Christopher Bell Clinches Championship 4 Berth With Win At ISM Racewayby Camille Jones November 11, 2018 0 comments
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Starting from the rear of the field didn’t stop Christopher Bell from securing his ticket to race for a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship with a win at ISM Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
Bell raced from the 38th position after failing to make a qualifying run for the Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 on Saturday. He led a race high of 94 laps as he drove his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 GameStop Just Cause 4 Toyota to Victory Lane for the seventh time in 2018.
“Absolutely,” Bell said when asked if Saturday’s win was the biggest win of his career. “The pressure was on and I’m just so thankful for all my mentors. They’ve done such a good job taking care of me. It started with my mom and my dad as a kid and from there I moved up to Ohio and lived with a guy named Rick Ferkel and Pete Willoughby and all those guys became such great mentors to me and they prepared me for moments like this where the pressure is on and everything’s on the line.”
Bell continued and said, “Just thankful that I pulled through for my team. These guys are the ones that build these GameStop Toyota Camrys that are going to win races whether I’m in the car or not. It’s my job to make sure that they get the results that they deserve and I’m just really glad that we get to race for a championship next week.”
Bell was confident in the speed his car had, but knew the tough one-mile oval in Arizona could be a challenge.
“I knew we were really, really fast and we showed that yesterday in practice,” said Bell. “This place is very tricky and I started 38th and I really got stalled out once I got to the top-15 and I quit going forward. I got to like 10th at the end of stage one and I was stuck, I couldn’t do anything. I came in for a pit stop, gained a couple spots and then just slowly worked our way forward. Once we got out front there, it was pretty good and just thankful that yellow flag didn’t come out. The entire last five laps or 10 laps, I was just watching the fence looking for those green lights because I did not want to see another restart.”
Daniel Hemric finished in the second position on Saturday, followed by Matt Tifft, Austin Cindric and Ryan Preece finishing in the top-five.
Tyler Reddick, Brandon Jones, Cole Custer, John Hunter Nemechek and Spencer Gallagher rounded out the top-10.
With just one race remaining in the season, Bell will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway where he will be joined by Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick in the Championship 4. All four drivers will have a chance at winning the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
Bell and Custer secured their tickets to compete for the championship through wins, while Hemric and Reddick race into Championship Weekend on points.
Watch the NASCAR Xfinity Series competitors battle it out in 2018 for one last race next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Ford Ecoboost 300 will broadcast live on Saturday, November 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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