Ryan Blaney wins first NASCAR Cup championship; Ross Chastain wins Phoenix finale

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

AVONDALE, Ariz. — With a second place in the season finale, Ryan Blaney became a first-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.

The Team Penske driver finished 1.230 seconds behind winner Ross Chastain but was the best finsiher of the Championship 4 drivers after 312 laps at Phoenix Raceway.

It's the second consecutive championship in NASCAR's premier series for Team Penske, which won the 2022 title with Joey Logano.

Kyle Larson, who was trying to win his second title in three years, finished third, followed by teammate William Byron, who broke a three-year streak of the Phoenix pole-sitter winning the race and championship.

Christopher Bell, the fourth driver eligible for the championship, finished last after slamming the wall with a broken right front brake rotor on Lap 108.

Chastain led the final 31 laps to become the first driver ineligible for the championship to win the season finale in the 10th season since the elimination playoff structure was introduced in 2014.