Toyota NXS Charlotte Post-Race Report

by Official Release On Sat, May. 26, 2018

Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race 11 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
May 26, 2018

1st, Brad Keselowski*
2nd, Cole Custer*
4th, Ty Dillon*
5th, Elliott Sadler*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, Elliott Sadler* 433 points
2nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL 395 points
3rd, Tyler Reddick* 378 points
4th, Daniel Hemric* 376 points
5th, Cole Custer* 371 points
7th, BRANDON JONES 343 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Christopher Bell (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
· Camry driver Kyle Busch (eighth) also finished in the top 10 and led a race-high 93 laps.
· Busch won both stages before getting involved in an incident on lap 163 that put him one lap down.


CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

Take us through that final restart.

“I mean the rain didn’t really have anything to do with it. I just didn’t execute there. I don’t know. I was disappointed to see the yellow cause I felt like I was starting to make some runs on them down the straightaways. Just didn’t execute on the restart.”

What happened on the final restart? It looked like you might have something for Brad Keselowski at the front.

“Yeah, we did. I had better tires than him and just didn’t execute. I’m going to be curious to look at the restart there and see if – see what happened and why I couldn’t get going. Bottom line, just didn’t do a good job accelerating there and that’s all she wrote.”

Take us through your final overtime laps.

“I was just heartbroken whenever I saw that piece of debris fly off those lapped cars. Felt like we were really getting – starting to make some runs there. I think we were coming to two to go and I was getting the top going pretty good in (turn) one and two. Felt like I was going to have shot at him if the yellow didn’t come out and then obviously when the yellow came out, I did have a shot at him and just didn’t execute on that last restart.”

What was your biggest challenge throughout the event?

“For me, we just fought dirty air the entire race. Qualifying seventh and then starting on the bottom, just could never really break through there and I felt like our Rheem Camry was capable of running in the top two or three all day long, but just seemed like every time I’d lose a couple spots on the restart and I’d just be buried and have to climb my way up through there. I felt like our car was good, we just never really had the opportunity to show how good it was until right there at the end.”

What was the strategy being discussed throughout the course of that rain delay?

“I think the biggest thing was just, you know in the Xfinity Series, we’re limited on tires here, so kind of you saw a bunch of different strategies of when the people took their last sets of tires. (Brad) Keselowski took it earlier and that was, that was good because he was going to have track position, but then we kept getting yellows and bringing us up with new tires closer to him. I think me and Cole (Custer) were on the same strategy and we probably had the winning strategy, we just didn’t get it done. The old Cup guy beat us.”


BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Menards / Jeld-Wen Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 16th

A great start in the first two stages, but you seemed to fade at the end of the race. What happened?

“First two stages were really good. I don’t know if we were as good as the 22 (Brad Keselowski) was. I know they were peaced out all day. The 18 (Kyle Busch) was also really fast. I think we were a top five car there. Sat here in the rain delay sun and I think the wheel was already beginning to come loose. That was the wheel there at the end that caused us to shoot back like we did. That one restart there at the end, the 22 and 21 (Daniel Hemric) I had just hit it a little bit too soon and I had to check up really bad. There at the end we had to come down, fix the wheel a little bit, so that kind of cost us. It’s tough to not execute the way that we should have there at the end, but all in all pretty good day. We ran very consistently up front in the stages, got some good stage points. This whole week’s been phenomenal. We won the ARCA race a couple nights ago, finished third in the truck last week here at Charlotte, so it was a good weekend.”

Did winning the ARCA race and running so well in trucks help to build up your confidence here today?

“Yeah, absolutely and then coming here, qualifying great today – we qualified really well. Qualified fifth and it was awesome. Ran right there all day long, so that’s great. Phenomenal job. We can go to Pocono and then build on that.”

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