RACE: My Bariatric Solutions 300
TRACK: Texas Motor Speedway
Bell landed the pole and dominated much of the race but came up short of the vicotry finishing third place.
Bell Comes Up Short After Dominating Day at Texas
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45)
- Morning rain delayed the start of qualifying and caused NASCAR to shorten it from three rounds to just two. Bell made it to the second, and final round of qualifying, to earn the pole starting position at Texas.
- Bell dominated Stage one, leading the entire 45 lap opening segment.
- At the Stage break Bell pitted for four tires and fuel.
- NASCAR informed the No. 20 team right after the stop that Bell had sped in section three of pit road. The penalty for speeding on pit road was to start at the tail end of the field for the restart.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 53-90)
- Bell started 19th, finished fifth.
- Bell spent Stage two working his way back through the field with a fast No. 20 Ruud Supra.
- By the conclusion of the Stage, he had worked his way up to fifth.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 98-200)
- Bell started fourth, finished third.
- Bell started the final Stage fourth but maneuvered his way directly to the front to lead the first lap of the final Stage.
- The No. 20 Ruud Supra continued to pace the field throughout the final Stage until pit strategy came into play with a late-race caution.
- Crew chief Jason Ratcliff brought Bell down pit road for two right-side tires and a splash of fuel to make it to the end. Two competitors opted for fuel only on their pit stops and came off of pit road ahead of Bell.
- Bell restarted third with six laps remaining but couldn’t make up the ground on the leaders and crossed the finish line third.
- Bell moved up to second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, 12 points behind the leader.
- Bell led a race-high 127 laps.
Where was Kyle Busch a little bit better than you today?
“He wasn’t better than us anywhere, he just had track position there. I don’t know, I was really starting to struggle there on that long run, so whenever they said we were putting two tires on I was all for it. I didn’t get any better, and those guys didn’t slow down. A very disappointing day, but we’re in the Dash 4 Cash, so that’s pretty cool. My goal was to make sure that we were in the top-four Xfinity guys. Very frustrating to lose one like that, but really proud of this team. This Ruud Supra was extremely fast and the class of the field.”
Did you think you had a race-winning car today?
“I thought we had Kyle (Busch) beat. I led more laps than him. I passed him a couple times on restarts. That’s that. Didn’t have track position there at the end.”
Was taking two tires during the final pit stop the difference today?
“They just decided to go no tires. They told me we were going to put two (tires) on. I was okay with that because that long run, I started getting pretty tight, so I figured I needed some help. Those guys didn’t take any tires at all, and then they just fired off probably a little bit faster than what I did. It just wasn’t there.”
Did you feel you could’ve got the win without the final caution?
“All of us have to pit. At that point, it becomes who executes on pit road for green-flag stops and stuff like that. Yeah, it’s hard to tell.”
Next Up: The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Alsco 300. The race is scheduled for Saturday, April 6, with television coverage at 1pm ET on FS1.