Bell Grabs First Career Win at Bristol
| Monday April 8, 2019
RACE: Alsco 300
TRACK: Bristol Motor Speedway
Bell and team have excellent day at Bristol and earn second win of the season.
Bell Grabs First Career Win at Bristol; Takes Home the 100K Dash 4 Cash Bonus
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85)
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 99-170)
- Bell made it to the third and final round of qualifying Saturday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway to earn the eighth starting position.
- From the drop of the green flag the No. 20 got loose in the top of turns three and four, costing Bell a few positions.
- Bell had a fast Rheem Supra on the long runs and raced his way back up to seventh by the conclusion of the opening Stage.
- At the Stage break Bell came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Bell came in seventh and returned to the track third after a fast pit stop by his team.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 178-300)
- Bell started third, finished third.
- The No. 20 Rheem Supra didn’t fire off quick for the start of Stage two and Bell dropped back to 10th.
- Bell wasted no time working his way back through the field, picking off cars one at a time. By lap 119 he was back in the top five.
- The No. 51 spun on the track and Bell took the high side, narrowly avoiding the spinning car, squeezing through with no damage to his Supra.
- The Stage ended under the caution and with Bell in third.
- Under caution Bell came down pit road for four tires, fuel and another wedge adjustment.
- Bell started second, finished first.
- Bell took the green flag for the final Stage second and battled with the No. 7 of Justin Allgaier for the lead.
- On lap 225 Bell took the lead from Allgaier and began to pull away from the field while methodically working his way through lapped traffic.
- A caution came out with 40 laps remaining and Bell came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
- Bell won the race off pit road but restarted second after his teammate Brandon Jones opted to not pit during the caution.
- Jones pulled away from the start, but a few laps later the fresher tires prevailed, and Bell regained the lead and never looked back. Earning his second victory of the 2019 season and claiming the $100,000 in the Dash 4 Cash.
Could you have scripted the win any better?
- Bell remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, 13 points behind the leader.
- Dash 4 Cash winner – Bell took home the prize of $100,000 and qualified for the next round at Richmond Raceway.
- The win is Bell’s first at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Bell led three different times for a total of 57 laps.
“I don’t know man. That’s pretty cool. To get my first win here with the Dash 4 Cash bonus. Thank you to Xfinity for doing that and more importantly thank you to Rheem, Ruud, everyone at Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development), everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing. These Supras are super, super fast. Joe Gibbs Racing has a really, really good package here at Bristol, but for whatever reason we struggled to find it. I didn’t feel good basically all of practice and didn’t qualify good and as soon as they dropped the green flag for the race I was really, really loose. The longer the runs went, the better I got. I’m just very thankful to be here at Joe Gibbs Racing driving for such a wonderful team.”
Your pit crew really delivered this race.
“They’ve been taking care of us. We’ve had fast race cars every single week. My guys on pit road have been outstanding. It seems like week in and week out, every stop they’re able to pick us up a couple of spots. That’s huge. That’s really huge.”
How does it feel to hold a check for $100,000?
“It feels really good. Cardboard checks are my favorite trophies. I’ve got a couple of them from the dirt races, but none of them say a hundred grand so that’s pretty cool.”
Talk about that battle you had going on in the last stage.
“It was tough. I knew that if it would stay green I’d have a better shot because this thing was really good on the long run. The yellow came out with 35 (laps) to go and I was like man, if I can get the lead off pit road I think I can hold them off and then Brandon (Jones), my teammate, got out there on old tires and was doing a really good job. Ultimately I was okay with that because I was still in the spot for the one hundred grand and then he started fading and my car started coming to me and I felt really good.”
Was the most nerve-wracking part of the day the restarts for you?
“This thing was just really, really loose on taking off. Obviously it was really, really good in the long run and that’s what we needed. We needed a 35-lap run car and the longer that thing was going to go the better off we were.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Care 250. The race is scheduled for Friday, April 12, with television coverage at 7pm ET on FS1.