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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Phoenix Raceway Championship Weekend

NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: NASCAR Cup Series Championship
The Place: Phoenix Raceway
The Date: Sunday, November 6
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
The Purse: $10,542,284
TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 312 miles (312 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 185), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 312)

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship
The Place: Phoenix Raceway
The Date: Saturday, November 5
The Time: 6 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,645,625
TV: USA, 5:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Lucas Oil 150
The Place: Phoenix Raceway
The Date: Friday, November 4
The Time: 10 p.m. ET
The Purse: $817,025
TV: FS1, 9 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 150 miles (150 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 150)

NASCAR Cup Series

All eyes on Phoenix Raceway for Championship Weekend

The anticipation and intensity that has been building over the last 35 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season will culminate this Sunday (Nov. 6) in the Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Four drivers have earned their way into the series’ Championship 4 Round. Two are former Cup champions – Joey Logano (2018) and Chase Elliott (2020) – and the other two – Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain – are hoping to etch their name on the NASCAR Cup Series champions list for the first time.

It was announced in March of 2019 that the NASCAR Cup Series would be moving its Playoffs’ Championship Race from Homestead-Miami Speedway, where it had resided since the inception of the Playoffs in 2004, to Phoenix Raceway for the first time in 2020. Prior to the 2020 season, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs season finale for 16 seasons (from 2004-2019). Phoenix Raceway is just the second track to host the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race in the Playoffs.

2022 marks just the third year the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race will be held at Phoenix Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona (2020-2021). Since the inception of the Playoffs in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2004, Phoenix Raceway has occupied three different positions on the postseason schedule. In 2004, Phoenix Raceway hosted the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – the event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. Then from 2005 – 2019 (15 seasons), Phoenix Raceway has hosted the penultimate race (ninth) in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

A total of 11 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Phoenix Raceway. Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff race wins at Phoenix Raceway with four victories (2006, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Since hosting the series’ Championship Race, the winner of the race has also won the NASCAR Cup Series title – Chase Elliott won at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 8, 2020 and Kyle Larson won at Phoenix on Nov. 7, 2021.

NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway Playoff Race Winners
Track Playoff Race Winners Date Race No.
Phoenix Dale Earnhardt Jr Sunday, November 7, 2004 34
Phoenix Kyle Busch Sunday, November 13, 2005 35
Phoenix Kevin Harvick Sunday, November 12, 2006 35
Phoenix Jimmie Johnson Sunday, November 11, 2007 35
Phoenix Jimmie Johnson Sunday, November 9, 2008 35
Phoenix Jimmie Johnson Sunday, November 15, 2009 35
Phoenix Carl Edwards Sunday, November 14, 2010 35
Phoenix Kasey Kahne Sunday, November 13, 2011 35
Phoenix Kevin Harvick Sunday, November 11, 2012 35
Phoenix Kevin Harvick Sunday, November 10, 2013 35
Phoenix Kevin Harvick Sunday, November 9, 2014 35
Phoenix Dale Earnhardt Jr Sunday, November 15, 2015 35
Phoenix Joey Logano Sunday, November 13, 2016 35
Phoenix Matt Kenseth Sunday, November 12, 2017 35
Phoenix Kyle Busch Sunday, November 11, 2018 35
Phoenix Denny Hamlin Sunday, November 10, 2019 35
Phoenix Chase Elliott Sunday, November 8, 2020 36
Phoenix Kyle Larson Sunday, November 7, 2021 36

Four non-Playoff drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway:

  • In 2005, Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was ranked 19th in the point standings at the time of the win.
  • In 2011, Kasey Kahne won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was ranked 14th in the point standings at the time of the win.
  • In 2015, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was seventh in the point standings at the time of the win. Earnhardt Jr. had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.
  • In 2017, Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway, then the ninth race on the postseason schedule, and was seventh in points at the time of the win. Kenseth had made the Playoffs in 2017 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Phoenix Raceway by a driver that went on to win the title that same season was 38th by Jimmie Johnson in 2016. Phoenix occupied the penultimate event of the season in 2016.

In total, Phoenix Raceway has hosted 52 NASCAR Cup Series races producing 26 different pole winners and 28 different race winners. The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway was held on November 6, 1988 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Alan Kulwicki.

Ryan Newman (2002, 2003, 2004, 2008) and Kyle Busch (2006, 2012, 2016, 2019) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Phoenix Raceway with four each. Of the 26 NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway pole winners, 10 are active this weekend.

Active Phoenix Pole Winners Poles Seasons
Kyle Busch 4 2006, 2012, 2016, 2019
Ryan Blaney 3 2017, 2019, 2022
Kevin Harvick 2 2015, 2018
Martin Truex Jr 2 2009, 2018
Denny Hamlin 2 2005, 2014
Kyle Larson 1 2021
Chase Elliott 1 2020
Joey Logano 1 2017
Alex Bowman 1 2016
Brad Keselowski 1 2014

A total of 28 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Phoenix Raceway, and 13 of the 28 have won multiple times at 1-mile track. Eight of the 28 NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway winners are active this weekend, and two of the eight are Championship 4 contenders – Joey Logano and Chase Elliott. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Phoenix Raceway with nine victories.

Active Phoenix Race Winners Wins Seasons
Kevin Harvick 9 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014 sweep, 2013, 2012, 2007 sweep
Kyle Busch 3 2019, 2018, 2005
Joey Logano 2 2020, 2016
Denny Hamlin 2 2019, 2012
Chase Briscoe 1 2022
Kyle Larson 1 2021
Martin Truex Jr 1 2021
Chase Elliott 1 2020

All the NASCAR Cup Series on-track activity will start with practice on Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET, and the Busch Light Pole Qualifying will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. ET and both can be viewed on the USA Network.

A deep dive into the NASCAR Cup Series season finale

When it comes time to win or go home, there is no bigger stage in NASCAR than the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Championship Race. Below is a look at the performances in the season finale during the Playoff Era (2004-2021).

