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Ty Gibbs wins NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in Phoenix finale Title race another chance for more memories for Chase Elliott, family Joey Logano’s acts of kindness build lifetime bonds with families Ross Chastain takes family motto to title race: Just Do It How a video game and prayer put Christopher Bell on a journey to Cup

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Ty Gibbswho caused controversy by crashing a teammate last week at Martinsville Speedway, brought home the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship to Joe Gibbs Racing by winning Saturday’s season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

Gibbs, 20, overtakes championship rivals Noah Gragson, Justin Algayer as well as Josh Berry – All JR Motorsports drivers – for winning the race and the title in the series. This victory was the seventh for Gibbs of the season. He led 125 out of 200 laps.

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Gragson, who was in the lead for 35 laps, chased Gibbs for the final eight laps and was successful but could not close the gap at the finish line.

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In the final miles, Allgeier, Gibbs and Gragson were in a fierce race for victory and the championship. The leader changed hands many times as each rider searched for the best lines around the corners of the one-mile track.

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“I know what I did last week was unacceptable and I apologize once again,” Gibbs said minutes after the victory. “It was unacceptable because we could have two chances to win this deal and it was organizationally stupid. I’ll sit here and apologize as much as I can, but that won’t fix the situation. I must correct my actions.

“I feel like I had a good race today. We made some good moves. Me and 7 (Justin Olgayer) raced really hard. Hope we put on a good show for you fans. Thank you for everything you guys do.”

Gragson and Algaier, who led 26 laps, finished behind Gibbs.

MORE: Phoenix Xfinity Results

MORE: Phoenix Xfinity Driver Glasses

MORE: Phoenix Xfinity Owner Points

A warning with 45 laps to go opened the doors to pit stops for the championship drivers. At that time, Allgayer was ahead of Gibbs and Gragson. Gibbs’ team won that pit test, bringing him back to the track in first place ahead of Algaier, Berry and Gragson. Berry’s move to third gave him his best place in the race.

But Berry rolled back with 30 laps to go, lost speed and hit the outer wall.

With 60 laps to go, the championship contenders took the first four places: Gragson first, Algayer second, Gibbs third and Berry fourth. Berry ran at the bottom of the top ten for most of the first half of the race, but rallied in the last leg.

A quick mid-race pit stop gave Algaier the lead to start the final stage, but it only took Gibbs a couple of laps to pass him and take the lead.

A few laps later, a multi-car crash resulted in the fifth warning of the day. The crash began with contact between Sammy Smith as well as Sam Mayer.

Gibbs, who took pole, led the first 45 laps of the race to win Stage 1, and was also promoted during the later round of pit stops when all three JR Motorsports teams were in trouble.

Gibbs received front pressure from Gragson, Allgayer and Smith on Stage 2 but also won it.

Gibbs crashed Brandon Joneshis JGR teammate, on the last lap to win last Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, depriving Jones of victory and a place in the 4 championship. Gibbs apologized many times, including after winning the championship, for Martinsville’s move, which caused a sharp criticism. for a young driver.

Stage 1 winner: Ty Gibbs

Stage 2 winner: Ty Gibbs

Who had a good race: Ty Gibbs managed to get through a tough week of criticism after his move to Martinsville and won the race and the title. … Noah Gragson had Gibbs’ number for part of the race but couldn’t get close to the end. … Justin Algaier finished third but missed out on another championship shot.

Who had a bad race: Josh Berry managed to race ahead for a while, but ended up finishing 13th after hitting the wall. … Dillon Bassett qualified well but finished last due to an engine problem.

Next: The 2023 Xfinity Series schedule will kick off on February 18 with a 300-mile race at Daytona International Speedway.

Avondale, Arizona. In sports, he’s considered a rock star and a champion, but to Bill and Cindy Elliott, he’s just Chase, their son.

“Your kids will always be your kids,” Cindy Elliot told NBC Sports of her 26-year-old son, who is aiming to become the 17th multiple Cup champion in NASCAR history and break a tie with his Hall of Famer father in the crown series.

For Bill Elliott, he sees how his son has grown. He recalls his 2002 Brickyard 400 victory and photographs of a young Chase celebrating with him.

“It’s all about how fast things go,” Bill Elliot said of how time passed. “I was at Victory Lane in Indy in 2002 and here you are 20 years later and here he is grown up and doing his own thing.

“Life goes by so fast.”

It makes Bill Elliot think of days gone by.

“I still think the most fun times we had together were what we did when we lived in Colorado and he was racing go-karts,” said Bill Elliot of the early days of racing his son. “It was just a great time. I think it was a fun series that we showed. There wasn’t much pressure. I still see him in it. Times have passed, he has grown and become independent.”

It was also a special time for Chase Elliott.

“We spent a couple of fun years there,” said Chase Elliott. “Dad, I think he thought he was retired at the time. I just loved being a dad, I loved going to the race track, and we raced together, worked karts, cleaned trailers and everything.

“Yes, those were special years. Of course, I’m glad that I have the opportunity to look back at them.

Cindy Elliot sums up such an experience by saying, “Enjoy and enjoy every moment.”

Chase Elliott
Chase Elliott has won the NMPA Most Popular Driver award for the past four seasons. (Photo by Sean Gardner/)

Sunday marks the third year in a row that Elliott has raced in the Cup of Champions. He won the 2020 title and finished fourth last year. If he wins this year, Elliott will become the second youngest driver to win multiple cups, behind only Jeff Gordon.

Cindy Elliott says this weekend will be “just as edgy as last year and the year before.”

The difference is how fickle Elliott and his No. 9 team in the playoffs are.

He won at Talladega in the round of 16, but this is one of only three top 10 finishes he has made in the playoffs. Elliott started each round as the leader in playoff points he scored in the regular season, but fell short in the first race of each round.

“I feel like we have as good an opportunity as anyone,” Elliot said of Sunday’s title race. “Yes, there were ups and downs in our playoffs, maybe more than what we actually did because of the way we ran to him.

But when I sit and look at this weekend, at this format, at how the final four work, if you’re in, you have a number one chance. Second, we haven’t written the ending yet, right? Storytelling is meant to be how you want it to be, however you want to spend your day.”

Not every champion was the favorite in the season finale.

Kyle Bush was not considered a favorite in 2019, but became champion, taking his second crown.

In 2018 Joey Logano was considered an outsider and quipped that it was “The Big Three and Me”. He won the championship by defeating Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch that season.

Jimmie Johnson was not aiming for his seventh series title in 2016 until a belated warning changed that race and resulted in Johnson joining Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most series crowns.

So everything is possible in one race for the championship.

“HOURconfidence is high,” car owner Rick Hendrick said of Elliott. “I think he is so competitive, he just wants to be close to the team and the organization and himself. He knows how good he is.

I have spoken to him several times this week. He is ready for this race. He wants to win another championship.”

Although Elliott’s playoffs proved difficult, it was during this time that the sport took notice when he spoke out at Talladega about safety issues with the Next Gen car. It happened after a teammate Alex Bowman got a concussion last week in Texas. Elliot was among the senior drivers who discussed the matter. It attracted attention because Elliot usually doesn’t get involved in such discussions, but at the time he felt it was important.

With changes to the car next season to help the drivers, Elliot has turned his focus back to the playoffs and now to the championship.

But he also knows that these are the days he will remember sometime in the future.

“I want to succeed,” Elliott said. “I want to do my job. I think you have to mentally be where you need to be to do this. I think that sometimes it can make it impossible to enjoy certain moments or occasions.

“But I’m trying really hard because I know you won’t get that time back, you won’t…


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