AVONDALE, Ariz. – In dominating fashion, Joey Logano wins the season finale race at Phoenix Raceway and earns his second career NASCAR Cup Series championship.
“We did it,” Logano yelled. “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.”
It’s the first time that Team Penske wins the NTT IndyCar Series championship and the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same year with Will Power claiming the open-wheel title.
“I think we’ve tried it for 31 years, so it’s about time,” said team owner Roger Penske. “Joey did a great job. You’ve seen what he’s been able to do as he’s come on the team, and for us to have two championships in the same year, that’s what we’re here for. That’s the goal we have every year.
“I think we’ve been close, but we got it this year.”
Kyle Busch held the role as the only multi-champion at the Cup level with his titles in 2015 and 2019. That changed as Logano took the checkered flag for his first championship since 2018.
“I guess the greed in me feels like I should have four or five at the moment, so I guess the feeling is it’s about time,” Logano chuckled. “But that’s just how I am and how I work, I guess. This one is special for a lot of reasons, and one thing that I think probably stands out most to me is just the way Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) did it and we all did it together all the way through.”
Not only did Logano win his second championship but crew chief Paul Wolfe claimed his second title from the top of the box, his first since 2012 when he was crowned with Brad Keselowski. It was believed Wolfe would win many more throughout his career, but none expected it would take a decade to be atop again.
“When we finally got the checkered flag there, I just took a minute,” shared Wolfe. “It was a bit of relief and just a great feeling. I’m obviously not a super emotional guy, as many of you that have followed me over the last 10 years, but it does mean a lot to me. Might not show it as much as others, but it’s a pretty special day.”
For Logano, his second championship comes four years later. Now as a father of three, he finds new ways to celebrate. Similar to Kevin Harvick bringing his son Keelan into the car after his race wins and Denny Hamlin celebrating with his daughter Taylor, Logano reminisced on family memories that he will take with him. From his early career, Logano raced under the Joe Gibbs Racing tent early in his career, so the news of Coy Gibbs passing helped Logano savor the celebratory moments with his four-year old son, Hudson.
“Honestly, ever since Kevin (Harvick) took Keelan in Michigan for a ride in the car, I said, I want to do that,” Logano reflected. “Like I always wanted to do that just because, I don’t know, it’s cool.
“Hudson and I, like he’s my oldest and we have a connection there, and he’s four. The two-year-old, it’s a little harder to get there. As you get older, you get to a point where you see their interest and stuff, and how do you — every night before he goes to bed he wants to talk about race cars and he wants to talk about his go-kart in the backyard, and we have a connection of — shoot, we read car magazines. That’s his bedtime story. He wants to go through classic car magazines. So he’s into it. We kind of share — he’s just a little me. I see so much of me in him, it’s kind of funny.
“Like I said, I always dreamed of winning with him here because I always wanted to take him for a ride. We’d go for rides in hotrods all the time together, and it’s definitely not the first donuts we’ve done together. But the first time in a race car, well — on the racetrack. It’s the first time on a racetrack that we got to do donuts together. That’s just cool, to see him running up there, grabbing the checkered flag, that’s — it’s hard to explain.
“If you have kids, you understand the love that you have for them. It’s truly unconditional love. To see him smiling and celebrate the moment together, it’s truly the most awesome feeling.
“And the fact that we can talk about it, right. The first time I won it, he was like nine months old. He didn’t know which way was up, could barely hold his head up. Now to see him running up there and grabbing the flag and going for a ride with me, couldn’t have picked a better race to do that for the first time.”
And on the eve of Gibbs’ passing, Logano ensured that memory stays with him for the rest of his life.
“That just goes to prove that you’ve got to cherish every moment in life. You don’t know when the next one happens. You don’t know when your number is called. You just don’t. We always say God has a plan. I agree with that, but it doesn’t make it easier.”
Logano led 187 laps en route to the race win over Ryan Blaney’s runner-up position. Ross Chastain finished second in the championship with this third place effort ahead of spring Phoenix winner Chase Briscoe. Kevin Harvick’s fifth place finish sets a record of most consecutive top-10 results at a single track with 18. Christopher Bell ended tenth after potential engine issues midway through the event. Chase Elliott fell to 28th, two laps down after crashing on a restart from contact off of Chastain’s car.
The 2023 Cup season begins at the 1/4 mile arena race at the Los Angeles Coliseum for their first exhibition race on February 5, 2023.
