Bubba Wallace (fourth), Christopher Bell (fifth) and Martin Truex Jr. (seventh) all tallied top-10 finishes for Toyota at Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the first intermediate event of the 2023 season, the Camry TRDs showed consistency running within the top-10 for the entire event. The event would go into overtime where Truex gambled and stayed on the track electing not to take any tires, but a run by race-winner William Byron cycled him to the seventh position when the checkered flag waved.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race 3 of 36 – 400 miles, 267 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, William Byron*
2nd, Kyle Larson*
3rd, Alex Bowman*
4th, BUBBA WALLACE
5th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
7th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
11th, DENNY HAMLIN
15th, TYLER REDDICK
22nd, TY GIBBS
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
How did the final restart play to your advantage?
“I will say that I hate two tires, it’s never worked for me. I’ve always been plowing tight. Bootie (crew chief) and the team did a great job and it fired off money there. I thought we were going to settle for sixth right before that caution came out and I think that’s about where we were all day. We have a lot of stuff to work on, but a good, solid day. Finally be able to finish a race where we deserve. The caution came out and I was like, the gloves are off and you just have to go out there and fight and scrap. Proud of our team to come home fourth and have Columbia on the car and give them a great run that they deserve and just try to keep it going now.”
How did you feel about your race overall?
“Love coming here to Vegas. Really thought we had a much better car in the race than what we had in practice. Just couldn’t get the front end to work and we tried everything. We went the other way on air, went the opposite way on air and just could never figure it out so we have a lot of work to do for our mile-and-a-half stuff. Happy for our Columbia Toyota Camry TRD team. Never stop fighting and never give up. I almost came over the radio and was like, ‘Hey, good job, we finished sixth.’ Then the caution came out and I perked up again and got some.”
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Sirius XM Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
How was your race overall with some challenges you battled throughout the race?
“Honestly, the finish to that ended up about as good as we could have asked for with the Sirius XM Toyota Camry TRD. I don’t know, really up and down strange day for us because we took off and I felt really good and drove right to top-five and I didn’t feel like I had anything for the Hendrick cars. It seemed like we were the best of the rest and then we lost the handling.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How confident were you with the call to stay out for the final restart?
“Not very confident. We just hoped we would get to the white (flag) and maybe they would crash. We did okay the first lap. We held second there for almost a whole lap and got into one in second after the white so we were in pretty good shape there, but got real tight in one and two and got freight-trained down the backstretch. But all in all, it was a good gamble and a strong day by our Bass Pro Camry and all of our guys. At the end, we just took a gamble. We were going to run probably at best third or fourth and threw a hail Mary and finished seventh so not really a big deal there.”
Did you feel you had a chance to hold them off on the final restart with the gamble to stay on the track?
“I wasn’t sure, you never know. If you can somehow get a good restart, get to the white flag and they crash then you win the thing. It almost happened. We were second at the white, we were second going into turn one on the last lap and just got tight and got in a bad spot coming off of turn two and lost momentum down the back. All in all, it was a solid day for our Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD and everybody did a good job. Could never quite get it where we need it. I think we were about a third-place car, maybe fourth. Just a good, solid day. We’re in Vegas, we might as well roll the dice and like everybody says, we come here to gamble. I was proud of James (Small, crew chief) for that. Last year we didn’t and it bit us. We gave up a few spots, but all in all it was a solid day.”
Toyota Racing PR