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No. 2 for 22: Joey Logano wins 2022 NASCAR Championship

Joey Logano capped off his fourth win of the season to capture the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix.

PHOENIX — In dominant fashion, Joey Logano fended off the three other championship contenders to further etch his name in the NASCAR record books by winning his second series title.

Logano ran in the top 5 all day as Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, and Christopher Bell could only run around the top 10.

The Penske Racing driver led for nearly half the race after starting on the pole. Ryan Blaney led for a portion of the race after taking the lead from his teammate but Logano grabbed it back later in the race to hold on for the championship. 

Chastain was the second-highest finisher of the championship drivers, finishing 3rd. Bell finished 10th and Elliott finished 28th, three laps down.

Uncommon to previous championship races, the four title contenders were spread out for much of the day.

Three of them were close on a restart on lap 200 when Elliott ran low heading into turn 1 in an effort to gain some spots but was turned by Chastain. Elliott, the regular season champion and winningest driver of the year, smashed the inside wall and was effectively done for the day.

From there on, Logano dominated the race to win his second title.

"It's all about championships. We worked so hard the last couple weeks to put ourselves in position," said Logano to the NBC Sports crew after the race. "I knew going into this thing we were going to win the championship."

Credit: AP
Joey Logano celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race and championship Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Logano won four races and scored 11 top 5s and 17 top 10s this season. His four wins came at Darlington, Gateway, Las Vegas, and now Phoenix. 

Credit: AP
Joey Logano during the NASCAR Series auto race Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

This is Logano's second title. He won his first championship in 2019.

Chastain was competing for his first title in just his first season with Trackhouse Racing. Chastain won his first two career races this season at COTA and Talladega. He pulled off an improbable move at Martinsville last week by riding the wall to gain just enough positions to keep himself in championship contention.

"Who had the 1 car being second in points on their bingo card February 1st? It's pretty wild," said Chastain to the NBC Sports crew after the race. "This is a continuation of a lot of people believing in me."

Chastain reflected on his contact with Elliott that cost the latter driver a shot at the title.

"It's not how I want to race him or those guys," said Chastain. "I had position on him and he tried to cover it late."

Elliott was perhaps the most dejected after losing the title. He won the most races on the season (5) and came into the year tied with Chastain for most top 10s (20). 

Credit: AP
Chase Elliott during the NASCAR Series auto race Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

"Hopefully we can come back stronger next year and give ourselves another chance," said Elliott to the NBC Sports crew after the race. "I actually thought today was going pretty good... that's the way it goes."

Bell was more somber after finishing third in the title race as he reflected on the death of Coy Gibbs, a Joe Gibbs Racing team executive.

"Whenever you get news like that it puts it in perspective that there's more to this outside of racing," said Bell to the NBC Sports crew after the race. "The best car won the championship... proud to be in this position."

Bell won three races in 2022 at Loudon, the Charlotte Roval, and Martinsville. The latter two came in must-win situations for Bell to continue competing for the title.

RELATED: Coy Gibbs, father of Ty Gibbs, son of Joe Gibbs dies at 49

Logano is just the 17th NASCAR driver to have multiple titles.

NASCAR now goes into the offseason for a few months. The next points race is the Daytona 500, scheduled for Feb. 19, 2023.

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