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Special feature

The ten closest finishes from the 2022 NASCAR season

The top three national divisions of NASCAR featured some exciting battles and incredible finishes throughout the past year. Take a look back at the ten closest margins of victory from what was an extremely memorable 2022 season.

Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire, Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Toyota Camry McDonald's, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mahindra Tractors, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Blue DEF/PEAK

Although the Next Gen car tightened the competition at the front of the Cup field, producing a record-tying 19 different winners, only four Cup races (all superspeedways) ended up on this list. Some finishes were excluded, as the race ended under caution.

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10. Stewart Friesen vs. Christian Eckes - Texas Trucks - 0.122s

Friesen earned his only Truck win of the year in a nail-bitter at Texas, ending a winless streak that reached back over two years to November, 2019.

9. Parker Kligerman vs. Zane Smith - Mid-Ohio Trucks - 0.119s

It was a big moment for Kligerman and Henderson Motorsports, defeating the man who would later in the year be crowned champion at the Mid-Ohio road course. Running a part-time schedule, he never failed to impress. This was no fluke either, dominating the race and leading 56 of 67 laps en route to the win.

8. Denny Hamlin vs. Kyle Busch - Coke 600 (Cup) - 0.119s

Although the finish itself was exciting, the end of this year's Coke 600 finish was memorable for far more reasons than that. After Chase Briscoe spun while battling Kyle Larson for the lead, a split-strategy on pit road set-up a mad-dash to the checkered flag. With the leaders four-wide exiting Turn 4, a massive wreck ensued. The restart that followed would put the two JGR teammates against each other for glory in NASCAR's longest race.

7. Ty Gibbs vs. John-Hunter Nemechek - Richmond Xfinity - 0.116s

JGR teammates battled it out to the checkered flag yet again in this controversial finish. Gibbs moved Nemechek up the track and snagged victory in a season that saw him win seven races on his way the championship. 

6. Austin Hill vs. Josh Berry - Atlanta Xfinity - 0.111s

The Georgia native earned victory in his home state at the newly reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway, his second win of the season with Richard Childress Racing.

5. Ross Chastain vs. Austin Dillon - Talladega Cup - 0.105s

Chastain was in the right place at the right time as Kyle Larson and Erik Jones tangled in front of him. He won the drag-race to the line to capture his second win of the year at the Cup level. It was just one of many bright spots for Chastain and the entire Trackhouse team, who ended 2022 as the championship runner-up.

4. Ross Chastain vs. Grant Enfinger - Charlotte Trucks - 0.102s

The only driver to show up on this list twice, Chastain was also part of the closest finish of the NASCAR Truck Series season. Following heartbreak for teammate Carson Hocevar, he held on against Enfinger to collect his fourth career Truck victory.

3. Chase Elliott vs. Ryan Blaney - Talladega Cup - 0.046s

The top-three closest finishes all came at superspeedways, which is to be expected with how these high intensity pack races usually play out. Here Elliott secured a crucial playoff win against Blaney, who would end the year winless.

2. Austin Cindric vs. Bubba Wallace - Daytona 500 (Cup) - 0.036s

The rookie took a shock win in NASCAR's biggest race, colliding with Penske teammate Blaney and then narrowly holding off Wallace across the finish line. It was Roger Penske's third win as an owner in the Daytona 500.

1. A.J. Allmendinger vs. Sam Mayer - Talladega Xfinity - 0.015s

Allmendinger timed the move absolutely perfectly, robbing Mayer of his maiden NXS win, but delivering Kaulig Racing yet another superspeedway triumph. It was the closest finish of the year across all three national divisions, and one of five victories for Allemendinger during the 2022 Xfinity season.

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