Martinsville Cup playoff race results, points standings
Martinsville points, results: In a must-win position, Christopher Bell advanced to the Championship 4 by winning Sunday’s Round of 8 NASCAR Cup Series cutoff race Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
It was the second time in the 2022 playoffs that Bell won an elimination race that he entered below the cutline. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also won three weeks ago at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval to advance to the Round of 8.
Bell will race for the championship in the Nov. 6 season finale at Phoenix Raceway against Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain, who claimed the final championship-eligible spot with a wild move that took his No. 1 Chevrolet from 10th to fifth on the final lap.
Bell finished 0.869 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson, the defending series champion who will be racing for a team owner championship with his No. 5 Chevrolet at Phoenix. Larson’s runner-up finish was a career best at Martinsville.
It’s the third victory this season and the fourth in 107 career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series for Bell, 27. The No. 20 Toyota driver led 150 of the final 176 laps, including the last five.
Bell also delivered the 200th career victory for Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR became the third Cup team with 200 victories, which are spread among 11 drivers. It’s the 14th win at Martinsville for JGR.
Fouth-place finisher Brad Keselowski was disqualified to last after his No. 6 Ford failed postrace inspection.
In addition to Logano and Bell advancing to the Championship 4 with Round of 8 victories, Elliott and Chastain took the final two spots on points.
Chastain finished four points ahead of Denny Hamlin, who missed advancing despite winning both stages and finishing sixth.
Also eliminated were Ryan Blaney (who finished third), William Byron (eighth) and Chase Briscoe, who finished 10th and led 25 laps before yielding first to Bell.
It’s the first Championship 4 appearances for Chastain and Bell. It’s the third for Elliott (who won the title in 2020) and the fifth for Logano (the 2018 champion).