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Bell Finishes 18th at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Bell Finishes 18th at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Bell Finishes 18th at Atlanta Motor Speedway

RACE: Coca-Cola 600
TRACK: Atlanta Motor Speedway
START: 27th
FINISH: 18th
LAPS: 325 laps

Bell Finishes 18th at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-105)
  • Christopher Bell started 27th based on a random draw for the starting lineup at Atlanta.
  • NASCAR scheduled a competition cautions on lap 25 since the field had no time on track for practice or qualifying prior to the start of the race.
  • Bell worked his way up to 19th by the competition caution and let his team know that he was loose and could afford to be tightened up everywhere. Bell brought his No. 95 Rheem Toyota Camry down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
  • Fresh tires are a huge advantage on the older track surface of Atlanta, so the No. 95 team took advantage of two additional opportunities to pit during the first stage for more tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
  • Bell finished stage one 12th and reported back the car was the best it had been and he needed a little more.
  • Unfortunately, Bell made contact with another competitor coming down pit road for his pit stop. The contact resulted in the need for a second stop for repairs and dropped him back to 27th to start stage two.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 113-210)
  • Bell started 27th and finished 17th in stage two.
  • The No. 95 continued to migrate to the free side throughout stage two, but despite the handling Bell was able to work his way into the top 15 and was turning out competitive lap times.
  • A caution late in stage two set the field up for a four-lap shootout to the stage break. Bell restarted 12th but lost ground as the handling shifted to tight.
  • Bell made slight contact with the wall but was able to finish up stage two 17th.
  • At the stage break Bell came down pit road for four tires, fuel and for the team to fix sheet metal on the car. After the lengthy stop for repairs, Bell took the green flag 27th to start the final stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 218-325)
  • Bell started stage three 27th and crossed the finish line 18th.
  • The final stage went caution free and Bell steadily picked up positions on track. By lap 260 he was running 16th.
  • Bell came to pit road on lap 268 for his final green flag pit stop of the race. Unfortunately, he slid through the pit box and had to back up so the team could service his Toyota. The extra time on pit road under green proved costly and cost Bell a lap to the leaders.
  • Following the stop Bell was 26th, one lap down to the leaders, but was able to make his way up to 18th to finish up his first Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for a mid-week race under the lights on Wednesday, June 10th for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. The race will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

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