Throwback weekend, while missing some of its charm on Mother’s Day weekend opposed to the Labor Day adjacent Southern 500 events of years past, still provides an entertaining backdrop to the Darlington NASCAR races. Perhaps there was no better way to conclude such an old school event than with a classic bump’n’run as shown by race winner Joey Logano, as he slammed his way into the Playoff conversation with a late race shunt passed the 24 of William Byron.
An interesting conversation sprouted around the racing world after the race about how much contact is appropriate in a winning move for a Cup victory. Certainly, this was Joey Logano’s first real crack at a 2022 win and with William Byron’s two wins in the bag, it’s wasn’t a much a case of highway robbery as perhaps the Bristol Dirt finish. Still, just how much rattling of the ol’ cage is permitted, and how much of that is reflected on who the racer is?
To my mind, Joey Logano gets an unfair shake based on what he sounds and looks like. By his own admission, Logano looks pretty nerdy and a lot of times his mannerisms back that claim even further. We don’t romanticize the NASCAR driver that looks like an accountant and drives like The Intimidator…which Logano has done for better or worse on multiple occasions, but maybe that requires a rethink. Logano seems destined to be that “not quite enough of a heel” while still being absolutely aggravating to fans of his biggest rivals. It’s his thing, he’s made quite the remarkable career of it, and I say God bless it.
Logano’s win makes him the 10th different winner of the 2022 Cup season, and as such our Tracking 16 chart is getting that much tighter. Let’s take a look at where we stand and what’s might come next…
As we discussed on Twitter, Chase Elliott’s win at Dover didn’t take away a spot on the winner’s column, but as the point leader further secured his spot in the Playoff roster. The last two weeks have seen what I forecasted as the two most likely non-winners moving to the left side of the board. With 14 races until the cut off, 7 of the more likely winners are still battling for what’s now 6 open spots…and that’s before we even consider how good some of the “Might” drivers have been doing lately. At this point we’re a couple weird pit strategies and a rain shortened event from blowing this chart all to hell. It’s amazing, and I want nothing less. LETS GET CRAZY AT KANSAS Y’ALL!!!!
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