Select a Country

Our Response to Coronavirus Concerns

Current Events: Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Sundays 9/8c on HGTV

Check out the innovative products featured in the show.

Bell Leads 18 Laps; Comes Home Second at Bristol

Bell Leads 18 Laps; Comes Home Second at Bristol

Bell Leads 18 Laps; Comes Home Second at Bristol

RACE: Food City 300
TRACK: Bristol Motor Speedway
START: 2nd
FINISH: 2nd
LAPS: 300/300

With his finish, Bell continues to lead the points standings, now holding a 13-point advantage heading into Road America next weekend.

Bell Leads 18 Laps; Comes Home Second at Bristol

Christopher Bell and his Rheem team made their final visit of the 2018 season at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday night in the Food City 300. After qualifying second for the 300-lap event on Friday afternoon, Bell spent the entire race inside the top 10, and battled Cup Series regular Kyle Larson for the lead late in the race, ultimately crossing the finish line in second and earning his 12th top-five finish of the 2018 season.

Following the drop of the green flag, Bell settled into second and maintained his position until the first caution of the afternoon waved on lap 71. Under the 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 in fifth on lap 78. Following the restart, Bell was put three wide and dropped to eighth on lap 79 and finished stage one in 11th on lap 85. Staying out under the caution, Bell restarted stage two in ninth on lap 94.

With his Rheem Camry dialed in to start the stage, Bell cracked the top five once again by lap 115 and was scored in second when the caution flag waved on lap 143 for a spin on the back stretch. Staying out under the caution, Bell restarted in second on lap 149 and maintained his positon until another caution flag waved on lap 161. Playing strategy, Ratcliff called Bell down pit road for service, changing four tires and packing the Rheem Camry full of fuel. After some competitors stayed out under the caution, Bell restarted in 11th with five laps remaining in the stage. Following the restart, Bell picked up four spots and ended stage two in seventh on lap 170. Staying out under the caution, Bell restarted the final stage in third on lap 177.

The final stage would go green to start the run with Bell working his way into second by lap 178 and taking over the race lead on lap 186. After leading the next 17 circuits around the famous half-mile speedway, Bell slipped back to second and maintained his position until a late-race caution ensued on lap 260. With one final chance to work on the Rheem Camry, Ratcliff called Bell down pit road for four tires, fuel and one final adjustment. Following the stop, Bell restarted in third on lap 266. Slipping to fourth on the restart, Bell maintained his position until the final caution of the evening waved with one lap remaining, forcing a green-white-checkered finish. On the final restart, Bell worked his way around two competitors, ultimately crossing the finish line in second and earning his 12th top-five finish of the season.

With his finish, Bell continues to lead the points standings, now holding a 13-point advantage heading into Road America next weekend.

The NXS returns to the track next weekend at Road America for their final road course race in the month of August. Coverage of the race begins on Saturday, August 25 at 3:00 PM ET live on NBCSN, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

What more did you need to catch Kyle Larson?

“I needed to not lead Jason (Ratcliff), my crew chief, down the wrong path there on the second to last run. I told him I couldn’t afford to be any looser and that was probably our best run speedwise and he tightened me up and I just got a little bit too tight. On top of being a little bit too tight, I had the wrong restart line and just lost some track position and never could get it back up there. We got the good restart when it mattered, so that’s all that counts.”

Some ups and downs for you tonight, tell us about the race.

“I think we were on more than we were off. We just got caught there in the wrong restart lines a couple times and lost a couple spots. We started fourth on the one that mattered and that’s how we ended up second. I just kind of did a bad job through traffic and I’d always try and make up time hoping that the 42 (Kyle Larson) or one of those guys would go to the bottom too quick and I’d be able to fill the gap on the outside. I’d always cost myself time there getting stuck behind the lapped cars. Overall our Rheem Camry was extremely good, man. I’m really thankful to be here at Joe Gibbs Racing. We’ve got really fast race cars and it’s an honor to drive them. Just got to do a little bit better job in lapped traffic. I got to do a little bit better with my feedback to Jason (Ratcliff).

I think we were on more than we were off. We just got caught there in the wrong restart lines a couple times and lost a couple spots.

You gave your crew chief Jason Ratcliff feedback in the wrong direction one time. What was that about?

“I was a little bit tight all race long and then that run whenever I led a little bit and me and (Kyle) Larson were really close, I told him I might’ve been a little bit too loose and then he tightened me up and I got too tight again. Just got to do a little bit better job of guiding him. Overall really happy with second.”

Talk about that battle with Kyle Larson there at the end.

“I thought we had a shot at him if it stayed green. Heck, even with the yellow, I thought we were still going to have a shot at him, but that second to last run when I was leading some laps – me and Kyle (Larson) were really equal, I told my crew chief Jason (Ratcliff) that I couldn’t afford to be any looser and he tightened up for the last run and just tightening it up and restarting on the bottom and then lost track position. I just couldn’t ever get back up there to challenge him. I wasn’t good enough to pass those guys. We got a couple bad restart lines which put us back in the field, but the most important one there on the green-white-checker, we got the right restart line so that’s all that matters.”

How difficult was it to get through traffic?

“It wasn’t too bad, it’s the same for everybody. The guy in second definitely has an advantage coming through traffic, especially whenever you get the traffic side-by-side. I caught a couple guys side-by-side and I picked the top and he (Kyle Larson) picked the bottom and I was able to kind of root the guy off the bottom and make it three-wide. That worked out in his favor, but I think if it would have stayed green, I was sitting in the cat bird seat not being behind him in lapped traffic. You win some, you lose some and Kyle has obviously been extremely good here for a long time, just never been able to seal the deal. I’m happy for him and overall I had a ton of fun tonight. This place, this was my first true Bristol race where you got the top going really good, the bottom was even competitive there on long runs. It was a ton of fun.”

By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies. For more information, see our Privacy Statement.

OK