Discover more from TC Daily Pit Stop
TC Daily Pit Stop: Christopher Bell Punches Ticket to Final Four with Homestead Win; Ryan Blaney Sour About Racing with Denny Hamlin; More from Homestead-Miami Speedway
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, October 23rd, 2023
Christopher Bell has punched his ticket into the Final Four for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with a victory in Sunday’s #4EVER 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, after a massive rebound from an ill-handling car early in the race.
Bell, who finished runner-up to Kyle Larson at Las Vegas, was able to make the final pass for the lead inside 20 laps to go, before driving away to his second NASCAR Cup Series victory of the year.
Ryan Blaney finished in the runner-up position, with Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and AJ Allmendinger rounding out the top-five. Bubba Wallace, Ty Gibbs, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, and Austin Dillon completed the top-10.
Needing to have a strong performance in order to keep himself alive in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff fight, Ryan Blaney went to Homestead-Miami Speedway and found some speed, finishing second in Sunday’s 4EVER 400.
But, that didn’t come without a hard-fought battle with Denny Hamlin during the race’s final stage, which saw the No. 11 Toyota Camry attempt to pull a couple of slidejobs, and nearly take both drivers out.
After the race, Blaney wasn’t particularly happy with the way he was raced by the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, saying: “Oh, well he tried to slide me two or three times, failed miserably, and then just decided to use me up,” Blaney said. “If you’re going to slide somebody, slide somebody and commit, don’t halfway do it and use me up, so, what does he say, hack? I think he was that today.”
In the matter of 25 laps, the entire complexion of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway has totally been flipped upside down, and it all started with a crash for Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin, who was locked in an intense battle for third place with Ryan Blaney, had finally just cleared the No. 12 Ford Mustang heading into the first corner, when it appeared that something in his steering broke.
As a result, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver went straight in the middle of the corner, slamming the outside wall with the No. 11 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota Camry TRD, drawing the caution flag, and ending the Chesterfield, Virginia native’s day.
Kyle Larson, the dominant car of Sunday’s event at Homestead, was relegated out of the event, after a miscue coming to pit road with 50 laps to go, after slamming into the rear-end the No. 12 Ford Mustang and then into the pit road barrels.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver would finish 34th on the afternoon, after leading a race-high number of laps, and looking like a strong threat to capture his second consecutive win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
After one season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series together, Chandler Smith and Kaulig Racing are set to part ways at the end of the season, with the organization issuing a statement Monday morning that the Talking Rock, Georgia-native won’t return to the organization in 2024.
Smith, who captured his first Xfinity Series victory earlier in the season at Richmond Raceway, will move on from the team after the first year of what was liable to be a three-year contract.
The 21-year-old driver is heavily rumored to move to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, but an official announcement has not been made on the plans for either Smith or Kaulig Racing.
TC Daily Pit Stop is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.