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3 reasons why Ross Chastain will be the NASCAR Cup Series champion

Ross Chastain is one of the Championship 4 drivers looking for their first title. Let's dive into three reasons why Chastain will be the champion.

Austin Konenski
NASCAR: GEICO 500
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ross Chastain is one of NASCAR’s most well-known drivers after his video game-style move at Martinsville Speedway and due to that move, he will be racing for a Cup Series championship on Sunday.

Let’s dive into three reasons why Chastian will win the 2022 Cup Series championship.

Ross Chastain is willing to do whatever it takes to win

NASCAR: Xfinity 500
Oct 30, 2022; Martinsville, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (1) during the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

One of the main reasons that Chastain will have a good shot at hoisting the NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy is his willingness to do whatever it takes to win the event.

This was on full display at Martinsville Speedway when the driver of the No. 1 car decided to go full throttle, no brakes into the final corner and become a part of NASCAR history as he wall-rode his way to the Championship 4.

Chastain has been one to not make friends in the garage area this season. It is clear that his reputation for on-track situations might not be that strong but his talent takes care of the rest.

The 29-year-old driver has not won an event since the first race at Talladega Superspeedway in April; however, his performances have not been horrible. They have simply been good enough to get to this point.

Fortunately for Chastain, NASCAR holds Championship Weekend at a place where he ran well earlier in the season.

Related: Evaluating Ross Chastain’s big video game move at Martinsville

Phoenix Raceway has been good to Ross Chastain

NASCAR: Ruoff Mortgage 500 and Ross Chastain
Mar 13, 2022; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (1) during the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

While the sample size is small for Phoenix Raceway, Chastain has a good history at the venue. In the first race of the season at Phoenix, the driver of the No. 1 car finished in second place behind Chase Briscoe.

Chastain ended up being the No. 1 driver in the event based on the current Championship 4. Joey Logano finished in eighth place, Chase Elliott finished in 11th place, and Christopher Bell rounded out the foursome with a 26th-place finish.

The race at Phoenix was in mid-March so it is hard to guess what might happen this weekend based on the event itself. The NextGen car was new and the gaps have been closed compared to other competitors this year.

Chastain might hold an advantage due to his finishing position at Phoenix in March but it is very important to remember that a Championship 4 driver does not need to win the race to win the championship.

On that note, if Chastain won the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series title, it would be well deserved based on his run in the playoffs.

Related: Ross Chastain’s late move leads to win at Talladega

Ross Chastain has been one of the most consistent Championship 4 drivers

NASCAR: Cup Practice and Qualifying
Oct 22, 2022; Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (1) during practice for the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

If the NASCAR Cup Series championship was based on consistency during the playoffs, Chastin and his fellow Championship 4 driver in the No. 20 car would be separated by only five points.

Chastain has four top-5 finishes and six top-10 finishes in the playoffs. The top-10 finishes are the most of any Championship 4 drivers while Bell holds the lead with two victories, five top-5 finishes, and the most laps led.

These two drivers are likely the most deserving champions over the course of the playoffs but that does not mean much when it is basically a game-seven moment. The championship appearance is earned over the playoffs, not the trophy itself.

However, if a driver is more consistent over the course of the playoffs, it is more likely they will have a better car at Phoenix. It appears that Chastain will be all set when they enter Avondale, AZ.

Chastain pulled off magic when he took what could have been a disappointing moment into one of NASCAR’s best circumstances. Now, the driver of the No. 1 car needs one more amazing moment to truly be No. 1.