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Friday 5: Memorable images from 2022 NASCAR season 2022 spotlights: The Clash, the King and Martinsville Mania Dr. Diandra: 2022 accidents steady, spins up 200% Front Row Motorsports Cup teams to have new crew chiefs in 2023 Add Chicago streets to NASCAR’s list of odd race places

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The end of the season provides an opportunity to look back, and every year I look through the photos on my phone and find ones that show the ups and downs of the sport from February to November.

Here are some of the photos that I remember:

1. Daytona 500

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Although the time spent in Daytona Beach, Florida has dwindled in recent years due to the track’s more compact schedule, the intensity remains. As are emotions.

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Cup rookie Austin Sindrik fulfilled a “driver’s dream” by winning the Daytona 500, achieving something on his second run that took Darrell Waltrip 17 times and Dale Earnhardt 20 times.

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Syndrik blocked a teammate Ryan Blaney reach the finish line and win Bubba Wallace half the length of the car.

This was the second time Bubba Wallace had placed second in this race. Unlike 2018, when Wallace was thrilled to finish second, this time Wallace wasn’t so emotional.

“2018 was amazing,” Wallace said of his second-place finish in the Daytona 500.. “2022 has not been amazing.

“For the first time in 2018, I didn’t have a chance to fight. It was so close that it was like a punch in the gut.”

The photos I particularly remember are of Sindrik’s car covered in red, white and blue confetti before going through a post-race inspection and Wallace’s frustration on pit road after the race.

Austin Sindrikcar after winning the 2022 Daytona 500. (Photo: Dustin Long)
A dejected Bubba Wallace after finishing second in the 2022 Daytona 500. (Photo: Dustin Long)

2. Road America

The Cup Series is not returning to the Wisconsin highway circuit after two years there. Instead, this race will be replaced by a street course in Chicago in 2023.

Race last season was unforgettable. Tyler Reddick took his first career win in the Cup on 3 July. Nine days later, it was announced that he was leaving Richard Childress Racing for 23XI Racing in 2024 (This schedule was pushed back to 2023 after RCR signed Kyle Busch to replace Reddick at No. 8.).

Among the highlights of the Road America race was Austin Sindric, who walked the entire pit road to the victory strip to congratulate Reddick.

Austin Sindrick hugs Tyler Reddick on the victory track at Road America on July 3, 2022. (Photo: Dustin Long)

Walking with Sindrik, I asked him why he was going to see Reddick.

“I think anyone in this field probably deserves this win more than anyone else,” Sindrik told me. “I think he put himself in a position. He is a very nice guy and I feel like you can see how hard he works.

“I have seen him mature as a driver and as a person, as a friend and father. It’s cool to see someone close to you go through this.”

When Sindric arrived at the victory strip, he walked over to Reddick and hugged his friend tightly, lifting Reddick off the ground.

In all the excitement, Reddick’s son, Bo, was unimpressed. He was fast asleep in Victory Lane.

Tyler Reddick’s son Bo sleeps on the victory lane following his father’s first Cup victory in July 2022 at Road America. (Photo: Dustin Long)

3. Special moments

You never know what you will encounter in a season that drags on for so long on the calendar.

Here are a few moments that, for one reason or another, turned out to be special.

When storm clouds gathered over the Daytona International Speedway in February, the sun was setting, creating an ominous and impressive sky. The photograph captured this scene as Cole Custer walking around the garage. Following this season, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that it was replacing Custer with Ryan Preece in the No. 41 Cup car and that Custer would compete in the Xfinity Series for the team.

Cole Custer walks under ominous skies in Dayton in February 2022. (Photo: Dustin Long)

Another photo that I especially remember was taken at Clash at the Coliseum. There were so many questions about the exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, such as whether the purpose-built track would withstand the rigors of the cars, what the debut of the Next Gen car would be like, and whether fans would really be interested in such an event.

