NASCAR Knockout Series Has New Qualifying Format for 2022 Season

by Chase Thomas
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NASCAR fans who missed the practice and qualifying rounds that disappeared due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic received some good news this week — that’s all coming back.

The knockout-style format is back in the qualifying round. What we know now is that there will be four knockout qualifiers at four different events for the NASCAR Cup Series.

Bristol will be doing their knockout races a little differently. The race will have four different knockout heat races before the race that follows on that Sunday.

Kyle Larson Wins NASCAR Cup Series

A year removed from his now-teammate Chase Elliott winning the Cup, Larson followed in his footsteps and won it all in November. Larson returned after a season-long suspension to win the whole thing in extremely dominant fashion. He won ten races this season. He finished in the top-5 twenty times. Larson led for over 2,000 laps total on the season, with no other driver coming anywhere close to that figure.

He dominated the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series from start to finish.

Larson said after his last win, “There were so many points in this race where I did not think we were going to win.” He continued, “Without my pit crew on that last stop, we would not be standing right here. They are the true winners of this race. They are true champions.”

Larson was understandably emotional following the victory. It should be noted that his crew in that final NASCAR race had an incredible pit stop turnaround that helped make it all happen for him late in the race. It changed everything.

Larson said, “I’m just blessed to be a part of this group. Every single man or person, man and woman at Hendrick Motorsports, this win is for all of us, and every one of you. This is unbelievable. I’m speechless.”

Pretty nice situation for Hendrick Motorsports, huh, Outsiders? With Elliott and Larson, they now have the last two series-winning drivers on the team. How cool is that?

Fallout from Kyle Larson’s NASCAR Victory

Truex, a member of Joe Gibbs Racing, said after the race, “Ultimately, we needed to beat him off pit road. It’s unfortunate, but we win and lose as a team.” It was especially rough for Hamlin, who never led a lap in the final race and fell to zero-and-five on Sundays where the championship is on the line.

Truex concluded, “That’s three times we’ve been second, and that sucks. Second hurts, I’m not going to lie, especially with the car we had and the job the guys did.”

It was a tough ending for Truex and Hamlin, but Larson dominated the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. After the yearlong suspension, it was quite the story. Larson came back and immediately won the whole thing.

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