NASCAR championship race: Here’s what to know for Sunday’s finale




CNN

As the NASCAR Cup Series makes its final stop of the 2022 season at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, four drivers will compete for the title.

The format is simple: whoever takes the checkered flag first takes home the title.

Here’s what to know about Sunday’s season finale in the desert.

Although 36 drivers will start the race at 15:00, only four are eligible for the division title, after a heat eliminated them from the 16:

  • Ross Chastain took the sports world by storm last week with a sensational and unorthodox last-lap move that left the internet. fellow drivers scared. Accelerating through a hairpin corner at Virginia’s famed Martinsville Speedway, Chastain sped up the wall and passed enough cars to qualify for Sunday’s championship. He will start 25th in the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet and is vying for his first title.
  • Chase Elliott was the top finisher of this year’s regular season and will start 5th in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. A fan favorite from Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott is the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, a two-time Daytona 500 champion who won the series title in 1988. Chase is going to his second Cup tournament in 2020 after winning it all and was the only finalist to qualify for last year’s edition as well.
  • Joey Logano He entered the championship with a race win in Las Vegas and will start Sunday on the pole in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Seen as an underdog in the 2018 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he won the event and took the title. Another championship on Sunday would be the second of his career.
  • Christopher Bell He qualified for the championship by winning last week’s Martinsville race. A rookie in 2020, this would be Bell’s first title if the feat is accomplished on Sunday. He starts 17th in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Phoenix Raceway has been a fixture on the Cup circuit since the 1980s, but did not host a season finale until 2020.

The one-mile oval, with its distinctive dog shape that bends the rear extension, was revamped in 2018.

The start finish was moved from one of its straights to the start of one of its corners, giving drivers more opportunities to dive in and make a winning pass.

If Chastain or anyone else tries a last-lap move similar to Martinsville, expect a season ending unlike any other.

The race starts at 3:00pm and can be seen on NBC and streamed on Peacock. Coverage can also be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.