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Bell Finishes 34th at Darlington

Bell Finishes 34th at Darlington

Bell Finishes 34th at Darlington

RACE: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200
TRACK: Darlington Raceway
START: 2nd
FINISH: 34th
LAPS: 65/147

With his 34th-place finish, Bell currently sits fourth in the points standings with two races remaining in the regular season.

Bell Finishes 34th at Darlington

The NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) paid a visit to Darlington Raceway this weekend for the official NASCAR Throwback weekend. Sporting a Rheem paint scheme that was designed to showcase the original Rheem logo and lettering font style created in Emeryville, California, in 1925 by Richard and Donald Rheem, Christopher Bell and his Joe Gibbs Racing team went out on Saturday afternoon and qualified their Toyota Camry second for the 146-lap event. After running inside the top five during the entire first stage, Bell was involved in an on-track accident on lap 65 which ended his day as he finished 34th.

Following the drop of the green flag, Bell settled into the second position and maintained his position throughout the first stage. Under the stage one caution, crew chief Jason Ratcliff called Bell down pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment to the Rheem Camry. Following the stop, Bell restarted stage two in fourth on lap 52.

Quickly after the restart, Bell got loose on lap 53 and made contact with another competitor, which resulted in a left front tire rub. After hitting pit road on lap 54 to change left side tires, Bell rejoined the field in 29th, one lap down. Shortly after rejoining the field, Bell had another tire rub and hit the wall on lap 65, bringing out the second caution of the afternoon. With the caution out, Bell brought the Rheem Camry down pit road to assess the damage. With closer evaluation, the team determined the damage was terminal and ended the day early for the Rheem team.

With his 34th-place finish, Bell currently sits fourth in the points standings with two races remaining in the regular season.

What happened with you and Daniel Hemric?

“I just got loose off (Turn) 4. It’s just pretty narrow over there, so I didn’t quite get it corrected in time before we got on the straightaway.”

The team wanted you to try and stay out, but you felt the left-front going down?

“After we hit there it was smoking really bad, so we came back in and changed the left-front. Then I had a little bit of smoke and it kind of went away, but I think there I got to the bottom of the straightaway and I had to turn right to get back up the track and I think that cut, I believe it was the left-front again. Just bummed for my team because they did a great job preparing that Rheem Camry. I felt like we were in a great spot to compete for a win there and unfortunately it just didn’t work out.”

Walk us through what happened.

“I just got a little bit loose off (Turn) 4 and whenever I got loose off 4, I didn’t have enough time to correct it before we got on the straightaway and just tagged his (Daniel Hemric) right-rear corner there. Unfortunately cut my left-front and had to come back and pit and it just ended our day.”

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