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4EVER 400: Christopher Bell Wins Homestead, Advances To Championship 4


Christopher Bell celebrates in Victory Lane at Homestead-Miami.
Christopher Bell will get to compete for a championship again in Phoenix. (Photo: James Gilbert | Getty Images)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Multiple late-race cautions helped Christopher Bell and his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team clinch a spot in the Championship 4 for the second consecutive year, after winning the 4EVER 400 Presented by Mobil 1 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


Last year, Bell entered Martinsville below the cutline and made the final round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs for the first time in his career. This year, he got the job done a race sooner at Homestead and will not have stress heading into next Sunday's race in southern Virginia.


Bell led 26 laps and did not run inside the top five until Lap 221 of 267.


"I've got the best team behind me," Bell said. "Honestly, I don't know, man. That race was a whirlwind. I was ready to throw the towel in there in the second stage."


The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was frustrated on the radio throughout the race, however, he said that crew chief Adam Stevens and his team helped calm him down before he eventually found Victory Lane.


"I let my emotions get to me, that’s for sure," Bell said. "Normally, I don’t do that. But yeah, that was frustrating. It's no secret this track hasn’t been my favorite.


"The first stage, I thought we were onto something. Started 14th and got all the way up to ninth, I thought if we can improve just this much, we’d have a great day."


Ryan Blaney took his No. 12 Team Penske Ford to a second-place finish after a much-needed 53-point day to put the team above the cutline heading into the final race of the Round of 8.


Blaney, who won Stage 2 and finished third in Stage 1, was not happy that he could not catch Bell during the last green flag run.


"We were trying, we just needed laps," Blaney said. "The long run car was really good, I just couldn’t fire off for 10 laps or so. I think the track cooling off helped those guys.


"I think we were better in the hotter, slicker conditions when fire-off speed didn’t matter as much and it fell off quicker. That played into our benefit."


The Team Penske driver also had choice words for Denny Hamlin about how they raced each other before Hamlin eventually crashed out of the race. Blaney even used Hamlin's own words against him by referring to the JGR driver as a "hack."

Results from the 2023 4EVER 400 Presented by Mobil 1 from Homestead-Miami Speedway are listed below.

2023 4EVER 400 Presented by Mobil 1 Race Results.

Other Race Facts

Two Joe Gibbs Racing playoff drivers, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., had issues that could potentially cause them to miss the Championship 4. Hamlin's race ended when he smacked the wall hard after a mechanical issue and Truex Jr. also retired from the race with a mechanical issue.


Truex Jr. and Hamlin finished 29th and 30th respectively. Now, both are 17 points below the cutline entering Martinsville.


Another playoff driver who had a big issue was Kyle Larson. The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet won Stage 1 and seemed to be on his way to contending for another win until he crashed into sand barrels at the entrance of pit road.

An overlooked fact from the race at Homestead is AJ Allmendinger finishing inside the top five for the second straight time at the 1.5-mile Florida track. In fact, Allmendinger is the only Cup Series driver to get top-five finishes in the Next Gen era in both Homestead races.


"Our No. 16 Campers Inn RV Chevy was really good," Allmendinger said. "We started the race in the 25th position and drove right up into the top 10 there. The track was tricky – you got on one side of the race track and we fought tight through the middle-half of the race.


"I thought maybe we were one of the fastest cars there at the end, but overall, just a really solid day. It’s always great when you can get a top-five finish.”


GRID RANKING

The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 2.


Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 29 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

William Byron

12.35

12th

4th

12.49

12th

Denny Hamlin

10.78

20th

30th

10.46

21st

Kyle Larson

10.69

21st

34th

10.38

22nd

Kyle Busch

9.12

27th

18th

8.85

28th

Martin Truex Jr.

8.90

29th

29th

8.64

29th

Week 30 of the GRID Ranking:

With his finish, Byron clinches the NASCAR GRID Rating Championship with two races to go.


The next race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 29. Coverage begins on NBC at 2 p.m. ET.


GRID NETWORK

GRID Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GRIDRanking

GRID Ranking: https://twitter.com/GridRanking

GRID TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@gridnetwork

GRID Buy Me A Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/gridnetwork

GRID Website: https://www.gridranking.com/

GRID History: https://twitter.com/Grid_History

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