The 2022 New Hampshire Race Report features a 14th winner, a 12th win for Joe Gibbs Racing, and disappointment for Martin Truex, Jr.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway produced 9 cautions during this race:
- 4 Accidents
- 3 Spins
- 2 Stage Ends
Seven drivers led laps during the race, but only four were quality leaders: Truex, Jr., Chase Briscoe, Chase Elliott and eventual winner Christopher Bell. The other drivers took the lead during yellow-flag pit stops.
The race featured only 8 lead changes, which is low for New Hampshire. The last three races had 14, 22 and 14 lead changes.
Truex led 172 of the 301 laps, and had the most fastest laps (48) of any driver, but a two-tire change mired him in traffic he never escaped from. Winner Bell led the last 42 laps and had 28 of the race’s fastest laps. His win gave Joe Gibbs Racing their 12th win at New Hampshire, the most of any owner.
The average age of winning drivers went down thanks to the 27.6-year-old Bell. Prior to the race, the average age of winning drivers was 30.6 years. After the race: 30.4 years. That continues a downward trend from the last four races.
As I noted in my piece for NBC Sports, no driver younger than 30 had won at New Hampshire since spring 2015. The drivers with the best finishing averages in the last three races at NHMS were oldsters: Kevin Harvick (4.00), Denny Hamlin (4.67), and Brad Keselowski (4.67). Those drivers finished fifth, sixth and seventh — good showings for all, but not wins.
Season to Date
More importantly than age, Bell’s win brings the total number of winning drivers to 14. With six races left in the 2022 season, including two road courses and a superspeedway, the possibility that there are 16 or more winners cannot be excluded.
The graph below shows the number of distinct winners after 20 and 26 races in green and grey, respectively. In the years in which there were 14 winners by race 20, the series reached 16 winners only once.
But, of course, this year is unlike any other year. Stay tuned.
And that’s your 2022 New Hampshire Race Report.