Christopher Bell Wins Rain-Shortened Coca-Cola 600 At Charlotte Motor Speedway

Christopher Bell Wins Rain-Shortened Coca-Cola 600 At Charlotte Motor Speedway

by May 27, 2024 1 comment

CONCORD, N.C. – Christopher Bell was in front of the field when it mattered most as he won the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Although the sold-out crowd didn’t see the prestigious race’s full 600 miles, Bell wasn’t just up front; he was dominating as the sun went down, and track conditions changed to nighttime racing. He led 41 of the final 42 laps and was out in front of the field longer than any driver on Sunday. In fact, he finished fourth in Stage 1, won Stages 2 and 3 and led a race high of 90 laps en route to his first-ever win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It feels so good,” Bell said. “To win or lose, just to have a great race to go off of, and a race that we led laps, we were able to pass cars. We lost the lead at times, were able to drive back to the lead and had great pit stops — my pit crew just showed up. This is a team effort, and it was amazing to have a good race, and hopefully this is something we can build on and get back to being more consistent.”

At the time of Bell being announced the winner, drivers were seeking shelter in their team haulers and motorhomes. Bell was dozing off and came back to reality hearing the television broadcast saying that he had won.

“I’m literally on the couch like half asleep, and we’re going through this “Radioactive” stuff, and I am already like mentally prepared to go racing,” Bell said. “Then all of a sudden we come on, we see Mike (Joy), (Kevin) Harvick and Clint (Bowyer) in the booth, and I’m like, wait a minute, what’s going on, they start talking, and I’m like, what? Then the phone goes off and say they called it. What a twist of emotions. I have never been through that emotion swing before like that in my life.”

Darlington race winner, Brad Keselowski nearly captured his second win in three weeks, but he had to settle for a runner-up finish on Sunday night. The effort was a great points night for Keselowski. The RFK Racing owner/driver finished eighth in Stage 1, fifth in Stage 2 and second in Stage 3, which catapulted him up to 9th in the standings.

“It was good to be that fast,” Keselowski said. “You want to make it count with wins. You don’t want to be a sore loser for second but it stinks because I know we had a car to win today. If that doesn’t hurt, you’re in the wrong business.

“But we’ve got a lot of work to do on our short track program and our road course program, but our mile-and-a-half stuff seems really good right now.”

William Byron who started on the front row and won Stage 1, finished third, followed by Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin. Pole-sitter Ty Gibbs finished sixth, followed by Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman and Josh Berry.

Ten drivers swapped the lead on 21 occasions.

The caution was displayed seven times for 46 laps.

On Lap 197, the caution came out for Ryan Blaney who experienced a tire failure. Blaney’s tire popped, and then he slid up the track, hit the Turn 4 wall and stopped on pit road. Blaney finished 39th.

“I just came off pit road and put tires on it and I don’t know if I ran over something, but one of them blew,” Blaney said.  “I blew a tire going into three, so I don’t know if I hit something or what, but it’s kind of odd. We’ll have to go back and take a look at it. It stinks. That’s two unfortunate weekends in a row. I thought we at least had a shot to get better. I’d run close to the top-10 and maybe top-five, but we’ll get through it. We’ve just got to hopefully put together a good race next week.”

The only caution for a multicar accident occurred on Lap 172, when contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sent Noah Gragson hard into the inside wall on the backstretch.

Leaving Charlotte, Hamlin now leads Truex in the standings by five points.

The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to St. Louis to compete at World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday, June 2. Live coverage of the Enjoy Illinois 300 will broadcast on FS1 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/

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