A total of 13 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race during the Playoff Era (2004-2021). Greg Biffle leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Championship Race wins with three victories (2004, 2005, 2006 – all at Homestead-Miami Speedway). Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) lead all active drivers in NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race wins with two each.

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race Winners
Track Playoff Race Winners Date
Homestead Greg Biffle Sunday, November 21, 2004
Homestead Greg Biffle Sunday, November 20, 2005
Homestead Greg Biffle Sunday, November 19, 2006
Homestead Matt Kenseth Sunday, November 18, 2007
Homestead Carl Edwards Sunday, November 16, 2008
Homestead Denny Hamlin Sunday, November 22, 2009
Homestead Carl Edwards Sunday, November 21, 2010
Homestead Tony Stewart Sunday, November 20, 2011
Homestead Jeff Gordon Sunday, November 18, 2012
Homestead Denny Hamlin Sunday, November 17, 2013
Homestead Kevin Harvick Sunday, November 16, 2014
Homestead Kyle Busch Sunday, November 22, 2015
Homestead Jimmie Johnson Sunday, November 20, 2016
Homestead Martin Truex Jr Sunday, November 19, 2017
Homestead Joey Logano Sunday, November 18, 2018
Homestead Kyle Busch Sunday, November 17, 2019
Phoenix Chase Elliott Sunday, November 8, 2020
Phoenix Kyle Larson Sunday, November 7, 2021

Since the inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2004, the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series season finale race has won the championship nine times, including the last eight consecutive: 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the 15th starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and as a result secured his third-career NASCAR Cup Series championship in the closest points battle in series history – tied with Carl Edwards – Stewart won the title by virtue of the tiebreaker: most wins.
  • In 2014, Kevin Harvick won from the fifth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the first year of the elimination-style format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, as a result he won his first series title.
  • In 2015, Kyle Busch won from the third starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the second year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, as a result he won his first series championship.
  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the 14th starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the third year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he tied NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the series-most championships with seven each.
  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won from the second starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fourth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.
  • In 2018, Joey Logano won from the fifth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fifth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.
  • In 2019, Kyle Busch won from the fourth starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the sixth year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he became just the second active driver at the time with multiple titles (20115, 2019) joining seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson.
  • In 2020, Chase Elliott won from the first starting position at Phoenix Raceway in the seventh year of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship. Worth noting, Elliott was served a pre-race penalty and as a result of serving the penalty he actually started the race from back of the field and still won.
  • In 2021, Kyle Larson won from the pole position at Phoenix Raceway in the eighth year of the elimination-style format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, and as a result he won his first series championship.

The worst finish in a championship race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway was 15th (three times): Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.

Two non-Playoff drivers have won the Homestead-Miami Speedway season finale Playoff race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).

By The Numbers: Phoenix Raceway & the Season Finale

0.10 – Since the advent of electronic scoring (1993), the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix Raceway is the Spring race of 2016 (March 13, 2016) when Kevin Harvick beat Carl Edwards to the line by 0.010 seconds – which is tied with Atlanta (3/12/2000), Daytona (2/21/2016), and Rockingham (2/22/2004) for the ninth closest finish in series history.

2 – Number of NASCAR Cup Series championship races Phoenix Raceway has hosted (2020, 2021).

2 – Number of 2022 Championship 4 drivers with a former win at Phoenix Raceway – Joey Logano and Chase Elliott.

4 – The fewest laps led by the race winner in a single NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway was four of the scheduled 378 laps (1.05%) by Ryan Newman on April 10, 2010 – he started from the 14th position.

4 – In total four different manufacturers have won at Phoenix Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series, led by Chevrolet with 25 victories and followed by Ford (18), Toyota (7) and Pontiac (2).

4 – Number of drivers that qualified for 2022 Championship 4 Round – Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott. This is Chastain and Bell’s first appearance in the Championship 4 Round.

7 – Number of former NASCAR Cup Series champions entered in this year’s season finale race at Phoenix:

Active NASCAR Cup Series Drivers with Championships (1949 – 2021)
Rank No. of Titles Active Champions (7) Years
1 2 Kyle Busch 2019, 2015
2 1 Kyle Larson 2021
1 Chase Elliott 2020
1 Joey Logano 2018
1 Martin Truex Jr. 2017
1 Kevin Harvick 2014
1 Brad Keselowski 2012

7 – Number of wins from the pole or first starting position at Phoenix Raceway – most recent was Kyle Larson’s win in the Championship Race last season.

8 – Number of former NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix race winners entered in this weekend’s season finale.

9 – Number of times the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series championship season finale race has won the title during the Playoff Era (2004-Present); including the last eight consecutive seasons in the elimination-style format of the Playoffs – Tony Stewart, 2011; Kevin Harvick, 2014; Kyle Busch, 2015; Jimmie Johnson, 2016; Martin Truex Jr., 2017; Joey Logano, 2018; Kyle Busch, 2019; Chase Elliott, 2020 and Kyle Larson, 2021 – Note: All the wins listed were at Homestead-Miami Speedway except for Elliott’s in 2020 and Larson’s in 2021 which were at Phoenix Raceway.

9 – The degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2 of Phoenix Raceway.

9 – Nine of the 52 NASCAR Cup Series races at Phoenix Raceway have ended with in Overtime (18%):

Date Scheduled Actual Overtime Winner Runner-Up
Sunday, March 8, 2020 312 316 4 Joey Logano Kevin Harvick
Sunday, March 19, 2017 312 314 2 Ryan Newman Kyle Larson
Sunday, November 13, 2016 312 324 12 Joey Logano Kyle Busch
Sunday, March 13, 2016 312 313 1 Kevin Harvick Carl Edwards
Sunday, March 3, 2013 312 316 4 Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson
Sunday, November 11, 2012 312 319 7 Kevin Harvick Denny Hamlin
Saturday, April 10, 2010 375 378 3 Ryan Newman Jeff Gordon
Sunday, November 9, 2008 312 313 1 Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch
Sunday, November 7, 2004 312 315 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr Ryan Newman

11 – The degrees of banking in Turns 3 and 4 of Phoenix Raceway.

