AVONDALE, ARIZ. — In a season with five first-time winners, some previous NASCAR Cup Series winners were bound to fall short of a win in 2022 and three notable drivers did.
Ryan Blaney came the closest to a win in Sunday’s season finale at Phoenix. Blaney finished second after leading the second-most laps (109) and leading before the final caution.
Under caution, the crew had a slower stop that put him behind Chase Briscoe. On the subsequent restart, he was passed by teammate Joey Logano, who led the most laps (187) and built a two-second lead after passing Briscoe.
Blaney eventually passed Briscoe and cut Logano’s lead down to 0.3-seconds, with Ross Chastain – Logano’s championship rival – closing. However, Blaney couldn’t find a way by Logano and settled for second.
Blaney’s streak of winning seasons ended at five, dating back to 2017 when he earned his first Cup win. Since then, he has amassed seven wins, 57 of his 61 career top-5 finishes, 102 of his 113 top-10s and a playoff appearance each year.
On Sunday, Brad Keselowski quietly ended a streak of Cup seasons with a win at 11, dating back to 2011.
On Lap 272, Keselowski was running 27th, 1 lap down. Then, at the start-finish line, rubber build-up in the rocker box caused his car to catch fire – an ongoing issue for the Fords in 2022.
Keselowski finished 35th, out of the race on Lap 270.
Martin Truex Jr. ended his streak of Cup seasons with a win at 7, dating back to 2015.
Truex had quiet top-10 success at Phoenix, as he finished 5th and 3rd in the stages. Then, on Lap 278, a speeding penalty dropped him back to a 15th-place finish.
During Truex’s seven-straight winning seasons, he amassed 29 Cup wins, 97 top-5 finishes and 143 top-10s, plus the 2017 title, in 252 starts.