Toyota Owners 400 Review
Well, today was not the greatest race in the world for Ricky Stenhouse and the JTG Daugherty Race Team. Stenhouse remained in the top 10 for the first 33 laps of the race before hitting the pits for the first time under a competition caution. During those first 33 laps, Stenhouse had a few laps where his #47 Chevy Camaro ZL1 was the fastest car on the track, and it looked like he was going to spend the rest of the race competing for a visit to victory lane.
That was until he began having issues with his brakes. After pitting on lap 33, his brake pedal started going down into the floor of the car, which is not good, in case you're wondering. On lap 34, he drove his car back into the pits for the pit crew to look at and try to fix it, but the issue could not be fixed on pit road. The team would have to bring the car into the garage.
Eventually, the JTG Daugherty crew determined that a brake bleeder screw was broken and needed to be replaced or fixed. It took some time to fix the issue, but eventually, they got the car back on the track. For the rest of the race, Stenhouse would stay 14 to 15 laps behind the leader and luckily would not finish dead last as JJ Yeley, the driver for the #15 car, and Noah Gragson, the driver for the #42 car, would have issues of their own. Stenhouse finished in 35th.
In my Toyota Owners 400 preview, I gave you all three drivers to look out for. Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch. Bell would finish in 4th, Truex Jr. finished 11th, and Kyle Busch finished 14th.
Bush and Truex did not finish in the top 10 like I expected, but they didn't have awful days. Truex spent much time first, leading laps 295 to 351 with one pit break in between. For a minute there, Truex had an opportunity to take home the checkered flag, cruising within the top 5 until lap 389. He fell back in the last ten laps and finished just outside the top 10.
Busch had a rough day after starting in second, falling out of the top 10 on lap 42, and hanging out between 11th and 20th for most of the race, sneaking his way back into the top 10 for only a few laps after lap 42. A top-15 finish is not a bad day. It could've been better, sure, but sometimes the track just holds ya back.
Lastly, let's talk about Christopher Bell, who had a phenomenal day! After starting the race in 21st, he finished the day in 4th and even led for 26 laps. It's hard to beat yourself up over finishing in fourth when the other three cars ahead of you were driven by Kyle Larson and Josh Berry, both Hendrick cars, and Ross Chastain, who finds himself in a position to win every week.
Bell continues to search for his first win of the season. So far, he has finished in the top 5 in four of the first seven races. Of the races he hasn't finished in the top 5, one he finished in 6th, and two others, he was involved in a wreck that put him out of the race (Autoclub and COTA). Bell sits 3rd in the season standings behind Alex Bowman and Ross Chastain.
Next weekend, it's Bristol Dirt Baby! I will post my preview of that race on Friday night, so stay tuned and follow Ok Listen Here on Facebook or @DawsonHaywood on Twitter to stay updated and for more NASCAR content!
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