12 – The most cautions in a single NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway; has happened twice – most recently March 8, 2020.

13 – The number of different organizations in the NASCAR Cup Series that have won at Phoenix Raceway, led by Hendrick Motorsports with 12 victories among seven drivers.

15 – The worst finish by the eventual series champion in the season finale race (at Homestead-Miami Speedway) – it has happened three times: Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.

15 – The highest number of lap leaders in a single NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway (March 4, 2012). The Phoenix race earlier this season had six leaders.

18 – Total number of NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races held at Phoenix Raceway (2004-2020).

20 – The age of the youngest NASCAR Cup Series race winner at Phoenix Raceway: Kyle Busch (November 13, 2005 – 20 years, 6 months, 11 days).

26 – Number of different NASCAR Cup Series pole winners at Phoenix Raceway; led by Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick with four each.

28 – Number of different NASCAR Cup Series winners at Phoenix Raceway; led by Kevin Harvick with nine victories.

28 – The greatest number of lead changes in a single race at Phoenix Raceway (Feb. 27, 2011). Earlier this season the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix produced 14 lead changes.

29 – The lowest starting position by a race winner at Phoenix Raceway (Ricky Rudd, 1995).

39 – Most NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway starts by a driver – Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick have 39 starts each.

50 – The age of the oldest NASCAR Cup Series race winner at Phoenix Raceway: Mark Martin (April 18, 2009 – 50 years, 3 months, 9 days).

52 – Total number of NASCAR Cup Series races held at Phoenix Raceway.

95 – Number of different drivers that have led at least one lap in the NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix Raceway.

264 – The most laps led by the race winner in a single NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway was 264 of the scheduled 312 laps (84.6%) by Kevin Harvick on November 9, 2014 – he started from the third position.

312 – Number of laps scheduled for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway.

1,663 – The most laps led all-time by a driver (Kevin Harvick) in the NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix Raceway.

Season Finale Title-Clinching Performances

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will mark the conclusion of the 2022 season. Below is a look at how the last 12 NASCAR Cup Series season finales (2010-2021) have turned out:

2010 – Jimmie Johnson Tracks Down Denny Hamlin For Fifth Straight Title

Denny Hamlin held a comfortable 15-point lead on Jimmie Johnson for the championship heading into the season finale. However, Hamlin could not close out the title. Hamlin damaged his Toyota with an early-race spin and finished 14th as a result. Kevin Harvick, who was third in points entering the race, finished third. Johnson placed runner-up to take home his fifth consecutive championship.

2011 – Tony Stewart Wins Third Championship In Epic Race

Trailing leader Carl Edwards by three points entering the 2011 season finale, Tony Stewart virtually needed a win to capture the title – especially considering that Edwards ultimately finished runner-up in the race. Stewart drove to the front from the back of the field twice and edged out Edwards to get to Victory Lane. The pair finished the season tied in points, but Stewart held the tiebreaker over Edwards of most wins during the season (five to one). It was the first title for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

2012 – Brad Keselowski Fends Off Jimmie Johnson For First Championship

Brad Keselowski entered the 2012 season finale 20 points ahead of second-place Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings. Keselowski, who won two Playoff races to help put himself in championship-clinching position, didn’t produce his best performance with a 15th-place showing at Homestead-Miami. But problems in the pits for Johnson caused the five-time champion to finish 36th and helped Keselowski secure his first championship, as well as the first title for Team Penske.

2013 – Jimmie Johnson Closes In On Earnhardt And Petty With Sixth Title

After building up his points lead on the strength of six wins, 16 top fives and 23 top 10s, Jimmie Johnson needed to finish 23rd to capture his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship. Following an incident on a restart just shy of the 200-lap mark, Johnson ended up 23rd when it all sorted itself out. By the end of the race, he worked his way up to finish ninth, earning Hendrick Motorsports a record 11th championship.

2014 – Harvick Rides To Two ‘Do Or Die’ Victories To Earn First Series Title

Kevin Harvick started the penultimate race of the 2014 season needing a win to get into the Championship 4 race at Phoenix. He dominated the contest, leading 264 laps to earn the victory and a spot in the Championship 4. After playing mind games throughout Homestead week with the rest of the field, Harvick held off runner-up Ryan Newman to earn his first career NASCAR Cup Series title and the second for Stewart-Haas Racing.

2015 – Kyle Busch Overcomes Injury For Improbable Comeback

Just ninth months after breaking his right leg and fracturing his left foot, Kyle Busch edged out defending champion Kevin Harvick for the Homestead race win and his first NASCAR Cup Series championship. Busch missed the first 11 races of the season after sustaining his injuries in a crash in the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona. He came back to win five races in the NASCAR Cup Series that year and cement his name in NASCAR history.

2016 – Johnson Ties Series Record With Seventh Championship

Jimmie Johnson proved once again to not count him out in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He won his way into the Round of 8 with a victory at Charlotte, then took the checkered flag at Martinsville to punch his ticket to Homestead. He provided a walk-off win at Homestead to capture his seventh championship, tying NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for the NASCAR Cup Series record.

2017 – Martin Truex Jr. Earns First Championship

Driving for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, Truex turned a career-best season into a championship for the ages. His victory in the Homestead finale was a personal best eighth on the year. He led the final 34 laps and held off a hard charging Kyle Busch by .681-seconds to earn the trophy hoist. It was an emotional victory with team owner, Barney Visser recovering from a recent heart attack back in Denver and Truex’s longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex trackside after a year of major medical obstacles.

2018 – Joey Logano Wins First Championship

After qualifying for the Championship 4 in the Round of 8 opening race at Martinsville Speedway, the 28-year-old Logano headed to Homestead-Miami largely considered the “underdog” to 2018’s “Big 3” – Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick. The threesome (Busch, 9, Harvick, 8 and Truex, 4) won 21 of the first 35 races in 2018. However, the Team Penske driver grabbed his opportunity and took it to the Big 3, winning the season finale by a sizable 1.7-seconds over Truex, Harvick and Busch and taking his career first NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy – Team Penske’s second.

