In the penultimate race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup season, Ryan Blaney claimed victory on Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, giving him a third victory on the season, a successful streak that began with the win at Charlotte in May that broke a 59-race losing streak.
In the Arizona desert on Sunday afternoon, Blaney will race for his first Cup title at Phoenix Raceway, joining Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and William Byron as the championship qualifiers.
The last spot in the final group was grabbed by Byron, despite limping to a 13th-place finish. His NASCAR-leading six victories this season earned him valuable bonus points, enough of an edge to take down Denny Hamlin to grab the final position, despite Hamlin’s third place finish at Martinsville. There will be a full racetrack on Sunday at Phoenix, with the highest finisher between Blaney, Byron, Bell, and Larson winning the 2023 Cup title.
Larson and Byron gave Hendrick Motorsports a pair of Chevrolets in the final four, Bell is in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and Blaney drives a Ford for Team Penske. Blaney can give Roger Penske back-to-back titles following Joey Logano’s win last year.
Larson is the only driver in the field with a Cup title and returns to the final four for the second time in three years. Bell is back in the championship for the second consecutive year; Blaney and Byron are racing for the Cup title for the first time.