CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem-Opteon Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
What was your view of that accident, Christopher?
“Just the 23, Bubba (Wallace) got run into the wall and obviously, retaliation on his side. We got the short end of the stick.”
How do you feel about your chances at Homestead and Martinsville to get to the Championship 4?
“The good thing is I feel better about winning one of those two races than I did winning the Roval. We’ve just had really, really strong Camrys – really all year long. We will see if we can go pull another rabbit out of the hat.”
How disappointing is it to have your championship chances impacted by an incident like this?
“It’s disappointing because our performance is capable of racing for the championship, and it doesn’t appear that we’re going to get to. Just disappointing.”
What happened between Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson from your perspective?
“Bubba (Wallace) got run into the wall and then he retaliated on the 5 (Kyle Larson) and wiped us out.”
Do you believe Bubba Wallace should be penalized for his actions?
“I don’t know. Follow protocol of whatever they’ve (NASCAR) done in the past.”
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 45 McDonalds Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Was the contact with Kyle Larson intentional retaliation on your behalf after he ran you into the outside wall?
“Cliff (Daniels, 5 crew chief)) is smart enough to know how easy these cars break. When you get shoved in the fence, deliberately like he (Kyle Larson) did, trying to force me to lift – the steering was gone, and he just so happened to be there. I hate it for our team. We had a super-fast car – not on short run speed, we were kind of falling back there and (Kyle) Larson wanted to make it a three-wide dive bomb. He never cleared me. I don’t lift. I know I’m kind of new to running up front, but I don’t lift. I wasn’t even in a spot to lift, he never lifted either and now we are junk. Piss poor move on his execution.”
At this speed, is retaliation an acceptable thing?
What is the message that you wanted to send to Kyle Larson by going up to him after the incident?
“He (Kyle Larson) knows. He knows what he did was wrong. He wanted to question what I was doing, and he never cleared me. I just hate it for our team. Our McDonalds Toyota Camry was super solid – just needed to find a little bit on the short run and get the balance where we needed it. It would have been like Kansas and now the car is junk.”
What is your reaction to Christopher Bell being involved in this?
What happened in the initial contact from your perspective?
“He (Kyle Larson) tried to clear me and there was nowhere clear and just stayed in the gas. I lifted and it was too late at that point. Everything broke and we were wadded up.”
Did you retaliate against Kyle Larson?
“Just racing right. Just have to do better, be better.”