Winners and losers from Phoenix championship race

A look at the winners and losers from the championship race at Phoenix Raceway.


Ryan Blaney — He rose to the occasion in the biggest moment of the season. Blaney fell behind both Kyle Larson and William Byron after the final pit stop of the race. He passed them both and finished second behind Ross Chastain. This finishing position secured the first Cup championship of his career.

Ross Chastain — He led 157 laps and held off Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. at multiple points of the race’s final stage. Chastain won the season finale, his first victory since Nashville in June, and ended a season of struggles on a high note.

Kevin Harvick — He made his final start of a Hall of Fame career at one of his best tracks. Harvick led 23 laps and finished seventh. This extended his NASCAR record of consecutive top-10 finishes at a single track to 21.

Chris Buescher — He capped off a career season by leading 18 laps and finishing fifth. Buescher ended his season with 17 top-10 finishes, nine top fives, three wins and an average finish of 12.1. His previous best was 17.3 in 2021.

Ross: 'Did something else that's never been done'

Ross Chastain lives up to the "lofty goals" of Trackhouse Racing with his second victory of the season and says he was beside himself to be racing Kevin Harvick early in the race, calling it a "bucket list" item.


Kyle Larson — He took the championship lead off pit road on the final set of pit stops but could not hold off Blaney on the final run to the checkered flag. He finished the race third and missed out on his second Cup championship in three seasons.

Christopher Bell — He complained about brake heat during stage 2. His brake rotor exploded on Lap 109 and sent him into the outside wall from sixth. This ended Bell’s day and eliminated him from championship contention.

William Byron — He started from pole and led 95 laps. Once the track changed with the rubber being laid down, Byron was unable to maintain his pace and handling. He finished the race fourth and ended the year third in the championship standings.

Austin Cindric — He hit the wall and broke a toe link after starting 27th. Cindric finished 35th and 11 laps behind the leaders. The reigning Rookie of the Year ended the season with only two top-10 finishes in the final 18 races.