Bell, Jones claim top-three finishes in Las Vegas

LAT Images #20: Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem/Smurfit Kappa

Christopher Bell and Brandon Jones finished second and third in this evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Race 26 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS

1st, Tyler Reddick*

2nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL

3rd, BRANDON JONES

4th, Cole Custer*

5th, Justin Allgaier*

9th, RILEY HERBST

26th, TOMMY JOE MARTINS

28th, JARIO AVILA, JR.

30th, JOEY GASE

35th, CHAD FINCHUM

36th, STAN MULLIS

*non-Toyota driver

•                Christopher Bell led 154 (of 200) laps before finishing second to lead Toyota in tonight’s event

•                Bell won both stages to earn two more Playoff points

•                Brandon Jones matched his season-best result of third this evening for his fourth top-five finish of the season.

•                Riley Herbst earned his third top-10 finish in his ninth career start.

•                Both Bell and Jones officially move on to the first round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

TOYOTA QUOTES

CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem/Smurfit Kappa Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 2nd

How do you make sense of the end of this race?

“It’s the second time this year that we got beat by circumstances. At Iowa we put on our tires when we needed to and some guys banked on a yellow coming out later and they got it and they beat us. Today, they just kind of did the opposite of us and won the race. Very, very disappointing. Obviously, I’m really happy with how our Rheem Supra was – it was really fast. That’s a good sign.”

How much more could you have pushed if you had known Tyler Reddick was going to try to stretch fuel?

“I got beat by seven-tenths of a second there. At the end of the race, I was running hard when they told me he (Tyler Reddick) was going to try to make it. I don’t feel like I gave up very much at the end. At the beginning of the run, I definitely wasn’t running as hard as I could have once they told me the 98 (Chase Briscoe) sped on pit road. Was it seven-tenths over 30 laps or whatever it was, maybe. But, we got beat.”

What’s the state of this team heading into the Playoffs?

“it’s really gratifying to see how fast we were on a mile-and-a-half. Our short track stuff has been really, really good and the mile-and-a-half stuff, it seems like a couple guys have had us covered. We can say that we had them covered today.”

BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Juniper Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

How do you think this finish takes you into the Playoffs momentum wise?
“It was fun today. It was slick. We had that spin there early on; it was on the edge like that for a while, but we were fastest when we were that edgy. We tightened it up a good bit during the race, and it slowed down just a little bit. All-in-all, I wouldn’t want anyone else behind me in this battle we are getting ready to go into during the Playoffs. These first two tracks are going to be a little tough – Richmond and the Roval are going to be a little tough, but we are going to get past them. We have some good tracks that we are going to be really decent at. It’s going to be a good year for Toyota, Joe Gibbs, all of our guys are really competitive. There’s a lot of guys that are going to be tough to beat, but I am ready to battle.”

Do you think you can put yourself in that coverstation to be there in Homestead?

“Yeah, I have to make it past these first couple of hard ones, but get me to these mile-and-a-halves where we are really decent, and I think we are going to be a sleeper.”

How did the track change throughout the day?

“As the sun went down, it tightened up a little bit. It was super slick when the sun was out. We had a lot coverage in (turns) 1 and 2, and no coverage in (turns) 3 and 4 for most of the day, so that would change the balance on the cars a lot.”

How great was it to finish in the top-three today?

“Yeah, I’m telling you if we get past this first round, we are going to be surprise people. I think when it comes down to these last rounds for us, we have some good tracks coming up. This was a great run for us, but it wasn’t perfect. I had the spin there, which was pretty crazy to save that. We had a couple hiccups on pit road, but all-in-all to fight back to that position with the circumstances is pretty great. Love the team I got; love the guys I have. We are going into battle in the Playoffs and have a good time.”

RILEY HERBST, No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 9th

How was the race overall today?

“For sure, a great day here in my hometown. The final Xfinity race I had on my schedule this year in the No. 18 Supra. I wanted to finish in the top-10, but we got robbed on a couple positions there at the end because people gambled in Vegas here on fuel, which got us. We played it safe and tried to take it to the long run for a top-10, which was good.”

What is it like racing in your hometown?

“It’s cool. Would have loved to be in victory lane in my hometown, but baby steps – you have to walk before you can run. We’re getting there. Hopefully, we can get some more opportunities next year in this No. 18 Supra or whatever the future holds. We’re really excited for it.”

Did you notice a difference when the temperatures started to drop later in the race?

“For sure, I definitely put us in a hole the first stage. Yesterday I was screaming loose so the guys tightened the heck out of the race car and the whole first stage, they did everything they did in practice to get it freed back up. Once it cooled down a little bit, started to snug up a little bit so we had to chase it again. The guys did a great job trying to stay ahead of the race track all day.”

Toyota Racing PR

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