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This September, NASCAR fans will get an inside look at the lives of some of their favorite and most competitive drivers in motorsports by way of the documentary series “Race For The Championship.”
The unscripted show, which premieres on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, will give fans an in-depth look at the personal and professional lives of 12 of the championship racers vying for the title in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series. It promises to show who these men are when they’re behind the wheel competing at the highest level as well as who they are off the track as fathers, husbands, and lifelong fans of the very storied sport of driving.
While NASCAR fans will recognize most, if not all, of the big names who appear on the show, others may be getting acquainted with them for the very first time. So, it feels right to give a brief rundown of the men who will appear on “Race For The Championship” when it premieres later this year.
Larson goes into the series with a big target on his back for many reasons. First of all, he’s the reigning champion, having won the series in 2021. Second, he’s largely considered to be the most naturally talented driver the sport has seen in years.
Blaney is one of the most charismatic figures in NASCAR right now. He’s got immense talent on the track and carries himself with the star power of a top-tier athlete. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a championship title under his belt to quite match the swagger — yet. After placing a very respectable seventh last year, the 2022 season could very well be his for the taking.
Few people in the current NASCAR Cup Series lineup have the chance to make history the way Harrison Burton does. He is the first driver born after 2000 to compete full-time in the championship and has a lot to prove because of it.
That said, there are also a lot of opportunities for him to make a name for himself. Taking home the title at 21 years old would be a career-making move and set him leaps and bounds above his more seasoned competition.
Kyle is one of the biggest names in NASCAR, but not always for good reason. He is a renegade on the track and he wears that moniker like a badge of honor. People on the track know not to mess with him and if they don’t, he makes sure they learn quickly.
However, 2022 is a year in which The Black Hat has to put his money where his mouth is. After underperforming in 2020 and 2021, he is putting a lot of pressure on his Joe Gibbs Racing team to ensure that this year is the one that reminds the world why they’ve heard of Kyle Busch and what he has to offer on the track.
Kyle's older brother Kurt is a seasoned veteran in NASCAR. In fact, he won the first Cup Series in its current form in 2004 and has continued to be a dynamic presence on the track since. Like his brother, he was known for being a bit of a hothead in the sport. However, he’s since mellowed out quite a bit and may even teach his brother a thing or two about aging gracefully within the sport of NACAR racing.
That said, the duo is fiercely competitive in races together, so mentorship may be the furthest thing from Kurt’s mind when the rubber meets the road.
Chastain, best known as the “Watermelon Man” since his family grew them, is a top-tier racer who has logged 200 starts in NASCAR’s top three national touring series over the last three seasons. This earned him the accolade of literally being NASCAR’s busiest driver.
Among them, he races the No. 1 Chevrolet for Trackhouse Racing where he hopes to take home the 2022 Cup title.
In addition to being a championship driver and the son of NASCAR legend Bill “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” Elliot, Chase has been voted the sport’s Most Popular Driver every year since 2018.
He has a lot at stake going into the 2022 season. He won in 2020 but narrowly lost to Larson in 2021, ultimately coming in fourth. To make matters worse, the man perceived to be his biggest obstacle to another championship is also one of his teammates on the Hendrick Motorsports team. So, if a rivalry is brewing, it could wreak havoc behind the scenes for the team.
Brad won the championship in 2012 and has come very close to repeating it ever since. In 2020, for example, he was the runner-up. The year after he placed in a close sixth. Now, he’s made some huge changes in his career that he hopes will make 2022 different.
He left his team at Penske this season to join Roush-Fenway Racing, a team that was in dire need of some new blood to take it from the middle of the pack to something the NASCAR world is talking about regularly.
Racing is in LaJoie’s blood. His father was two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie, who took home the title in both 1996 and 1997. Being a father while navigating life as a high-performing NASCAR driver is something of great interest to Corey given that he and his wife, Kelly, are about to welcome their second child to join their 2-year-old, Levi.
Those who meet Joey Logano off the track will tell you he’s an affable, almost goofy guy. Those who meet him on the track will tell you he’s one of the most aggressive and therefore dangerous drivers the sport has seen in decades.
As a result, his actions behind the wheel have not made him any friends in the sport, whether it be drivers or fans. In fact, he’s been the subject of several confrontations and even fistfights over the years. Still, he wears this reputation somewhat proudly.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Stenhouse Jr. made a name for himself on the track in the early days of his career as a bit of a wild card. NASCAR drivers spend all their time training to be in complete control on the track, so naturally, they all take notice when someone who takes the risks that Ricky does becomes a regular figure. Still, his methods have made him a two-time Cup Series winner.
The only international driver in the field, Suarez came from humble beginnings after his father sold the family auto restoration business to pay for his son to move to America and make a name for himself in NASCAR.
While this puts tremendous pressure on Suarez to perform well, he is up to the task. There is perhaps no more determined racer in the game. He’s spent the past few years trying to break into the sport despite originally moving here without the ability to speak any English. Now, he’s not only got a grasp of the language, but he’s also a top contender to win the NASCAR Cup series for the first time ever.
"Race for the Championship" premieres on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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