RACE: CTECH Manufacturing 180
TRACK: Road America
Bell Wins at Road America
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-10)
- Christopher Bell made the final of two rounds of qualifying Saturday morning at Road America. During his final qualifying run, Bell accidently locked up his tires resulting in a 12th-place qualifying effort.
- From the drop of the green flag Bell battled a tight handling condition in his No. 20 Ruud Supra. Despite the handling woes, Bell was still able to gain a few positions on the track.
- Utilizing pit strategy crew chief Jason Ratcliff brought Bell down pit road under green on lap seven, three laps shy of the stage break, for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
- Bell went on to finish the first stage 26th but when the rest of the field came down pit road for service he cycled up to third in his No. 20 Supra.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 12-20)
- Bell started third, finished 20th.
- The tight handling condition continued into stage two, but Bell capitalized on track position and settled into second for most of the stage.
- Ratcliff continued to play pit strategy and called Bell down pit road before the stage ended under green for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
- Bell closed out stage two 20th, but cycled to the front of the field for the final stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 23-45)
Bell started first, finished first.
- Bell led the field to the green for the final stage at Road America. The time up front was short-lived,
- Bell settled into second, but kept the leader well within his sights.
- While running second Bell came down pit road for his final pit stop of the day under green on lap 32 for four tires and fuel.
- Shortly after pitting the caution flag was displayed when another competitor blew a tire on the course. Bell was one of the only drivers who had already completed their final pit stop. As the field came down pit road for their final pit stops, Bell cycled back to the front to lead the field.
- Bell brought the field to the green flag, and only briefly dropped out of first, as the laps dwindled down.
- Bell had hit his marks around Road America and had built up a solid lead when the final caution of the day came out on lap 40, setting the field up for a green-white-checkered shoot out to the finish.
- From the drop of the final green Bell never looked back, claiming his sixth win of the season and his first NASCAR Xfinity Series road course victory.
- Bell paced the field for a total of 10 laps Saturday at Road America.
- Bell remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Championship Standings, 45 points behind the leader.
- Bell has finished second or better in all three NXS road course events this season.
What a finish! You got a road course win!
"Yeah, how about that! I’m honestly in shock. I really butchered qualifying and tore the crap out of that left front. I felt like once we got in the race there we would be able to drive by those guys. Then they dropped the green flag and they were driving by me. That wasn’t very much fun. I told Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) that I’m really, really tight. We got those tires off, and he said the left front was hurt pretty bad. Then we got pretty good there when we put our fresh tires on it. The strategy worked pretty good for us with us pitting and then the yellow coming out. This Ruud Supra was really, really fast. We’ve had a great road course season. I’m really honored to be a part of Joe Gibbs Racing. To get my first road course win is really special.”
Talk about your road course journey.
“I guess I get lucky on these things. I’m really heartbroken for Matt DiBenedetto. He was really, really fast. We knew from practice that both of our cars were going to be really good and that we would be right there racing each other. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I saw him go flying off of (turn) 14. That sucks. He’s in a tough spot right now. He needed a good run there.”
Is this the last bit of your driving arsenal that you needed to check off?
“Speedway racing is a struggle for me, but I’ll take that if I can go road course racing. I have to give a really big thank you to Ruud, Rheem, all of our partners at Toyota and Toyota Racing Development and all the fans that tuned in today. It’s an honor to be racing in the Xfinity Series. These cars are so much fun to drive. Luckily I get to drive one of the best one’s in the field.”
Up Next: The Xfinity Series heads Darlington Raceway for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Coverage will begin at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBC, SIRIUS XM Channel 90 and MRN radio.