Christopher Bell’s championship hopes ended in the middle of the second stage after a brake rotor failure caused contact with the wall in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series season-finale at Phoenix Raceway.
Martin Truex Jr. was the highest-finishing Toyota in sixth while Ty Gibbs earned Rookie of the Year honors in his first full Cup Series season.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 36 of 36 – 312 miles, 312 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Ross Chastain*
2nd, Ryan Blaney*
3rd, Kyle Larson*
4th, William Byron*
5th, Chris Buescher*
6th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
8th, DENNY HAMLIN
10th, BUBBA WALLACE
21st, TY GIBBS
22nd, TYLER REDDICK
36th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem - DEWALT Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 36th
What happened to take you out of the championship race early?
“Well, I mean that was my first time I’ve ever exploded a rotor in my career. So, yeah, I was surprised but early on in the race I had a little bit of brake fade and the second run it just kept getting worse and worse. I don’t know. Just obviously a disappointing way to end. I’m super, super proud of this 20 team and all of our partners at DEWALT and Rheem. To be in the Final 4 is something we’re really proud of.”
Was there any sign of it yesterday in practice?
“Not from my standpoint in the car. No.”
Are you disappointed to be out of the race so early?
“Yeah, I mean it stings to not have a shot at the end of it obviously. We were all four really close and we all four showed strengths at different times. I think it’s going to be a great championship race and whoever wins is going to be well deserving.”
Was there any warning what was happening before you hit the wall?
“Yes, I did have brake fade. In the first run of the race, I did have some pedal fade and I think that was run two – it got worse and worse.”
How do you summarize the season after the rough day today?
“I’m very proud of the effort put forth by our team to get to the Championship 4, but I do feel like we left a lot on the table at various races throughout the year. I’m excited about the future. We haven’t reached our potential yet.”