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November 4, 2022

Did Twitter predict the Championship 4? (2022 edition)

driver roundtable with four drivers and host
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Turns out it’s not easy to predict the future.

Back in February, long before the season started with rookie Austin Cindric winning the Daytona 500, we asked you to put your Championship 4 picks in writing on Twitter. Guess the four favorites come November. Simple enough, right?

Well, what nobody knew then was that NASCAR was in store for its zaniest season in memory — a brand new car, 19 different race winners, playoff upsets, Ross Chastain making the Championship 4 with the coolest move we’ve ever seen in short, asking non-psychics to guess who’d end up battling for the Bill France Cup was a tall order.

Now, here in November, the championship finale at Phoenix Raceway the last stop on the circuit, it’s time to see which of the hundreds of Twitter geniuses who participated in our little experiment nailed it back in February. Who had the foresight to predict the Championship 4 would come down to Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano?

The answer? Well … nobody. (Although, technically speaking … )

Don’t act so surprised! It was a weird, wild season, and we loved every lap of it.

Sure, Elliott and Logano were former champs with past Championship 4 experience; dozens of people picked the two of them. Easy.

But, Christopher Bell, who entered the season with a single win — yeah, tough sell, given the stout competition in the field and Bell’s modest numbers. Still, three guessers picked Driver No. 20 to reach the finals (again, out of hundreds of participants).

And, furthermore, Ross Chastain as a championship favorite back in February? On paper, that was an easy write-off. After all, the ‘Melon Man’ had never won a race or made the playoffs before. (Of course, we all quickly learned that Trackhouse isn’t here to mess around.)

Impressively, one person, @OvershotTae13, predicted both Bell and Chastain to reach the championship race. That’s right: the two drivers that were the toughest ones to guess. Well done!

We’ve been tracking championship predictions on Twitter for a few years with limited — but still some — success. A lone individual was perfect last year, one person picked perfectly in 2020, two got ’em right in 2019, and nobody predicted the 2018 Championship 4.

There’s always our favorite part of revisiting preseason Championship 4 picks from Twitter, and that’s publicly shaming those who whiffed four out of four. Fortunately for many of those folks, it seems going 0-for-4 was the norm this year. There were plenty of picks of Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Denny Hamlin, after all, not to mention preseason favorites Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick.

With so many people utterly wrong this year (on Twitter? Whaaat?), we can’t share every single wrong lineup as we normally do. Instead, we’ll choose to shame only a few individuals from the Twittersphere. Everybody else, you’re lucky.

Sigh …

Thanks to everyone bold enough to share their predictions, and an extra thanks to those even bolder who didn’t delete their highly erroneous picks before we had time to make fun of them in public.

Let’s try again and see if even one person can get it right in 2023.