Brake failure ends Christopher Bell NASCAR championship bid

NASCAR: NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Christopher Bell did not make it to the finish of the NASCAR Cup Series championship race at Phoenix Raceway due to a blown brake rotor with 204 laps remaining.

Running sixth, he slammed the wall in Turn 3 and the damage ultimately ended both his race and championship pursuit. With a 36th place finish, Bell will finish fourth in the standings but also his second consecutive appearance in the Cup Series final four.

“That was my first time I’ve ever exploded a rotor in my career,” Bell said. “So, yeah, I was surprised but early on in the race I had a little bit of brake fade and the second run it just kept getting worse and worse. I don’t know. Just obviously a disappointing way to end. I’m super, super proud of this 20 team and all of our partners at DEWALT and Rheem.”

Bell said there were no signs of braking issues during practice and the 28-year-old was just disappointed to not have a shot come the end of the race.

“Yeah, I mean it stings to not have a shot at the end of it obviously,” Bell added. “We were all four really close and we all four showed strengths at different times. I think it’s going to be a great championship race and whoever wins is going to be well deserving.”

The issue manifests slowly,

“Yes, I did have brake fade,” Bell said. “In the first run of the race, I did have some pedal fade and I think that was run two – it got worse and worse.”

William Byron, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Larson remain in the hunt approaching the halfway mark of the race.

Related: NASCAR Truck Series championship decided by complete nonsense at Phoenix

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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