Christopher Bell earned the pole, led 61 laps and came mere feet from clinching his spot in the Championship 4 on Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bell closed the gap to just two points from the Championship 4 with his strong finish.
Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) and Denny Hamlin (10th) are tied in third, two points above the cutline, while Tyler Reddick (eighth) is in sixth, 16 points back of a Championship 4 berth.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race 33 of 36 – 400.5 miles, 267 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kyle Larson*
2nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
3rd, Kyle Busch*
4th, Brad Keselowski*
5th, Ross Chastain*
8th, TYLER REDDICK
9th, MARTIN TRUEX, JR.
10th, DENNY HAMLIN
13th, BUBBA WALLACE
34th, TY GIBBS
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem/Smurfit Kappa Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Do you rethink anything in those last laps?
“I mean, I don't know what else I could have done, so I don't know. I feel like that was my moment. That was my moment to make the Final Four. Didn't quite capture it. I don't know. Coming to the checkered there, I knew that he was going to be blocking, so I'm like, I'm going to try to go high. He went high. I don't even know if I had a run to get by him there coming to the line. Just wasn't enough. A great day, great day for sure to get the stage points, get a second-place finish out of it. I think I saw we're minus two, so we're not out of it by any means. It would have been nice to lock it in.”
TYLER REDDICK, No. 45 Jordan Brand Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
Can you talk about your race?
“Yeah, we missed it a little bit on the handling, unfortunately. We were really loose and it kind of boxed us in unfortunately. To get an eighth out of it, that was probably a better finish than we had on pace, so to get that finish is good for us. You look at it – yeah, we lost ground on the cutline, but how our car drove today, it should have been a lot worse than it was. We got something out of it and kind of minimized the bleeding.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
What was your mentality on those restarts?
“It was just trying to figure out how to minimize the damage and hope that we could get a longer run. We did at the end, which was really helpful. I don’t know what we had going on. Restarting up front, we were pretty good, and then on the long runs, really good – I thought – probably a third-place car, but once we got back there – 16th, 18th whatever it was – it was just really bad on the restart. I would lose three, four, five spots every time and then once we got strung out and got going, I would pick them off and work our way forward, but then we would get another caution and I would lose a couple more. It was an uphill battle, but luckily at the end, we were able to have a couple of better restarts and at least maintain, and then work our way forward from there. All-in-all, it was okay. The pit call obviously killed us in stage two.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
What did you need down the stretch?
“Yeah, I didn’t have a very good restart the second to the last and got split three wide and lost two spots. We pitted, and the adjustment just didn’t work with the car and add the track position to it. I was just way too tight at the end and couldn’t do much. I tried to do the best we could with it, but 10th was all we had in the end and wasn’t what we had all day for sure.”