Week 30 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Wallace wins Kansas, Bell Takes Playoff Points Lead

11 September 2022
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — Bubba Wallace, driver of the № 45 ROOT Insurance Toyota from 23XI Racing, wins the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Wallace was driving the same car number that carried teammate Kurt Busch to victory in the May race at Kansas. Of particular note, a driver not competing for the drivers’ championship won for the second straight week and Wallace becomes the 18th different winner this season.

Credit: KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — SEPTEMBER 11: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #45 ROOT Insurance Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on September 11, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Christopher Bell Now P1 and Locks into the Round of 12

Week 30 of the NASCAR GFT Top 25 AI Driver Rankings following the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on September 11, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas (Image: GFT Digital / gofullthrottle.net)

For the 2nd straight week, Christopher Bell is the power mover of the week. In last week’s NASCAR GFT Top 25 AI Driver Rankings, Bell moved up 6 spots to P4. After Sunday’s 3rd place finish, Bell jumps another 3 spots to P1 in our rankings and has the points lead in NASCAR’s Driver Rankings. His point total also locks the driver of the № 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Playoffs.

Chase Elliott jumps up to P2 in our rankings, but that’s a result of how much weight our models give wins, of which Elliott has 4. In NASCAR’s Driver Point Standings, Elliott is P7 and 30 points behind Bell.

Tyler Reddick, driver of the № 8 RCR Chevrolet suffered a flat tire resulting in hard impact with the wall and an early DNF finishing 35th. Reddick falls 5 spots to P10.

Image Credit: NASCAR Digital

Post-Race Comments Media center:

BUBBA WALLACE: I mean, it’s just as special. Anytime you can get to victory lane in the Cup Series, it’s a moment you don’t want to let go. Unfortunately, we have to shift our mind and focus on Bristol now, but we’ll celebrate tonight.

You know, to win it in this fashion, yeah, it’s definitely really cool. We’re talked about when we go to the speedways and kind of not so much the rest of the tracks, so I want to start changing that. We’ve been able to show up these last two months or so, all different types of racetracks, and be talked about. That’s cool. It’s a step in the right direction.

We just can’t get complacent. We have to keep going, keep pushing for more. This is great, but we have to continue to go back out and battle. I appreciate the opportunity that I’m in right now with the team that I have and keep going.

Q. Christopher Bell finishes third. Chris, you ran the top five all day. What more did you need to maybe go get the victory?

CHRISTOPHER BELL: Just got off a little bit on our balance that last run, but overall a great points day and very proud of everyone on this DEWALT №20 team. Great day for Toyota and happy for Bubba to get a win. He was really deserving, really fast all day. Great points day. We’ll move on and try and win one.

Q. You enter Bristol 58 points above the cut line. Your crew chief Adams Stevens told me, That’s the kind of day to maximize every point. You did that here today. How proud does that make you of this race team?

CHRISTOPHER BELL: I’m very happy that we’re finally getting the results that this team deserves. Our speed has been there all year, and I feel like we’ve given up a couple good finishes. Last couple of weeks we’ve been building on it, and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.

Updated Go Full Throttle Box Scores

Go Full Throttle NASCAR Box Scores (gofullthrottle.net Digital Images)

Up next, its Bristol Baby! And 4 drivers will be eliminated!

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association