series basement earlier this season, Bill made a comeback in the middle of the year and never stoppedalways finds a way to get into the clutch when he needs to: He won New Hampshire in July for the playoffs, made it to the last 12 on points, Won the Roval Charlotte Motor Speedway When no other result succeeds (in a race he didn’t even think he was hit by a bullet), then achieve Another win in Martinsville to keep his season alive repeatedly. Bale’s presence in Championship 4 is already historic – he is the first driver to make Championship 4 in all three National Series (Trucks, Xfinity, and the Cup) – and Bale’s trophy win will be legendary.
Or will the Cup Series Championship be lifted by someone who has been here before?
The Penske veteran and cup series champion in 2018, won his way to Championship 4 with a Run Flawless at Las Vegas Motor Speedway A few weekends ago. The 32-year-old is a veteran of the younger group — every other driver is in his 20s — and has thrived on the intermediate trails (like the one-mile oval in Phoenix).
Elliot has been here before, too. He’s won the fourth championship three years in a row now and Until he won the title in 2020. The most popular driver in the sport has won the most races this season (five) and led the most laps (857) in a given season with parity. And if the No. 9 doesn’t lead at least 143 laps on Sunday, it will be the first time since 1960 – before the “modern era” – that it There was no driver who led 1000 laps, per Racing-Reference.Info. So even though Elliot’s year was great, the others were great besides him. (This came to a stark contrast in 2021, when Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Fellow, Kyle Larson, He drove 2,474 laps on his way to the dominant 2021 title.)
Elliott, despite his more solid season, told the Observer earlier this week that he tried to approach the playoffs without expectations – and so far it has worked.
“I’m not expecting anything,” Elliott said. “We show up every week and try our best to give ourselves the best chance to run well and try to race to win. I think if you’re having a good summer, and you expect to be somewhere, you get a little bit ahead of yourself, so that never worked for me. So I just I take that a week at a time and try to put in as much effort as we can right away.”
Bill shared the same sentiments. He said he keeps an open mind bound for Phoenix and is excited to take a real tour of the Phoenix Mile Oval Trail.
“It’s always been a really good track for me in the past,” Bale told the Observer earlier this week. “In every Xfinity race I’ve done out there, I’ve been very competitive and one of the best cars. … the last fourth race – you can’t really use that as a gauge of where you are because if you’re not in the fourth turn, you’re not really competing to win, you know? You Just trying to stay out of the way. With that being said, we don’t have a lot of races to get off to see how I really was in the Cup car there.”
“It certainly wasn’t a bad track for me, and it’s one I feel like I’m going to be competitive on,” he added.
Logano will start on pole position on Sunday. Penske teammate Ryan Blaney will start with him. Kyle Larson, who is racing for the Malik Championship with Hendrik Motorsports, starts fourth. The remaining places in the tournament 4: Elliott (P5), Bill (17) and Chastain (25).
The history of every driver at the Phoenix Raceway
Here’s how every driver at Phoenix Raceway has done historically, according to NASCAR media notes.
- Number of wins: Lugano (2), Elliott (1), Bell (0), Chastain (0).
- Top 5 finalists in career path: Lugano (7), Elliott (5), Chastain (1), Bell (0).
- Top 10 career finishes: Lugano (15), Elliott (8), Bell (2), Chastain (1).
- Average finishing position: Elliott (10.7), Lugano (13.1), Bell (17), Chastain (20.5).
- Total number of valve turns: Lugano (721), Elliott (546), Bell (0), Chastain (0).
How to watch a NASCAR Cup Series race in Phoenix
- a race: NASCAR Cup Series Championship
- place: Phoenix Racecourse
- Date: Sunday 6 November
- time: 3 p.m. Eastern time
- money bag: $10,542,284
- Television: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET
- radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
- distance: distance: 312 miles (312 laps)
- Racetrack details: Oval, 1 mile
- Phase: Stage 1 (ending on lap 60), Stage 2 (ending on lap 185), Final Stage (ending on lap 312)
NASCAR Cup Series Starting Lineup
|12||Martin Truex Jr.||19|
|29||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47|