2019 – Kyle Busch grabs second title, fifth for JGR

After putting up four wins early in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Busch went winless for 21 races. He pointed his way into the Championship 4 but when his back was against the wall he answered and won the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway passing Kevin Harvick in the closing laps and the holding off his hard charging Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. by 4.578-seconds to win his second championship. With the feat, Busch became just the second active multiple champion joining Jimmie Johnson (seven titles). The title was also the fifth for Joe Gibbs Racing – Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005) and Kyle Busch (2015 and 2019).

2020 – Chase Elliott comes from the rear to win first title at Phoenix

After putting up just two wins during the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, Chase Elliott stepped up his game in the Playoffs winning at the Charlotte Road Course to advance to the Round of 8 and then winning the penultimate race at Martinsville Speedway to earn his spot in the Championship 4 Round. Elliott and the No. 9 team would head to Phoenix for the season finale only to lose their first starting position to multiple pre-race inspection failures. But the setback didn’t hold Elliott down, instead it made even more hungry for the title. He methodically worked his way through the field taking the lead for the first time in the event on Lap 79 of 312. Elliott would go on to hold off a hard charging Brad Keselowski to win the race by 2.740-seconds. With the feat, Elliott became seventh active champion. The title was also a series leading 13th for Hendrick Motorsports.

2021 – Kyle Larson dominates Phoenix to win first Cup championship

Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson was dominant all season long putting up five wins and winning the Regular Season Championship. The California native entered the 2021 Playoffs as the No. 1 seed with 52 Playoffs points. Larson would then proceed to tie Tony Stewart’s Playoff record for the most wins in single NASCAR Cup Series postseason run with five victories, including the season finale race at Phoenix Raceway. Larson showed up to the Valley of the Sun as the odds favorite and he didn’t disappoint. Larson won the pole and then led a race-high 107 laps en route to the win and his first NASCAR Cup Series title. With the feat, Larson became eighth active champion at the time (prior to Kurt Busch stepping away from fulltime racing this season). The title was also a series leading 14th for Hendrick Motorsports.

2022 Champ 4 Contenders Thoughts Following Martinsville

Below are quotes from the four drivers and the team owners that have qualified for this season’s Championship 4 Round at Phoenix Raceway this weekend.

Joey Logano. …on his chances this weekend at Phoenix:

“Yeah, I feel great about our chances,” said Logano. “Honestly, I don’t really care who else is in. It’s about the No. 22 team winning a second title. That’s what it’s about. We just got to do our job and stay focused on us. Like I said, today we did what we needed to do to be prepared. We’ve had three weeks to think about our race car and how we want to play the race out, how we want to run practice. We’ve had the opportunity to really, really dive deep into Phoenix, so we’ll take that to our advantage and move on.”

Walter Czarnecki. … on winning the INDYCAR and NASCAR Cup Series title in same season:

Yeah, thank you, that’s a great question,” said Czarnecki. “I was actually looking at some statistics earlier in the week, and since 1967, we have been multiple champions in seven years, seven seasons, and in three of those seasons, we won three championships. So, it was either an INDYCAR championship, NASCAR Xfinity owners’ championship, Australian Supercars championship, NASCAR Cup Series, but never, to your point, INDYCAR and Cup. It really would be something that — it would be one of our goals to do it, particularly this year, so you’re absolutely right.”

“We’ve been blessed with good teams all those year, been able to accomplish a lot, but still a little bit more to do, and as I said, this will be one of our goals, to win the Cup and win the INDYCAR in the same year.”

Christopher Bell. … on his mindset heading into Phoenix:

“Yeah, I mean, this next week (at Phoenix) is easy,” said Bell. “We don’t have to focus on stage points or where we’re at compared to everyone else. It’s just one race. Like Adam (Stevens) said, whoever brings the best car and executes the best is going to win the race and the championship. Whatever happens, happens, and I’m very proud to be in this position. The sport is all about people. Fortunately for me I ended up with the best people around me.”

Joe Gibbs. …  on his outlook heading into this weekend at Phoenix:

“I think he’s (Christopher Bell) got one out of four chances to win that (laughing),” said Gibbs. “I think that’s probably what everybody is going to say. It is extremely tough. When you get to this point and you think about who’s sitting there, who he’s going to have to race against, those three other competitors from great organizations, I think it’s going to be extremely hard.”

“I think the way our Playoffs are designed, it does bring a lot of excitement to it, every three races, dropping out four cars. Now we’re down to just four. I think our fans love this format and the way it’s designed. It brings a lot of pressure into the situation, and I think we love — everybody loves to — one of the things we love with sports and one of the things we love about pro sports, it’s so hard. It’s the greatest reality show in the world. We don’t know. We’re going to go to Phoenix, and there’s going to be four great organizations, drivers competing with their crew chiefs and their teams and their pit crews. I think it’s going to be just a great weekend for us.”

Ross Chastain. … on his path to this point in his career:

“I needed time,” said Chastain. “Those team owners through Trucks, Xfinity and Cup that gave me the time, I owe so much to. That’s through the middle part of what I call my career here in NASCAR.”

“If you just go back two years, the fall Southern 500 at Darlington, I went there with Spire Motorsports. They bought sticker tires for the whole weekend. We had a podcast sponsoring us through T-shirts that we sold that didn’t even have my name on it. I got to go race the fall Darlington race in a Cup car to keep building my notebook. We won our race. We beat the car we wanted to beat that day. That was two years ago. We came back this year and we had chances to win both Darlington races last fall. In the 42 we had chances to win the Southern 500.”

“If you go back two calendar years, I was the guy five laps down, seven laps down, something like that. Those were good nights. Those were wins in our book. Those moments, those nights, and those races, those laps, are a big reason why I feel like I’m able to do what I can do now.”

