Ross Chastain Breaks Down Second Place Finish in NASCAR Championship 4

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wow. Sunday was an emotional day from racing to the sad news about Coy Gibbs. Ross Chastain got a NASCAR Championship runner-up finish. He doesn’t have any regrets it seems, either. In his first playoff appearance, his first Championship 4 – Chastain has everything in perspective.

Just because he couldn’t take home the Bill France Cup this season, doesn’t mean that Ross Chastain is all tore up about it. He knows how racing goes, especially at Phoenix. Sometimes a guy gets the car perfect and the tire grip and speed outclasses everyone else in clean air.

That’s what champion Joey Logano did as Chastain fought to race with him at the end.

“We just ran second,” Chastain said matter-of-factly. “Mr. Penske’s group had us covered all day and Joey was the best car until the final run and we had a real shot to race with him. But we didn’t have the balance in our car, the grip in our car all day to be that way. I’m proud of the effort we kept – nobody got upset, nobody got flustered, we just kept working on our car all day.”

As for that contact with Chase Elliott that spun out the 2020 champion…

“With the 9 I felt like I go position on him to the left side in the dogleg and he turned left.”

Ross Chastain Finishes Breakout Season

The 2022 NASCAR season will be remembered for a lot of things. The Busch Light Clash at the L.A. Coliseum, Next Gen cars, the end of Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, and of course, Ross Chastain riding the wall in Martinsville and into the history books.

While it would have been a storybook ending for Chastain to win in some crazy or wild fashion, it never presented itself. We all knew that if the No. 1 had a shot at this thing, he’d risk it all to take that checkered flag. When you’re faced with a talented driver like Logano, that’s easier said than done.

While Ross Chastain was picking up time on the eventual champ, it wasn’t enough. What Chastain and others needed was a caution flag. However, it never came. So, Logano charged forward and claimed his second Cup Series championship.