2022 Martinsville Xfinity 500 Driver Ratings: Playoff Drivers

Christopher Bell delivered in another must-win situation and Ross Chastain made a move for the ages as both drivers advance to the championship. Crash NASCAR journalist Chad Smith goes through the field to hand out driver ratings in the 2022 Xfinity 500 at Martinsville.
Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing
Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing

Christopher Bell - 10

What else is there to say about Bell? He has proven that he can answer the call when his back is up against the wall. His second consecutive win in a playoff elimination race should have the rest of the contenders worried. The No. 20 team has shown great poise and planning on their way to executing in these playoffs.

Ryan Blaney - 4

A 3rd place finish for Blaney, coming up just short of advancing to the championship race. It is quite fitting though, as that has been the story of his 2022 season. The No. 12 crew has been arguably the most consistent team this season but their inability to find victory lane has them on the outside looking in.

2022 Martinsville Xfinity 500 Driver Ratings: Playoff Drivers

Ross Chastain - 10

The move that Chastain made at the end of the race was definitely one of desperation. It was also one of bravery, with a sprinkle of luck as well. He tried making a similar dive bomb move earlier this season on the IMS road course, but this one wasn't going to be taken away from him. Credit to he and the Trackhouse team for simply finding a way into the top-five.

Denny Hamlin - 7

Hamlin was one of the strongest cars in this race, and dominated by leading every lap in the second stage. It looked as though he was going to advance when he was beaten to the line by Chastain for 5th. That is a painful way for any driver to get eliminated, but it had to sting even worse for Hamlin knowing that it was his biggest rival. The JGR driver has everything on his resume except for a Cup title, and that will have to wait at least another year.

Joey Logano - 6

Just like last week, Logano had nothing to lose in this race. The team has been focused on Phoenix for a couple of weeks now, but they still performed well today. They had a small fire in the middle of the race that forced them to pit lane, but they still recovered to finish 7th. Now it is go time for the 2018 champion.

William Byron - 5

Byron won here earlier in the spring, but none of that seemed to translate today. The Hendrick Motorsports driver was able to work his way up from the 25th starting spot, but just couldn't battle for the lead. His 8th place finish was a disappointing end to what was a great playoff run for the young driver.

Chase Briscoe - 7

Briscoe nearly pulled off what Bell did, but he just didn't have the tires to hold him off in the final laps. His 10th place finish was not indicative of his performance, but it was still an unforgettable season for the second-year driver. The Stewart Haas Racing organization at least knows they are more than just a one-man band with Kevin Harvick.

2022 Martinsville Xfinity 500 Driver Ratings: Playoff Drivers

Chase Elliott - 5

An 11th place finish got the job done for Elliott, but it was not the day he or the team were seeking. After starting on the front row, Elliott was unable to keep his Chevrolet up front when it counted. He was able to squeak by with all of his bonus points he earned from the regular season, but he is going to need to perform much better next Sunday if he wants another championship trophy.

Read More