Justin Marks. … on the organization after making the Championship 4 for the first time:

“Yeah, it’s just kind of — I want to say it’s business as usual,” said Marks. “Obviously, this is the pinnacle of the sport, and this is what everybody dreams of, the opportunity that everybody dreams of having.”

“What does it mean to be here? It’s incredibly humbling,” said Marks. “To be in this spot right now, I can’t help but be very reflective of my journey as a race fan and then as a driver and then as an owner. It’s very, very surreal and humbling to be in this spot, especially for Trackhouse to be competing with true legends of the sport this weekend in Phoenix chasing glory.”

“At the end of the day, I think the overwhelming emotion that I have is just how proud I am of everybody at this company, how much everybody is committed to this vision, believed that this was possible, and have worked every hour of every day since this place turned into Trackhouse Racing with the belief in that vision and chasing it.”

Chase Elliott. … on making the Championship 4 Round this season:

“Yeah, super mixed emotions,” said Elliott. “We made the drivers side and didn’t make the owners side. Just would have loved to have gotten the boss two cars in there. So certainly, excited from the driver standpoint, but would have loved to have gotten both those boxes checked. Unfortunately, didn’t.”

“But, yeah, looking forward to getting home and working through what we need to work through to get ready for Phoenix. Certainly, we’ll be ready to go the best we know how next Sunday.”

Rick Hendrick. … on the Next Gen car and the parity in the sport in 2022:

“Yeah, absolutely. The car has made it super competitive on any given day, anybody can win,” said Hendrick. “You’ve seen all these different winners this year. Nobody has really just dominated the sport. The parity is really unreal.”

“I think NASCAR got what they wanted. We’re all trying to figure it out a little bit better each and every week. But boy, you just look at the lead changes and how many people are up there running up front, and you always expect to see coach up there and Roger, and Trackhouse has done an unbelievable job.”

“And you look at other teams like Petty and I think Brad and his team, they’re going to be contenders next year.

So, I think it’s leveled the playing field, and it’s good for the sport. I think the fans love it.”

Chances a spoiler steals the show this weekend at Phoenix

Since the introduction of the “win and you’re in” elimination-style Playoff format, the eventual champion has won the season finale race (at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Phoenix Raceway) each of the eight previous years (Kevin Harvick, 2014; Kyle Busch, 2015; Jimmie Johnson, 2016; Martin Truex Jr., 2017; Joey Logano, 2018; Kyle Busch, 2019; Chase Elliott, 2020; Kyle Larson, 2021). Still, with Phoenix Raceway hosting the championship event, there is still a chance a driver out of championship contention can win the race.

The name that rises to the top of the list of possible spoilers this weekend, is NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix Raceway wins leader, Kevin Harvick, who has spent a career mastering the 1-mile raceway putting up nine series victories, including four Playoff wins. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver, Harvick, failed to make the Championship 4 this season, so, the Californian would like nothing more than to steal a win this weekend.

Expect Harvick to run well this weekend, as Phoenix Raceway is his best track. Harvick leads the series in wins (nine), top fives (18), top 10s (28) laps completed (12,154), laps led (1,663) and average finish (8.7) at the one-mile facility.

Another driver to watch this weekend, would be Kevin Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Chase Briscoe, who won at Phoenix Raceway earlier this season. The victory was Briscoe’s lone win this season, but the Indiana native put on quite the show to grab the win. He started from the sixth position and led second-most laps of the race at 101. Briscoe took the lead from Ryan Blaney with 24 laps to go, but a late caution nearly cost him the win as he had to hold off the field for one final restart to get the victory.

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update – Team Penske’s Austin Cindric has mathematically clinched the 2022 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors but will not be officially awarded until he finishes the season in good standing, per the program guidelines and eligibility. Cindric is currently 304 points ahead of Anthony Alfredo in second.

NCS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings
Sunoco Rookies Points Awards
Austin Cindric 2,198 22
Harrison Burton 555 9
Todd Gilliland 523 4

Cindric’s rookie campaign kicked off by winning the prestigious DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway, and the following week at Auto Club Speedway he finished 12th and became ethe first rookie in series history to hold the points lead for more than one race. On top of all that he earned a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and advanced to the Round of 12. In 35 starts, Cindric collected one win, five top fives and nine top 10s. His average starting position in 2022 is 12.6 and his average finish is 16.4. He has led 86 laps and has won 22 Sunoco Rookie of the Race Awards.

Cup Manufacturers Championship – Chevrolet has clinched the NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturers Championship this season. The manufacturer mathematically clinched the title following the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Chevrolet currently has 19 wins on the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Nine different manufacturers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturers Championship. This is Chevrolet’s series leading 41st NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturers Championship,

NCS Manufacturer Champions
OEM No. of Manufacturers Championships Most Recent
Chevrolet 41 2021
Ford 17 2020
Toyota 3 2019
Hudson 3 1954
Buick 2 1982
Dodge 2 1975
Oldsmobile 1 1955
Plymouth 1 1971
Pontiac 1 1962

NASCAR Xfinity Series

The Stage Is Set: NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 are locked in

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here – Championship Weekend. The NASCAR Xfinity Series wrapped up the Round of 8 last weekend at Martinsville Speedway and will now be heading to Phoenix Raceway to determine this year’s Xfinity Series champion. Four drivers – Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier – will vie for the NASCAR Xfinity Series title in the Championship Race on Saturday. November 5 at 6 p.m. ET on the USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). All four drivers are looking for their first NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

In total, there have been 41 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Phoenix Raceway, producing 22 different race winners and 21 different pole winners. William Byron became the track’s youngest winner when he snagged the checkered flag in November of 2017 at 19 years, 10 months and 13 days old. Greg Biffle sits as the track’s oldest winner when he made the trip to Victory Lane in 2009 at 39 years, three months and 25 days old.

Kyle Busch has etched his name in the track’s record books, holding the record for most poles (10), wins (11), top 10s (20), lead lap finishes (23), and laps led (2,234). He also is tied for most top fives with Kevin Harvick at 17 each and holds the qualifying record at 138.504 mph.

