Toyota NXS Las Vegas Post-Race Recap

Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race 3 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
March 3, 2018

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Kyle Larson*
2nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
3rd, Justin Allgaier*
4th, Ryan Blaney*
5th, Elliott Sadler*
7th, BRANDON JONES
14th, KYLE BUSCH
28th, JOSH BILICKI
30th, STEPHEN LEICHT
32nd, CHAD FINCHUM
*non-Toyota driver

TOYOTA DRIVER POINT STANDINGS**
1st, Tyler Reddick* 123 points
2nd, Elliott Sadler* 123 points
3rd, CHRISTOPHER BELL 100 points
4th, Justin Allgaier* 95 points
5th, Spencer Gallagher* 89 points
7th, BRANDON JONES 86 point
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Camry driver Christopher Bell (second) was the top-finishing Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· Bell started from the pole position for the second race in a row and led six laps (of 200) at the 1.5-mile oval.
· It was the Oklahoma-native’s second straight top-five result this season.
· Toyota driver Brandon Jones (seventh) earned his second top-10 finish of the year.

TOYOTA QUOTES

CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem-Smurfit Kappa Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
How much did you enjoy racing for the lead against Kyle Larson?
“It would have been nice to get up there and get the lead, but I knew if I could get Kyle (Larson) out there we’d be able to race it out. I have to say, I hope Pete Willoughby and Keith Kunz are watching this because they were the two that put both me and Kyle on the national scene and it’s really cool to be able to run one-two. I guess Keith Kunz Motorsports alumni! Proud of all of our partners at Rheem, Ruud, GameStop, Toyota, TRD and all the fans for coming out here and all the fans that watched at home on the Xfinity X1 app. It was a lot of fun racing and I hope it was a lot of fun watching.”

How much fun was the racing with Kyle Larson?
“That was really cool and there will be a lot more of that.”

Third in Atlanta and second here in Las Vegas, do you feel another win is getting closer?
“Let’s hope that means something for Phoenix. I had a really, really good Rheem Camry today and it was a lot of fun to race. We fell off a little bit on that center part of the race, but I guess if you’re going to struggle, that’s the time to struggle, but they got this thing tuned up and we got up in the right lines and got a couple good restarts to get back up front. I think if I could have cleared Larson and had clean air, I’m not sure he would have been able to get back by me. He was out front and I couldn’t get by him. Second-place today so we’re inching closer to that win.”

How much fun was the racing today?
“That was a blast, that was as good as it gets right there. It ended up being a lot of fun today, you could move around really good and get different lines going. As race car drivers, that’s what you like.”

Did you feel you had a car capable of beating Kyle Larson?
“We were close, running second to Kyle (Larson) – if I’m going to run second to anyone, I guess I would rather it be him. Special day, we were able to win a stage and get a stage point. We need to keep racking those up and get some race wins here.”

Do you believe your intermediate program is really strong right now?
“Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, I think just the organization is firing on all cylinders. I don’t really expect to struggle anywhere, especially with this organization. They’re proven to be the best in the business and if we do struggle it’s on me and I’m not going to let that happen.”

How did the wind impact the race?
“Your balance was just different from corner to corner. You were a lot tighter and then in three and four you were loose with the wind gusts across the track. Overall Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) did a great job with this Rheem Camry and we were competitive really all day. We’ll move on to Phoenix and try to get ourselves a win.”

BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Menards Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How does it feel to have a solid run in Las Vegas?
“It was, our 19 Menards Toyota Camry was pretty fast all day. I was really happy with it. I think all we had to do all day was some tire adjustments and stuff to kind of fine-tune. It wasn’t like we had to throw big changes at it. We were really close in our setups, I think we could have gotten just a little bit closer. I think our car was a lot better on the long run than it was the short run. You could really see that, like a couple guys would get past me on a restart and their tires would fall off and we’d pass them. I wish we had just a little bit more to get going on the restarts and stuff. All in all fabulous day for us in the points. I’m excited to get to the next track.”

What’s your outlook on the two other West Coast races?
“The next two races are pretty much opposite of what we came off of in Vegas. Fontana is a massive track, really wore out. It’s been a track where I’ve really struggled at in the past, but we’ve done a lot of testing on simulators and stuff. I actually had some pretty good speed on that so maybe I’ll surprise myself when we get to that track. Phoenix has always been great, I just need to get a little bit of luck on my side at that track. I’ve had a couple of weird things happen there, so really if we can pull it all together I think we can do the same thing we just did here today.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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