RACE: U.S. Cellular 250
TRACK: Iowa Speedway
Bell continued his string of dominating performances by claiming the pole and finishing second.
Dominating Performance Ends in 2nd-Place Finish for Bell at Iowa
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60)
- Christopher Bell posted the fastest time in qualifying Saturday morning at Iowa Speedway to claim the pole starting position, his fourth pole of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
- From the drop of the green flag Bell was a dominating force, pulling away from the field.
- Bell only briefly handed over the lead after a pit stop under caution on lap 49 while different strategies played out.
- With eight laps remaining in the Stage the field resumed green flag racing. Bell started fourth and one lap later was back pacing the field.
- Bell kept his lead to take home the checkered flag for Stage 1 at Iowa.
- The No. 20 Rheem Supra was a little free to fire off, but overall fast. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff opted not to pit at the Stage break and Bell remained the leader.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 68-120)
- Bell started first, finished first.
- Bell once again paced the field, leading every lap in Stage 2 at Iowa Speedway.
- The balance was pretty good on the No. 20, but the biggest struggle was being loose on the short run.
- At the Stage break Bell pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 129-250)
- Bell started first, finished second.
- The No. 20 Rheem Supra continued to be the car to beat throughout the final Stage of the race.
- Under caution on lap 154 Bell came down pit road for his final set of Goodyear tires and fuel. The caution opened up the door for different pit strategies as some opted for fuel only and to save their final set of tires for later in the race.
- Bell restarted fifth on lap 157, but by lap 160 was back in the lead.
- A few additional cautions opened up the door for competitors to come put their final set of tires on.
- Bell held the lead and hard charging cars, until there were six laps remaining when the fresher tires prevailed.
- Despite dominating at Iowa Speedway, leading 234 of the 250 laps, Bell was left with a second-place finish when the checkered flag waved.
- The No. 20 Rheem Supra took on a special look at Iowa honoring Sue Karli, a founding member for the Rheem Racing program and a familiar and friendly face in the NASCAR garage to all. The hood and TV panel paid tribute to Sue with her initials in a purple heart, her favorite color and the color representative of pancreatic cancer awareness and the C-post recognized the pancreatic cancer research effort: https://www.pancan.org/
- Bell dominated in his No. 20 Rheem Supra honoring Sue, leading 234 of the 250 laps raced at Iowa Speedway.
- Bell remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Standings.
Was there anything you could do in the closing laps to hold off Chase Briscoe?
“I don’t know, man. That was tough. To be able to hold him (Chase Briscoe) off as long as I did and not win the race stings. This Rheem Supra was super, super fast today. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Whenever he got inside of me there, I felt like my best bet to win the race was to try and stay right on his door and chase him down into the corner. Maybe I could have charged the corner a little bit harder and not let him clear me or just opened up my entry and tried to turn down. There’s no telling. He did a good job, he won the race and we had a great race car so there’s nothing to hang our hat on.”
Up Next: The Xfinity Series goes road course racing with a trip to Watkins Glen International for the Zippo 200 at the Glen on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Coverage will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC, SIRIUS XM Channel 90 and MRN radio.