From a NASCAR Fan’s View
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The Championship race is always a different kind of race compared to others in the NASCAR season. It is basically two races in one. Most of the time it turns out that the winner is usually the winner of the Championship and the final race of the season but, this is the year 2022 and it is the Next Gen car. From my view, that means just about anything can happen and probably will.
So, everyone is, or has been, talking about the move that Ross Chastain pulled off to put himself into the final four and I admit it was spectacular. I can’t even imagine how many things had to go right for that to happen the way it did and whether it was a once-in-a-thousand move that just happened to work or if it could even be duplicated on a regular basis. Honestly, there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong and Ross said it wasn’t something he would readily like to duplicate but he was happy it worked the way it did. He also recognized the results could have been much different if just one thing in the many that went right had gone differently. From my view, Denny Hamlin was the most surprised to see Chastain pass him for the coveted spot that put Ross in and Denny out of the final four.
I’m not so sure about the outcome for today’s race at Phoenix. The way this season has gone, there could be a totally unexpected winner for the actual race and a totally unbelievable finish for which of the four walk away with the Championship. Since there are actually two races in the one race, there could be some real drama play out before the final flag falls on this 2022 NASCAR season. We all know that the Championship is only between the four qualified for the final four. The one that finishes ahead of the other three will be declared the 2022 Champion. One of them doesn’t even have to win the race – although they likely will if things go as they usually do. There are a bunch of other drivers that can win the race but won’t be declared the Champ.
Although there are several reasons to think the Final Four drivers will be running up front for most, if not all, of the race, there are also a lot of other reasons to think they may not be up front when the days is done. Just to name a few drivers that might rank as spoilers, I would go so far as to bring up Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson and Chase Briscoe. All three of them are capable of winning and all three are capable of winning at Phoenix along with several others. (Did I mention Kevin Harvick, William Byron or Cole Custer? Well maybe I should…)
Considering how the three I mentioned first have been running and the fact that they were in the playoffs, it isn’t beyond the possibility of seeing one of them take the win. In particular, Kyle Larson is one of two that stand out to me as being likely to win if one of the four doesn’t take the win. The other one would be Tyler Reddick even though it is a hard choice between him and Chase Briscoe. All three of these guys are hard chargers and all three would like nothing better than to be spoilers in this event and close out the year with a win.
So… if you’ve been paying attention to all the talk and hype – and I’m sure you have – you’ve heard all the reasons why any one of the four finalists should win the Championship. You’ve also heard all the hype as to why one of the final four will win not only the race but the Championship. When it comes down to this fan’s opinion, well, I’m just not sure exactly what will happen by the time the final flag drops on this 2022 NASCAR Cup season. But, if things go as usual, the race and the Championship will be won by the same driver. If not, then things will likely be very intense until the last lap is run. Of course, for a few minutes the race winner will get his accolades and then all eyes will turn to the driver that has just won the Championship and the winner will fade into the background and be mentioned in passing for a short while. And then, it will be on to the 2023 NASCAR Cup season…
Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© November 6, 2022 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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