Christopher Bell Captures Record-Breaking Sixth Rookie Victory In Playoff Race At Doverby Hunter Thomas October 6, 2018 0 comments
DOVER, Del. – Christopher Bell led 110 laps at Dover International Speedway on Saturday en route to winning his sixth race of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
No other rookie in the NASCAR Xfinity Series has won six races in a season. On Saturday, Bell, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Rheem Toyota surpassed Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards who all won five races in their rookie seasons. Bell’s victory in the Bar Harbor “200” presented by Sea Watch international marks his second win in three race weekends.
“It’s the means the world,” Bell said. “To be able to have the season we had, it’s been a career year for me. It’s all credit to everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and my crew chief Jason Ratcliff. Everyone that works at the shop to put these Camry’s together. We have really fast cars every time we go to the track. All of our partners deserve it. Today we had Rheem on the car, other weeks we’ve had Ruud and GameStop. Everyone that makes this happen, I am thankful to be a part of it and drive for them.”
Cole Custer finished second in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 00 Haas Automation Ford. He led 38 laps throughout the 200-lap race after starting in the seventh position. Custer had a fast car, but he just wasn’t able to catch Bell and challenge for the win.
“Early on there were probably some restarts where I was a little bit too conservative, just making sure I wasn’t gonna get wrecked,” Custer said. “Our car was pretty solid. It was a lot about track position and we had to work on our car throughout the day, but the car was awesome at the end. We just needed a tick more.”
Regular-season champion, Justin Allgaier finished third, while Ryan Preece and Spencer Gallagher rounded out the top-five. Finishing six was Brandon Jones, followed by Daniel Hemric, Austin Cindric, John Hunter Nemechek and Ryan Truex.
There were only two caution for accidents throughout the afternoon.
Josh Bilicki brought out the caution in Turn 4 on lap 163.
The fourth and final caution of the day came out on lap 180, when contact from Ross Chastain sent Matt Tifft into Chase Briscoe who then hit the Turn 4 wall.
The Bar Harbor “200” presented by Sea Watch international was the cutoff race to the NASCAR Playoffs’ Round of 8. Eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs following Saturday’s race are Ross Chastain who just barely missed out by three points, as well as Jones, Truex and Ryan Reed.
Drives still competing for this year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series championship include Bell, Daniel Hemric, Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric and Tifft.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will visit Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 20. Live coverage of the NASCAR Playoff race will broadcast on NBC and the motor Racing Network (MRN) at 3 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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