FINAL GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings after Blaney Wins 2023 Cup Championship at Phoenix Finale

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readNov 11, 2023

6 November 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

AVONDALE, AZ — For the first time in the modern NASCAR Playoff era (10 years), a non-Championship eligible driver won the Championship finale as Team Trackhouse driver Ross Chastain surged during the third stage to win the 312 lap race Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. Finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were three of the Championship 4 — with Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney 2nd and winning the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship, Kyle Larson 3rd, and William Byron 4th. The remaining Championship 4 driver, Christopher Bell from Joe Gibbs Racing exited the race early when a brake rotor failed causing a right front flat sending the №20 into the wall on lap 108. Bell would finish last in 36th place- a crushing blow after such a great season and strong run through the playoffs.


FINAL 2023 Go Full Throttle NASCAR AI Driver Rankings following the Championship Finale at Phoenix Raceway (Image Credit: GFT Digital)

The new Cup Champion Ryan Blaney finishes the season P1 with points earned as Champion and his 2nd place finish in the race. William Byron finishes the season P2 where his 6 wins and 4th place finish edged him just past Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson by 0.15456% in our AI model.

1229.3 = BYRON GFT AI Score / 1227.4 = LARSON GFT AI Score

P4 goes to Christopher Bell who drops 2 spots after the DNF in Sunday’s Championship race. Hamlin finishes the year P5, Truex P6, Buescher P7, and Reddick P8. Race winner Ross Chastain closes the season P9, and Brad Keselowski rounds out the GFT Top 10 rankings. What a great 2023 season.

Manufacturers Box Score

FINAL 2023 Go Full Throttle NASCAR Manufacturers Box Score following the Championship Finale at Phoenix Raceway (Image Credit: GFT Digital)

Manufacturer Wins:
Chevrolet = 20
Toyota = 11
Ford = 10

Cup Driver Wins:
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet = 6

Cup Team Wins:
Hendrick Motorsports = 12

Chevrolet sweeps the manufacturers’ championship in all three NASCAR national series. It is the third consecutive year Chevrolet has won the manufacturers’ championship in the Cup Series and their 42nd overall. Chevrolet clinched in both the Craftsman Truck series and Xfinity series titles Oct. 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

However … Ford fans are quick to point out that Ford drivers won all three Driver championships in 2023 (Blaney in Cup, Custer in Xfinity, and Rhodes in the Truck Series).

Wrapping up the 2023 NASCAR season

Thanks to all who have been apart of our journey during the NASCAR 2023 season and we will see you at the LA Coliseum February 4th for another edition of The Clash. Our Go Full Throttle AI Driver Ranking and Race Prediction models continue to improve and we end the season knowing our Cup Series models accurately predicted who the Championship 4 drivers would be, although the models picked Larson to win the Championship. But to quote Dave Moody “AI is great, but we still have to run the race.”



Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association