This season marks the third time that Phoenix Raceway will host the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race (2020-2022). From 2016 to 2019, the Playoffs’ season finale was held at Homestead-Miami Speedway before it was moved to Phoenix in 2020. Since the inception of the Playoffs in 2016 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, five of the six winners of the Championship Race have also claimed the championship that season – Daniel Suarez (2016), Tyler Reddick (2018, 2019), Austin Cindric (2020) and Daniel Hemric (2021).

Track Championship Race Winners Date Race No.
Homestead Daniel Suarez Saturday, November 19, 2016 33
Homestead Cole Custer Saturday, November 18, 2017 33
Homestead Tyler Reddick Saturday, November 17, 2018 33
Homestead Tyler Reddick Saturday, November 16, 2019 33
Phoenix Austin Cindric Saturday, November 7, 2020 33
Phoenix Daniel Hemric Saturday, November 6, 2021 33

Drivers will hit the track for their last practice of the season at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 4 on the USA Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App. Qualifying will be the next day on Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. ET only on the NBC Sports App.

Meet the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 contenders

The field is set and the four drivers competing for the 2022 title at Phoenix Raceway this weekend are JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson, Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs.

Let’s take a closer look into these drivers’ careers and what brought them to the Championship 4 Round this season.

Noah Gragson (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Gragson has had a stand-out season, posting eight wins (Phoenix, Talladega, Pocono, Darlington, Kansas, Bristol, Texas, Homestead), 20 top fives and 25 top 10s in his 32 starts. He’s led a total of 975 laps and has maintained an average start of 7.0 and an average finish of 8.3. In addition, Gragson has posted solid season-to-date loop statistics, including a driver rating of 114.0 (series best) an average running position of 7.253 (series best) and a total of 492 fastest laps run (second-best).

Playoff Recap: Gragson has had a strong Playoff run this season, having finished inside the top-10 in all six Playoff races. He kicked off the Round of 12 with a win at Texas, followed by a 10th-place finish at Talladega and a third-place finish on the Charlotte Road Course. In the Round of 8, he had a runner-up finish at Las Vegas, followed by a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round and then a fourth-place finish at Martinsville last weekend.

The 2022 season marks his fourth Xfinity Playoff appearance (2019-2022). This will be the second time he has competed in the Championship 4 Round (2021,2022). His first stint was last season where he finished the race in the 12th position, putting him in third in the 2021 final championship standings.

Phoenix Raceway Outlook: The driver of the No. 9 JRM Chevrolet is no stranger to Phoenix Raceway. In his seven starts, he’s posted one win (2022), two top fives and four top 10s.

Crew Chief Corner – Luke Lambert: Lambert is in his first full-time season with Gragson but had one full-time Xfinity Series season with Elliott Sadler in 2012 and has 10 years of Cup Series experience. In his 65 Xfinity Series starts, he’s led his teams to 12 wins, 35 top fives and 49 top 10s.

Ty Gibbs (No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

Gibbs came into his first full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a bang, posting six wins (Las Vegas, Atlanta, Richmond, Road America, Michigan, Martinsville), 15 top fives and 22 top 10s in his 32 starts. He’s led a total of 865 laps and has managed an average start of 5.6 and an average finish of 9.4. Gibbs has also put up great season-to-date stats, including a driver rating of 112.2 (second-best), an average running position of 8.351 (third-best) and a total of 532 fastest laps run (series best).

Playoff Recap: Gibbs has had a great run in his first-ever Xfinity Series Playoffs. He started with a third-place finish at Texas and a seventh-place finish at Talladega, followed by a runner-up finish at the Charlotte Road Course to close out the Round of 12. To kick off the Round of 8, he finished fourth at Las Vegas, runner-up at Homestead and made the trip to Victory Lane in the last race of the Round of 8 at Martinsville to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round.

Phoenix Raceway Outlook: The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has only two starts at the one-mile Phoenix track. He posted a runner-up finish last season in his Xfinity Series Phoenix Raceway debut and finished sixth earlier this season.

Crew Chief Corner – Chris Gayle: Although this is Gibbs and Gayle’s first full-time season together, they know each other on the track quite well. Last season when Gibbs ran a part-time schedule, Gayle was called to be his crew chief.

Gayle has both Cup and Xfinity Series experience. He spent five years in the Cup Series, four of those seasons with Erik Jones (2017-2020). In the Xfinity Series, he’s had 197 starts over the span of six years posting 36 wins, 83 top fives and 132 top 10s.

Josh Berry (No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Berry has had an impressive season with his three wins (Dover, Charlotte, Las Vegas) 11 top fives and 20 top 10s in his 32 starts. He’s led a total of 356 laps and has managed an average start of 9.4 and an average finish of 10.7. He’s posted positive numbers in season-to-date loop data statistics, including a driver rating of 96.3 (fifth-best), an average running position of 10.671 (seventh-best) and a total of 285 fastest laps run (fourth-best).

Playoff Recap: Berry had a great start to the Playoffs, posting a sixth-place finish at Texas, a fifth-place finish at Talladega and an eighth-place finish on the Charlotte Road Course. He clinched his way into the Championship 4 with a win in the first race in the Round of 8 (Las Vegas), followed by an eleventh-place finish at Homestead and a 20th-place finish at Martinsville. The 2022 season marks his first Playoff appearance in the Xfinity Series.

Phoenix Raceway Outlook: The driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet only has two starts at Phoenix Raceway. Last season, he fell victim to a crash and finished 36th but redeemed himself earlier this season with a third-place finish when the Xfinity Series ran there in March.

Crew Chief Corner – Mike Bumgarner: Bumgarner is in his first full-time season with Berry and the No. 8 team. In his seven years and 129 starts in the Xfinity Series, he’s helped his teams to eight wins, 38 top fives and 72 top 10s.

He also has a few Cup Series races under his belt, having ran with Terry Labonte in 2004 and 2006 for select races.