Results from the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway
|wdt_ID||Pos||St||#||Driver||Sponsor / Owner||Car||Laps||Status||Led||Pts||PPts|
|1||1||1||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil (Roger Penske)||Ford||312||running||187||40||6|
|2||2||2||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards Dutch Boy (Roger Penske)||Ford||312||running||109||54||1|
|3||3||25||1||Ross Chastain||Worldwide Express/AdventHealth (Trackhouse Racing)||Chevrolet||312||running||0||34||0|
|4||4||3||14||Chase Briscoe||Mahindra Tractors (Stewart Haas Racing)||Ford||312||running||11||48||0|
|5||5||7||4||Kevin Harvick||Busch Light (Stewart Haas Racing)||Ford||312||running||0||41||0|
|6||6||8||24||William Byron||Axalta (Rick Hendrick)||Chevrolet||312||running||0||39||0|
|7||7||22||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Thank You Fans! (Joe Gibbs)||Toyota||312||running||0||30||0|
|8||8||21||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express (Joe Gibbs)||Toyota||312||running||0||29||0|
|9||9||4||5||Kyle Larson||HendrickCars.com (Rick Hendrick)||Chevrolet||312||running||0||38||0|
|10||10||17||20||Christopher Bell||DEWALT (Joe Gibbs)||Toyota||312||running||0||27||0|
|11||11||14||2||Austin Cindric||Discount Tire (Roger Penske)||Ford||312||running||0||28||0|
|12||12||16||16||A.J. Allmendinger||Celsius (Matthew Kaulig)||Chevrolet||312||running||1||0||0|
|13||13||15||3||Austin Dillon||Get Bioethanol (Richard Childress)||Chevrolet||312||running||0||24||0|
|14||14||30||43||Erik Jones||FOCUSfactor (Petty GMS Motorsports)||Chevrolet||312||running||0||23||0|
|15||15||12||19||Martin Truex, Jr.||Bass Pro Shops (Joe Gibbs)||Toyota||312||running||0||36||0|
|16||16||9||41||Cole Custer||HaasTooling.com (Stewart Haas Racing)||Ford||312||running||3||21||0|
|17||17||10||23||Daniel Hemric||Monster Energy (23XI Racing)||Toyota||312||running||0||0||0|
|18||18||27||7||Corey LaJoie||Schluter Systems (Spire Motorsports)||Chevrolet||312||running||0||19||0|
|19||19||6||21||Harrison Burton||Motorcraft Quick Lane (Wood Brothers)||Ford||312||running||0||18||0|
|20||20||13||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield (Stewart Haas Racing)||Ford||312||running||0||17||0|
|21||21||19||17||Chris Buescher||Fastenal (Jack Roush)||Ford||312||running||0||16||0|
|22||22||23||45||Bubba Wallace||McDonald's (23XI Racing)||Toyota||311||running||0||15||0|
|23||23||11||8||Tyler Reddick||Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen (Richard Childress)||Chevrolet||311||running||0||18||0|
|24||24||28||99||Daniel Suarez||Freeway Insurance / CommScope (Trackhouse Racing)||Chevrolet||311||running||0||13||0|
|25||25||20||34||Michael McDowell||Love's Travel Stops (Bob Jenkins)||Ford||311||running||0||12||0|
|26||26||32||42||Ty Dillon||Black Rifle Coffee Company (Petty GMS Motorsports)||Chevrolet||311||running||0||11||0|
|27||27||26||31||Justin Haley||LeafFilter Gutter Protection (Matthew Kaulig)||Chevrolet||311||running||0||10||0|
|28||28||5||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts (Rick Hendrick)||Chevrolet||310||running||0||9||0|
|29||29||31||38||Todd Gilliland||Boot Barn (Bob Jenkins)||Ford||309||running||0||8||0|
|30||30||34||51||Cody Ware||Nurtec ODT (Rimegepant) (Rick Ware)||Ford||308||running||0||7||0|
|31||31||33||78||B.J. McLeod||Pala Casino (B.J. McLeod)||Ford||307||running||0||0||0|
|32||32||29||47||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Fry's/ Nature Valley (JTG-Daugherty Racing)||Chevrolet||307||running||0||5||0|
|33||33||35||15||Garrett Smithley||Jacob Companies (Rick Ware)||Ford||304||running||0||0||0|
|34||34||24||48||Alex Bowman||Ally (Rick Hendrick)||Chevrolet||304||running||1||3||0|
|35||35||18||6||Brad Keselowski||Kohler Generators (Jack Roush)||Ford||270||electrical||0||2||0|
|36||36||36||77||Landon Cassill||Mutoh/General Formulations (Spire Motorsports)||Chevrolet||84||crash||0||0||0|