The track survived. Like most cars and fans. Although not a sellout, over 50,000 people attended the event, and NASCAR noted that many of them had not purchased tickets to a NASCAR event before. The event was a success.

What struck me the most was the lines of people waiting to buy souvenirs on race day. In some places, the queues stretched far from the goods trailers.

Fans line up for Clash merchandise at the Colosseum in February 2022. (Photo: Dustin Long)

Sometimes you never know what you’ll see at an event. At the NASCAR Hall of Fame event, Richard Petty, Dale Inman and Ray Evernham stood together. This is 18 cups (eight Inman, seven Petty and three Evernam).

NASCAR Hall of Famers Ray Evernham, Richard Petty and Dale Inman at the NASCAR Hall of Famer in April 2022. (Photo: Dustin Long)

4. New winners

This season’s five inaugural Cup winners are: Austin Sindrik (Daytona 500 in February), Chase Briscoe (Phoenix in March) Ross Chastain (Circle of America in April), Daniel Suarez (Sonoma in June) and Tyler Reddick (America’s Road in July).

I caught this scene where Suarez is alone in his thoughts in the garage at Nashville Superspeedway in his first race since that win at Sonoma.

Daniel Suarez at the Nashville Superspeedway in June 2022. (Photo: Dustin Long)

5. Martinsville

Ross Chastain’s video game move on the last lap of the playoff race was stunning. Chastain, needing two positions to reach the title race, shifted into fifth gear, backed the car into the wall in turn three, took his hands off the steering wheel and let the wall drive his Chevrolet through the final two turns as it crashed into the floor. throttle.

Surprisingly, it worked. He overtook five cars and earned a place in the championship. Although Chastain did not win a cup title, he was one of the most memorable moments of the 2022 season.

When I left the infield late Sunday night. I stopped to take a picture of the wall and the marks that Chastain’s car left after its wonderful charge.

Turn 4 walls after Ross Chastain’s video game move on the last lap of a race in October 2022. (Photo: Dustin Long)

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season brought something new (a race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum!) and something old (win #43!) and more.

In many ways, this has been one of the best seasons in NASCAR. There were new winners, the Next Gen car upped the competition a bit, and there was the finish of the race (see below). Ross Chastain file) like no other in the history of the sport.

MORE: NASCAR Power Ratings: The Name Game

There were also disadvantages: the safety of the new car was criticized (literally and figuratively, since the flames in the wheel arches ended more than once over several trips), the drivers’ seasons were interrupted or ended due to serious accidents, and some races lasted less than a year. star.

Looking back at the marathon from February to November, some races stand out:

Rocking the city of angels “Despite the naysayers, Collision at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was a resounding success. A whole host of questions, including whether the purpose-built track inside the stadium could handle heavy stock cars and provide good racing, awaited the team in Los Angeles. The races were not sensational, but they were good, there were no problems with the track. A huge crowd turned up and NASCAR left town with a lot of ideas, proving they could race on a makeshift track inside a big stadium. It did not escape anyone that there are many other large stadiums in the country – and, by the way, beyond its borders.

Swinging in Watkins Glen – The venerable New York Road Circuit produced another hot finish as teammates. Kyle Larson as well as Chase Elliott fought for victory. Larson pushed Elliott out of the main rut and took the lead for good with five laps to go. “I’m not proud of it, but I knew it was what I had to do to win,” Larson said. Elliott did not publicly criticize Larson, but it was clear that he was unhappy with Larson’s act.

MORE: Fighting knights and pie in the sky

Six hundred miles and then another “The long history of racing the 600 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway has led to great competition – and some races that have caused long sleep. This year has been one of the craziest and, by the way, the longest. The race spanned two overtimes and ended after 413 laps and 619.5 miles, making it the longest race in NASCAR’s 75 years. The winner – perhaps most accurately described as a survivor – was Denny Hamlin, who beat out his teammate. Kyle Bush on the last two laps.

The king is back… but where is he? – The Cup playoffs opened at Darlington Raceway with the legendary Southern 500, but the playoffs went to…


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