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Allgaier could consider himself a Xfinity Series veteran, having competed in the Playoffs every year since its inception in 2016. He’s had a great season, racking up three wins (Darlington, Nashville, New Hampshire), 15 top fives and 22 top 10s in his 32 starts. He’s led a total of 737 laps this season and has managed an average start of 8.9 and an average finish of 10.8. In addition, his season-to-date loop data statistics look great, including a driver rating of 105.2 (fourth-best), an average running position of 8.656 (fourth-best) and a total of 434 fastest laps run (third-best).

Playoff Recap: Allgaier had a rough start in the Round of 12, posting a 29th-place finish in Texas, a 15th-place finish in Talladega and a fifth-place finish on the Charlotte Road Course to advance to the Round of 8. But things really turned around in the Round of 8 for Berry, when he posted a third-place finish in Las Vegas, a 10th-place finish at Homestead-Miami and a fifth-place finish in Martinsville, where he clinched his spot in the Championship 4 on points.

Allgaier is the only driver in the Xfinity Series to make an appearance in all seven Playoffs since 2016. He’s appeared in the Champ 4 a series leading five times.

Phoenix Raceway Outlook: The driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet has loads of experience on the one-mile Phoenix track. In his 24 starts, he’s posted two wins (2017, 2019), eight top fives and 16 top 10s, and he holds the record for most laps completed at 4,815.

Crew Chief – Jason Burdett:  Burdett has been with Allgaier for seven of the eight years he’s been a crew chief in the Xfinity Series. Together, they have 226 starts, 16 wins, 98 top fives and 156 top 10s.

Burdett had one stint in the Cup Series in 2007 with Dale Jarrett (14 races).

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update – The only rookie who made it in the 2022 Playoffs, Austin Hill continues to lead the Sunoco Xfinity Series rookie class with 2,245 points. Richard Childress Racing teammate Sheldon Creed slides in next with 713 points.

Kyle Sieg sits in third with 182 points and Jesse Iwuji takes the final rookie spot with 94 points.

Garrett Smithley to compete with BJ McLeod Motorsports in 2023 – Garrett Smithley will be running a full-time season with BJMM behind the wheel of the No. 78 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2023.

Smithley has been a full-time NASCAR driver since 2015. He’s made 200+ starts across NASCAR’s national series and has put up some great finishes, including a top-five finish in Daytona in 2018 and a top-10 finish at Talladega that same year.

“I’ve raced with Garrett (Smithley) for several years now, and respect his path, talent and passion,” said BJ McLeod. “I often tell people that he has “made it,” and most people do not understand what I mean by that. His story is truly one of hard work, passion and talent. The ability Garrett has shown behind the wheel for several years including racing around me is something that I wish more people had a front row seat like I have. Jessica (McLeod) and I are so honored to have Garrett represent and drive for us. The future is bright.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to name a champion in Phoenix

After a week to get their trucks ready for Championship Weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers are gearing up for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway on Friday, Nov. 4 at 10 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to decide who of the Championship 4 contenders – Ty Majeski, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes and Chandler Smith – will finish the highest this weekend and win the 2022 title.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted 31 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races producing 21 different race winners and just as many pole winners. Seven of the 31 series races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Chandler Smith in 2021.

Kevin Harvick holds the race record at 108.014 mph, a feat he accomplished in 2002, and also has the most wins under his belt (four). Ron Hornady Jr. has the most top fives (10) and top 10s (13) while three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton sits with the most lead lap finishes (18) and laps completed (3,097).

The 2022 season will mark the third time (2020-2022) that Phoenix Raceway has hosted the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Race (Lucas Oil 150). From 2016 to 2019, the Playoffs’ season finale was held at Homestead-Miami Speedway before it was moved to Phoenix in 2020. Since the inception of the Playoffs in 2016 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, two of the six winners of the Championship Race have also claimed the championship that season – Brett Moffitt (2018) and Sheldon Creed (2020).

Track Championship Race Winners Date Race No.
Homestead William Byron Friday, November 18, 2016 23
Homestead Chase Briscoe Friday, November 17, 2017 23
Homestead Brett Moffitt Friday, November 16, 2018 23
Homestead Austin Hill Friday, November 15, 2019 23
Phoenix Sheldon Creed Friday, November 6, 2020 23
Phoenix Chandler Smith Friday, November 5, 2021 22

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the Championship Weekend with practice at 8:05 p.m. on Thursday, Nov.3 (not televised). They will make their qualifying runs on Friday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. ET on FS1.

The Stage Is Set: Phoenix Raceway up next for the Championship 4 Round

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series concluded the Playoffs Round of 8 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 22 and locked in the four drivers that will compete to take home the title and be named the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion.

With another win by ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski at Homestead-Miami, the remaining spots were filled on points. The three drivers joining Majeski at Phoenix Raceway will be Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith, Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chandler Smith and ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes.

All four drivers have given the one-mile Arizona track a go at least once so let’s dive into how these four drivers have done in their Camping World Truck Series careers to get them to this point.

Ty Majeski (No. 66 ThorSport Racing Toyota) 

Ty Majeski heads to Phoenix Raceway this week to make his first career appearance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Championship 4 Round. Majeski is looking to become the third different driver to win a Camping World Truck Series title for ThorSport Racing joining Matt Crafton’s three (2013, 2014, 2019) and Ben Rhodes’ one (2021). Below are Majeski’s stats heading into Phoenix this weekend.

2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season Stats:

  • Two wins (Bristol, Homestead)
  • 10 top fives, 15 top 10s, three poles
  • 306 laps led
  • Average start – 7.8
  • Average finish – 9.6

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Career (2019 – Present):

  • 42 starts, two wins, 10 top fives, 20 top 10s
  • 306 laps led
  • Average start – 11.4
  • Average finish – 13.4

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Stats (2022):

  • Two Playoff wins (Bristol and Homestead-Miami)
  • Six starts, three top fives and five top 10s

Phoenix Raceway Stats:

  • One start, 11th-place finish

Crew Chief Joe Shear Jr.:

Joe Shear Jr. has crew chief experience dating back to 1995 and has made a mark in all three NASCAR national series. He first began as a crew chief in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1998, and since has made 330 total series starts winning the 2016 championship with driver Johnny Sauter. Plus, over the last 18 years in those 330 starts, he has posted 26 wins, 108 top fives, 174 top 10s and 14 poles.

