Recapping the 2022 NASCAR season

Austin Irving, Staff Reporter

The engines fired up and the stars of NASCAR were ready to roll at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 on February 20,  also known to many as “The Great American Race,” and the start of the 2022 NASCAR season.

After a long race with many crashes, rookie driver for Team Penske, Austin Cindric, in the No. 2 Discount Tires Ford Mustang, would go on to win his first career cup series race after winning the Xfinity series championship the year prior. Joining him as first year winners were   Chase Briscoe, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, and Tyler Reddick. 

This season would also see the struggles of many greats of the sport who have been dominant in the past, such as Stewart-Haas Racing Kevin Harvick and the pair of Joe Gibbs Racings Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

Veteran drivers like Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, and more would see some great success in the 2022 campaign winning multiple races, some in dominant fashion, and even some with bad starts, but then coming out of nowhere to win, such as earlier mentioned driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Toyota Christopher Bell. Bell won a total of three races which were at New Hampshire, Charlotte Roval, and Martinsville. This helped  him to advance to the Championship Four at Phoenix raceway

Bell’s win at New Hampshire was a very dominant performance and the only dominant performance out of his wins. His win at the Charlotte Roval was a do or die moment for him; it was either he wins and advances to the round of eight in the playoffs, or loses and goes home.

Bell did not have the best of starts, but with a lot of luck and talent he found himself upfront and taking the checkered flag. Almost the same thing would happen in Bell’s scenario at Martinsville, this time however it was a bigger prize: the opportunity to go race for a championship.

Bell’s clutch win was overshadowed by fellow Championship 4 drivers with a video game-type move of riding the wall full speed at Martinsville, moving from tenth to fifth within seconds, moving him on to the championship race.

And then there were four fighting for the championship. It was down to driver of the Team Penske No. 22 Ford Mustang Joey Logano, driver of the Joe Gibbs No. 20 Toyota Camry Christopher Bell, driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro Chase Elliott, and driver of the Trackhouse Motorsports No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro Ross Chastain.

The championship race would be dominated by Logano who started the race first, won both stages, and led the most laps.  Joey Logano would come out on top and score his second NASCAR cup series championship after a late charge, but there was failure from drivers Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell. Logano celebrated his second championship since 2018 with his son Hudson and that will wrap up the 2022 NASCAR cup series season.