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Late-Race Caution Derails Bells Comeback from Damage at Richmond

Late-Race Caution Derails Bells Comeback from Damage at Richmond

Late-Race Caution Derails Bells Comeback from Damage at Richmond

RACE: ToyotaCare 250
TRACK: Richmond Raceway
START: 3rd
FINISH: 16th
LAPS: 250

The #20 Ruud was slowed by damage picked up after a second-stage, post-caution melee.

Late-Race Caution Derails Bells Comeback from Damage at Richmond

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75)

  • Qualifying rained out Friday afternoon at Richmond Raceway, forcing NASCAR to line the field up by owner points.
  • The No. 20 Ruud Supra lined up third for the green flag and proved strong on the long run. By lap 38 Bell took over the lead.
  • Bell pitted from the lead under the first caution of the day on lap 67 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
  • Bell restarted second and would remain second to close out Stage 1.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-150)

  • Bell started second, finished 23rd.
  • The No. 20 Ruud Supra fired off on the loose side and Bell lacked the drive he needed in his Toyota.
  • A caution on lap 126 presented an opportunity to pit for adjustments. Bell capitalized, coming down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
  • Bell restarted eighth since not everyone had opted to pit and when green flag racing resumed the field began jockeying for position.
  • In the melee, Bell suffered some left-front nose damage which resulted in a tire rub. Just prior to pitting for the tire rub, contact from another car turned Bell hard to the left and then additional contact straightened back out the No. 20, but the semi-spin brought out he caution.
  • Bell pitted multiple times to repair his No. 20 Ruud Supra and ultimately closed out Stage 2 23rd.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 160-250)

  • Bell started 23rd, finished 16th.
  • Bell pitted prior to taking the green for the final Stage for his last set of sticker tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
  • Capitalizing on the fresh tires, Bell quickly worked his way back through he field and was running third with his eyes on the leaders when the final caution of the day came out on the track.
  • The caution was not what the No. 20 team wanted to see. Under caution a majority of the field pitted for their final set of sticker tires. Bell had used his final set the stop before and had to put on a set with a few laps already on them.
    The fresh Goodyear tires prevailed, and Bell did the best he could to maintain track position as the laps dwindled down, crossing the finish line 16th at Richmond.

Additional Notes

  • Bell remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, 24 points behind the leader.
  • Bell led two different times for a total of 32 laps.

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 Ruud Toyota Supra

“We had good drive off early and were able to drive up to the front. On the restarts I was just too loose to hang with those guys and it seemed like it took about 20 laps to get the drive back. We got heavy damage on that one restart and had to take some extra time to fix it. We put our last set of tires on at that point and needed it to go green to be ok, but when that last caution came out we only had old tires to put on and just couldn’t keep up. Our result definitely doesn’t reflect just how good our No. 20 Ruud Supra was here today at Richmond Raceway.”

Up Next: The Xfinity Series has an off weekend before heading to Talladega Superspeedway for the Money Lion 300 on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Coverage will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, SIRIUS XM Channel 90 and MRN radio.

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