This is his first full time season with Majeski, but he did have a one-off race with him during the 2021 season as well. The duo have combined to put up two wins, 10 top fives and 15 top 10s in 23 series starts.

Zane Smith (No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford)

Zane Smith heads to Phoenix Raceway this weekend hoping the third-time is ‘the charm’ as he will be competing in the Championship 4 Round for the third consecutive season, the previous two have resulted in runner-up finishes in the championship standings. Smith is hoping to deliver Front Row Motorsports its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title. Below are Smith’s stats heading into Phoenix this weekend.

2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season Stats:

  • Three wins (Daytona, COTA, Kansas)
  • 13 top fives, 18 top 10s
  • 415 laps led
  • Average start – 10.1
  • Average finish – 8.0

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Career (2018 – Present):

  • 68 starts, six wins, 24 top fives, 46 top 10s
  • 922 laps led
  • Average start – 8.7
  • Average finish – 10.4

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Stats (2020 – 2022):

  • One Playoff win (Martinsville, 2021)
  • 20 starts, nine top fives, 13 top 10s

Phoenix Raceway Stats:

  • Two starts, two top fives, two top 10s
  • 48 laps led
  • Average start – 7.5
  • Average finish – 3.5

Crew Chief Chris Lawson:

Chris Lawson has five years of experience in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and is in his first full-time season with driver Zane Smith and his third with No. 38 Front Row Motorsports team.

In his 81 career starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Lawson has led two drivers to wins (Todd Gilliland, COTA 2021 and Zane Smith, Daytona, COTA 2022, Kansas). His teams have also finished in the top-five 26 times and the top-10 45 times.

Ben Rhodes (No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota) 

Ben Rhodes, the defending series champion, will have his chance at becoming just the second driver in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history to win back-to-back championships; joining his other ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton (2013, 2014) this weekend at Phoenix. This is just the second-time he has qualified for the Championship 4 Round in the series. Below are Rhodes’ stats heading into Phoenix this weekend.

2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season Stats:

  • One win (Bristol Dirt)
  • Seven top fives, 12 top 10s
  • 263 laps led
  • Average start – 11.2
  • Average finish – 12.1

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Career (2014- Present):

  • 163 starts, six wins, 48 top fives, 88 top 10s, five poles
  • 1,098 laps led
  • Average start – 9.0
  • Average finish – 11.6

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Stats (2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022):

  • One Playoff win (Las Vegas, 2020)
  • 34 starts, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s, two poles

Phoenix Raceway Stats:

  • Seven starts, three top fives, four top 10s
  • 48 laps led
  • Average start – 5.1
  • Average finish – 9.3

Crew Chief Rich Lushes:

Rich Lushes got his first start as crew chief in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016 when he ran one race with driver Ryan Truex. Lushes then ran a full-time season with Myatt Snider in 2018 before joining Rhodes and the No. 99 ThorSport Racing team full-time in 2021. In the first full season together, Rhodes and Lushes won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title and are now looking to go back-to-back.

In his five years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as a crew chief, Lushes has made 70 starts posting three wins, 18 top fives and 36 top 10s.

Chandler Smith (No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota) 

Chandler Smith heads to Phoenix this weekend with a mountain of confidence because he won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale last season but was eliminated from the Playoffs in the Round of 8. This season, for the first-time in his Truck Series career he has a shot at the title. Below are Smith’s stats heading into Phoenix this weekend.

2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season Stats:

  • Three wins (Las Vegas, Pocono, Richmond)
  • Eight top fives, 15 top 10s
  • 440 laps led
  • Average start – 7.3
  • Average finish – 9.0

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Career (2019 – Present):

  • 60 starts, five wins, 22 top fives, 33 top 10s, one pole (2021)
  • 746 laps led
  • Average start – 8.9
  • Average finish – 12.8

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Stats (2021 – 2022):

  • Three Playoff wins (Bristol, Phoenix – 2021 & Richmond – 2022)
  • 13 starts, four top fives and eight top 10s

Phoenix Raceway Stats:

  • Three starts, one win (2021), three top fives, three top 10s
  • 40 laps led
  • Average start – 9.3
  • Average finish – 2.3

Crew Chief Danny Stockman Jr.:

Danny Stockman Jr. has made his way around NASCAR, having experience in all three national series. He first joined the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2010 leading driver Austin Dillon. The dup would win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2011. Stockman also led Dillon to a NASCAR Xfinity Series title in 2013. Stockman joined Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2020 collaborating with several drivers on the No. 51 team. Then he switched to No. 18 team in 2021 and has worked fulltime with Chandler Smith ever since.

In Stockman’s 115 Camping World Truck Series starts as a crew chief, he has posted 13 wins, 41 top fives, 66 top 10s and 14 poles.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year update – Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Corey Heim leads the rookie class with 459 points. Coming in second is Niece Motorsports’ Lawless Alan with 275 points followed by GMS Racing’s Jack Wood with 271 points. In fourth is Niece Motorsports’ Dean Thompson with 263 points and closing out the rookie class is Blaine Perkins from CR7 Motorsports with 191 points.

2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion Layne Riggs back in Trucks – The youngest NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion in series history, Layne Riggs, will be making his third start of the 2022 season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this weekend at Phoenix Raceway piloting the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota.

Layne Riggs is the son of former NASCAR Cup Series driver Scott Riggs. Layne Riggs has two previous Camping World Truck Series starts this season, both for Halmar Friesen Racing. In his series debut at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, he started 23rd and raced his way up to a seventh-place finish. Then in his second career start in the Trucks at Richmond, he started fourth and finished 19th.

Riggs will look to build on his first two starts in his series track debut at Phoenix this weekend.

— NASCAR —