Christopher Bell comes up aces winning pole in Las Vegas

Christopher Bell in the No. 20 JGR Toyota

The ‘Round of 8’ in the NASCAR Playoffs will kick off on Sunday when the South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway takes the green flag. Those drivers still alive in the NASCAR Playoffs will have the opportunity to make their move toward the Championship 4 over the next three rounds on the schedule.

As he had done on five other occasions this season, Christopher Bell placed his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the pole giving him the honor of leading the field to green. The Norman, Oklahoma native, who will enter the race just below the cutline, was joined in the top-10 by four others currently still in contention for the championship.

Bell’s lap just edged that of Kyle Larson by .010 seconds to secure the top spot on the scoring pylon.

“It was flat lined,” Bell described. “I never lifted all the way around, he(Larson) didn’t either. It comes down to horsepower, I guess, and this TRD Camry’s got plenty of horsepower.”

The pole sitter pointed out that no one will be able to push their car as hard over the course of the race as was the case during time-trials. The speed seen on Saturday likely won’t be there on Sunday.

“It changes a lot,” Bell explained. “We saw in practice it was a lot of grip to take off then it started losing grip as the run went on. It’s going to be about who can keep the most in their car over the period of the run and move around and find it on the race track. Las Vegas is a fun race track because you can pretty much run from the wall to the white line and everywhere in between. If you’re faster than a guy you can move around and find a line that helps you out.”

Starting Lineup: 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Kyle Larson, 3. William Byron, 4. Martin Truex Jr., 5. Chris Buescher, 6. Kyle Busch, 7. Bubba Wallace, 8. Tyler Reddick, 9. Joey Logano, 10. Ross Chastain, 11. Ty Gibbs, 12. Ryan Blaney, 13. Aric Almirola, 14. Alex Bowman, 15. Denny Hamlin, 16. Austin Dillon, 17. Chase Briscoe, 18. Michael McDowell, 19. Austin Cindric, 20. Justin Haley, 21. Brad Keselowski, 22. A.J. Allmendinger, 23. Erik Jones, 24. Kevin Harvick, 25. Carson Hocevar, 26. J.J. Yeley, 27. Ty Dillon, 28. Corey LaJoie, 29. Todd Gilliland, 30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 31. B.J. McLeod, 32. Ryan Preece, 33. Harrison Burton, 34. Brennan Poole, 35. Chase Elliott, 36. Daniel Suarez

NASCAR Playoffs Standings: 1. William Byron(+20), 2. Martin Truex Jr(+15)., 3. Denny Hamlin(+11), 4. Kyle Larson(+3), 5. Chris Buescher(-3), 6. Tyler Reddick(-8), 7. Christopher Bell(-8), 8. Ryan Blaney(-10)

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