After tallying a season-best eight victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) this season, Christopher Bell fell short of the NXS title at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing fifth in Saturday’s race.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race 33 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Tyler Reddick*
2nd, Cole Custer*
3rd, Chase Briscoe*
4th, Noah Gragson*
5th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
8th, BRANDON JONES
10th, HARRISON BURTON
21st, COLIN GARRETT
25th, JA JUNIOR AVILA
27th, JOEY GASE
34th, TIMMY HILL
35th, CHAD FINCHUM
• Championship 4 contender and Toyota Racing development driver Christopher Bell finished fifth in Saturday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
• With the fifth-place result, Bell finishes third in the 2019 NXS championship standings.
• Toyota teammates Brandon Jones (eighth) and Harrison Burton (10th) also finished in the top 10 in Saturday’s race.
• Supra drivers won a season-best 13 races in 2019 with Toyota earning a total of 162 victories since joining Xfinity Series competition in 2007.
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem/Watts Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Where did you need to be better tonight?
“The long run. Just couldn’t get the long run going.”
What made a difference in the closing stage when three of you were battling hard?
“We just had great pit stops. Our pit stops would allow us to get up front and then we would maintain until we started falling off and then they would drive by me.”
Did you feel you had a shot at the championship when you were up front?
“Even really since the drop of the green flag, I knew that we were in trouble. We can’t get around this place for some reason.”
How much did missing pit road impact your chances?
“It didn’t help. We got beat by 17 seconds there. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. For some reason, just can’t hit on what I need to, to be able to get around this place for a 30 or 40-lap run.”
How will you remember your final season in the Xfinity Series?
“Just a lot of fun. A lot of fun racing with these people. This whole group on this No 20 Supra, driving for Coach Gibbs. A lot of fun to drive for him. Very thankful that I got to spend some time in the Xfinity Series. These cars are a ton of fun to drive. I’m ready for the next chapter.”
BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Juniper Networks Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
In many ways this was a career season for you, Brandon, can you talk about your year and what you are looking forward to in 2020?
“Yeah, it was quite a season. We started off really strong with this group. We continued to run really good throughout the middle half of the season. Just kind of seemed like everything was not falling our way for a long time. After getting the Kansas win, it seemed that kind of helped us turn things back around a little bit. We had some really good runs, and the good thing is, I continued my position here. I think eighth was what I had last year too. I didn’t get any worse here. We still have some work to do at Homestead, but I’m looking forward to getting with this group in 2020. I think we have a bunch of momentum headed that way. I’m excited to see what we can do. I want to thank everyone at Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing — all of those guys. They help us out a bunch. I’m looking forward to it.”
Toyota Racing PR