Two of the remaining playoff drivers did what had to be done to make the Championship Four in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Christopher Bell scored his second “walk of win” in the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs. He entered the Round of 12 elimination race in a must win scenario at the ROVAL in early October. He won that race to advance to the Round of Eight. He entered yesterday’s Round of Eight elimination race in another must win scenario. Christopher found a way to get to the front when the time came to score another “walk of win” and advance to the Championship Four next week.
Denny Hamlin started the race Sunday five points below the cutline behind Ross Chastain. Denny needed to gain six points above Ross through the race to advance to the Championship Four. It looked as though that was not going to even be an issue as Denny dominated most of the race at Martinsville. He led a race-high 203 laps winning both stage one and stage two in the race. However, things began to change near the end of the race.
Denny lost the lead and control of the race as the laps were winding down. The battle between him and Ross for the final spot in the Championship Four was tight and continued to shift back-and-forth. On the final lap of the race, it appeared that Denny had worked far enough ahead of Ross to secure his spot in the Championship Four by just a point or two. Then, Ross Chastain threw the “Hail Mary” move of all-time in NASCAR that overshadowed even the “walk of win” by Christopher Bell.
Ross headed toward turn three on the final lap of the race. He shifted the car to fifth gear. He put accelerator pedal to the floor. He put the car against the wall and rode the wall all the way to the finish line at maximum speed! It’s a move that most video game players have done in racing games. However, this is the first time it has been tried in a real-world NASCAR situation. The craziest thing is that the move worked! He went from around tenth-place to finish in fourth-place just a bumper ahead of Denny Hamlin! It secured his spot in the Championship Four and eliminated Denny from the Playoffs.
See the complete race results for the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway here.
The Championship Four are Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott. These four drivers will have the chance to win the 2022 NASCAR Championship next week in Phoenix.
See the complete NASCAR Cup Series point standings here.
The NASCAR Cup Series Championship race will take place at Phoenix Raceway Sunday, November 6th starting at 2 p.m. central time (3 p.m. eastern time).
By: Buck Stevens