Updated 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Standings Following Ross Chastain’s Victory at Talladega

Raise your hand if you had William Byron and Ross Chastain as the first two drivers to score multiple victories in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. OK, you’re lying, so put your hand down.

Chastain rolled onto Victory Lane at Talladega on Sunday in another of those wild last-lap dashes that keep fans on the edge of their seats. Coupled with the triumph at Circuit of the Americas, he has two victories, though his six top-five results probably speak more emphatically to the sort of season he is having.

Ross Chastain won at Talladega and dropped a spot in the standings

Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet, takes a selfie on Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24, 2022. | Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet, takes a selfie on Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24, 2022. | Sean Gardner/Getty Images

We all have that one friend who claims to have given up on NASCAR because he says that whole playoff format thing is too bizarre. After all, what other sport mixes playoff participants with also-rans during late-season competition?

Well, here’s the nugget that will really drive them crazy: Ross Chastain won the GEICO 500 on Sunday and dropped one place when the new points standings came out on Monday. That feels incredibly wrong, but it’s accurate under the scoring system NASCAR uses.

Here’s what happened:

Chastain arrived at Talladega a very competitive eighth in the standings, just three points behind Martin Truex Jr. but one point ahead of defending Cup Series champion Kyle Larson. All three were in the mix at the end of Sunday’s race in the superspeedway, and Chastain took the checkered flag. Larson landed in fourth place, one spot ahead of Truex.

NASCAR awards 40 points to the race winner and 35 to the runner-up. From there, the points drop one per position in the final results. That should have given Chastain a seven-point advantage over Larson for the day, but there’s also the matter of two rounds of stage points.

Larson finished second in the first stage and third in the second stage. NASCAR scores 10 places for stage results, with 10 points to the winner down to a single point for 10th place. Because Chastain didn’t make the top 10 in the first stage and only placed eighth in the second stage, Larson came away with 17 points to Chastain’s two.

Thus, Larson scored 50 points for the day to Chastain’s 42. That propelled him past Chastain for the season.

Points Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF Stage wins
CHASE ELLIOTT 368 0 1 7 0 2
RYAN BLANEY 347 0 4 6 1 3
WILLIAM BYRON 334 2 4 4 2 3
KYLE BUSCH 312 1 3 7 1 0
ALEX BOWMAN 309 1 2 6 0 1
JOEY LOGANO 308 0 3 5 1 0
KYLE LARSON 299 1 5 5 3 1
MARTIN TRUEX JR 298 0 2 5 1 3
ROSS CHASTAIN 292 2 6 6 2 1
ARIC ALMIROLA 265 0 1 4 0 0
KEVIN HARVICK 252 0 1 4 2 0
CHASE BRISCOE 246 1 2 3 2 1
AUSTIN DILLON 245 0 3 5 3 0
CHRISTOPHER BELL 243 0 1 4 2 0
TYLER REDDICK 242 0 3 4 3 2
AUSTIN CINDRIC 238 1 1 2 1 0

Talladega was kind to Erik Jones

There have been eight different winners through 10 races in the NASCAR Cup Series season. A few other drivers feel like near-certainties to score victories this season, but we’re not going to get to 16 automatic playoff qualifiers if Ross Chastain and William Byron are already winning multiple races.

That’s not a veiled shot at either driver but rather an acknowledgment that they’re both capable of winning several more times apiece. Chastain has placed in the top five six times and Byron has been there four times, and it doesn’t take a leap of faith to project that kind of consistency turning into more wins.

The non-winners thus far happen to include Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, the top two drivers on the list, but they’re piling up points at such a rapid clip that getting to the playoffs isn’t looking like a concern for now.

Further down the points list, Erik Jones is probably heading off to Dover feeling pretty good, even if he dropped from the lead to sixth place on the final lap at Talladega. Jones logged 37 points for his effort and moved up two spots to 17th place in points. Similarly, Kurt Busch climbed a pair of spots to 18th place despite only crossing the line 16th at ‘Dega.

Points Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF Stage wins
ERIK JONES 231 0 1 3 2 0
KURT BUSCH 218 0 2 4 1 0
DANIEL SUÁREZ 218 0 2 3 2 1
CHRIS BUESCHER 196 0 0 2 2 0
BUBBA WALLACE 193 0 1 1 1 1
JUSTIN HALEY 183 0 0 0 0 0
MICHAEL MCDOWELL 181 0 0 3 1 0
DENNY HAMLIN 178 1 1 1 4 1
TY DILLON 170 0 0 1 2 0
COLE CUSTER 167 0 0 0 3 0
Points Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF Stage wins
TODD GILLILAND 142 0 0 0 3 0
COREY LAJOIE 140 0 1 1 2 0
BRAD KESELOWSKI 132 0 0 1 0 0
HARRISON BURTON 130 0 0 0 3 0
RICKY STENHOUSE JR 128 0 0 1 4 0
CODY WARE 88 0 0 0 3 0
BJ MCLEOD 71 0 0 0 1 0
DAVID RAGAN 61 0 0 1 0 0
GARRETT SMITHLEY 28 0 0 0 0 0
GREG BIFFLE 24 0 0 0 3 0
JACQUES VILLENEUVE 15 0 0 0 0 0
BORIS SAID 11 0 0 0 0 0
JOEY HAND 2 0 0 0 1 0

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