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Countdown to Daytona - 2 Days

(Cover Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By Adam Carabine

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2023 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the 36 charters of 2022.

1st Place – Joey Logano – 5,040 pts


2 Cup Series Championships – Winning one championship is hard enough, especially since the advent of the current playoff system. There are only seven other drivers who scored two championships over the course of their Cup Series career. The only other active one is Kyle Busch. While it definitely requires skill to win even a single championship, a second one shows a considerable amount of ability to maintain a high standard of performance.

32 Years Old – People forget just how young Joey Logano still is, because he’s already been around for a long time. His first full-time Cup Series season, he was just a bright-eyed 18-year old. Despite winning a race and scoring seven Top 10s that year, it still remains his worst season statistically. The point is this – Joey Logano is not slowing down anytime soon. Kevin Harvick is retiring this year at 47, and even he still can compete for wins at that age. Joey could have 15 more years of Cup Series contending to work with – it’s safe to guess that we’ll see another championship or two out of him in that time.

13.50 Average Finish in 2022 – It certainly helps, but it doesn’t always take the best average finish to win a Championship. His 13.50 in 2022 was 3rd best of the Cup Series, but surprisingly was actually the 8th best of his career. Even in 2018 when Logano won his first Cup Series Championship, his average finish was the 3rd best of his career.

784 Laps Led in 2022 – Joey Logano’s 784 laps led in 2022 may not have been enough to beat Chase Elliott’s 857, but it’s likely that Elliott would trade the championship for the extra laps. What Logano managed in his season was not necessarily to be the best in every category, but he was the best when it counted. 187 of those laps led were at the Championship Race in Phoenix. There’s no more important time to be leading the field. 327 of his laps led were in the playoffs, as he worked to get his way to the Final Four. It was a clutch performance throughout the season.

4 Wins in 2022 – Make it 5 if you count the inaugural Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Joey Logano had four wins in 2022, each with their own significance. His first (points) win on the season was at Darlington – often referred to as a driver’s track. The asymmetrical layout makes it one of the most challenging ovals on the NASCAR circuit. His next win came at WWT-Gateway. This was the first time that Cup Series cars were on that track – and it was Logano’s first time at the track in any racing series. He found a way to win, and also cemented his place in the playoffs, as it was looking like a single win might not be enough to guarantee your spot. He pointed his way into the Round of 8, where he won the first race (Las Vegas), which ensured him a spot in the Final 4, as well as a few extra weeks of preparation over his competitors. All of this led to him winning the final race of the year at Phoenix, and simultaneously earning himself a spot in the record books for winning his second career Cup Series Championship.

Joey Logano returns to the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske in 2023 and beyond. He signed a long-term extension with the team back in August of 2022. Team Penske is probably happy they did, as he went on to win a championship later in the year.

This concludes the Countdown to Daytona series for this year. Thanks for following along through this ride, now let’s all go and enjoy some NASCAR racing!

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