Joey Logano had all the right stuff this weekend. First, he served notice by qualifying P1 on Saturday, then proved to be the class of the series on Sunday. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford led 188 of 312 laps in rout to his second NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
The win also marked the third title for team owner Roger Penske.
“I knew going into this thing that we’re going to win the championship. I told the guys we were the favorite from Daytona, and we truly believed it, and that’s the difference,” Logano said. “I had a good team with a bunch of confidence, and we had all the reason in the world to be confident. I’ve never been truly this ready for a championship race, and yeah, we did it, man. I can’t believe it.”
Although he only needed to finish ahead of the other three championship contenders, his biggest threat and competition came from his Penske teammate, Ryan Blaney.
“Getting the bookends, the first and the last race, means a lot,” Logano said. “It’s just a really special year for us with our third baby, and 22 in ‘22, I told you so!”
Ty Gibbs owned the Xfinity race on Saturday. The 20 year old grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs started on pole, won the first and second stages, then held off Jr Motorsports driver Noah Gragson to take the win, and secure the Xfinity Series Championship.
After climbing out of his Monster Energy Toyota to celebrate, he was showered with both cheers, and jeers. In fact, the chorus of boo’s seemed to ring out longer and louder.
Gibbs was the center of controversy in the days leading up to Championship weekend. He was able to make it into the final four by wrecking his teammate Brandon Jones on the final lap at Martinsville last week. His on track actions were admonished by many throughout the world of NASCAR, but nothing more critical than the statement from the powers that be over at JGR. Although the internal sanctions placed on the young driver were not specific, the tone of the organization from top to bottom was one of keen awareness to the seriousness of his recklessness.
Zane Smith had himself a night. The Front Row Motorsports driver started on pole, led the most laps, then came from 12th position late to win the Camping World Truck series race on Friday night. Oh, and the win also gave him his first Truck Series Championship.
He finished runner up 2 years in a row heading into this season.
“Third time is a charm,” the 23-year-old told FS1 after his fourth race win this year.
“For so long I’ve wanted this moment.” He dominated on track, and carried his pit crew for most of the night too. Throughout the night he came to pit road with the lead, but exited deeper in the field. He lost at least nine positions on pit stops during the race, but remained unbothered.