Toyota NXS Las Vegas Post-Race Recap

by Official Release On Sun, Sep. 16, 2018

Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race 26 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
September 15, 2018

1st, Ross Chastain*
2nd, Justin Allagier*
3rd, Cole Custer*
5th, Elliott Sadler*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, Justin Allgaier* 2,039 points
2nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL 2,032 points
3rd, Elliott Sadler* 2,011 points
4th, Cole Custer* 2,011 points
5th, Tyler Reddick* 2,010 points
8th, BRANDON JONES 2,006 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Camry driver Christopher Bell was the highest-finishing Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a fourth-place showing.

· Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota teammate Brandon Jones started in the rear of the field and would on to finish seventh in the event in Las Vegas, while Ryan Preece would place sixth.

· With the conclusion of the Xfinity Series regular season at Las Vegas, both Bell and Jones earned Playoffs spots and will compete in the 12-driver postseason.

· Both Toyota drivers are seeded inside the top-10 with Bell slotted second and Jones eighth, respectively.


CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 GameStop Tomb Raider Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 4th

How slick was your car today?

“I don’t know. Our GameStop Camry was a fourth or fifth place car. We could never really get going on the short run. I could start making up a little bit of time late in the run. Never enough to get up there and contend for the lead.”

How do you approach the rest of the season now?

“We’ll have better cars the rest of the season and we’ll be able to win some races.”

Walk us through your day at Las Vegas.

“It wasn’t good enough – that was the bottom line. Yesterday in practice, I was kind of lacking a little bit compared to the 42. The rest of us were kind of equal whenever we had track position. We took off really good on scuffs just like we did in the first race here in March. Then our GameStop Camry wasn’t good enough when we put stickers on. We couldn’t make it better.”

Where do you think your team is heading into the Playoffs?

“We won at Richmond in the spring. I think we’ll be in really good shape. This team does a great job at building really fast cars. This is probably the first week of the year where we just got flat out beat. For the most part, we always contend for the wins. I am really happy about that. I like where we are.”

Talk about your last couple of races.

“I knew these last few would be really tough for me because after I won the three races in a row, there were road courses and Darlington was a place I’ve never been to before. I knew that would be a tough stretch. I like where we’re at. We’re going to Richmond and we won there in spring. I am really happy with where we’re at.”

Is the Playoff group about who you expected to be in it?

“Yeah, I feel like I can only speak for myself. My team is doing a great job of building really fast Camrys. I expect Richmond to be one of our better races.”

How do you feel going to Richmond?

“I feel really good. Richmond wasn’t my best track last year but this year our Camry was really fast there. It’s pretty slick. It takes a lot of patience there and you have to make sure you hit your lines and marks there. I think that plays into my wheelhouse. We have to see how it goes. This week was weird. Normally we come to the track and contend for wins. This is definitely an odd week and we still came home top-five. I am really thankful for that and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and building really fast race cars and allowing me to drive them.”

What did you battle today?

“Yesterday in practice, we weren’t as fast as we needed to be to contend for the win and qualified fourth. Ran second. I thought we ran a similar pace to the 42. He was a little bit better but as soon we put stickers on, we were tight. Then we were tight the rest of the day.”

BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Menards Mastercraft Doors Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 7th

How excited are you to be in the Playoffs?

“Yeah, going into this when I knew we were somewhat locked in the points was a relief a little bit. I thank everyone at Menard’s and Joe Gibbs Racing. We had a great run today. Everyone got this car where it needed to be and we got a good finish considering the circumstances.”

Talk about the racing out there today.

“I think one thing about Vegas is as the track wears and gets really hot, you see a lot of people move up and move around. That was one thing that was really fun today – being able to move around. It was extremely crazy. You could get big drafts and it was really slick. Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota does a fantastic job. I think all of our cars were really good today. I think it showed.”

What kind of competition do you feel in this field?

“It’s tough. There’s a whole bunch of us right on top of each other at least in lap times. There’s multiple times where you think you get a big run on some of the guys and here they come back on the top. They’re difficult to pass. A lot of veterans and good drivers. Luckily we’re locked in. We’re there. We’re going to the next round. I am excited to be a part of the Playoffs.”

Was today’s race crazy because it was a cutoff?

“It was everything. Those restarts get so crazy. You move around so much. You can go right to the top and see a lot of guys like Christopher Bell who come from dirt really working that top line well. I was working with spotter Chris Lambert and he did a great job showing me how to navigate this today.”

Was there a lot of aggression today?

“For sure. I am not sure we’ve ever raced in this type of heat. We saw a lot of sliding around We finally got the car tightened up to where I think we were running competitive at the end.”

Where do you see yourself in these Playoffs?

“I’d like to be sleeper. If we can make it to the last round, we’re here to do this and compete. That is our goal right now. Hopefully we can get there to the last round.”

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