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Christopher Bell dominates Xfinity playoff opener at Richmond

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Christopher Bell dominates Xfinity playoff opener at Richmond
By:
Sep 21, 2019, 2:02 AM

There was no way Christopher Bell was going to let this win get away.

Race Winner Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra
Race Winner Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra
Race Winner Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra
Race Winner Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra
Race Winner Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra

Bell kicked off the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs in dominating fashion Friday night, leading 238 of 250 laps and cruising to victory in the GoBowling.com 250 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

The victory locks Bell into the second round of the playoffs, regardless of how he finishes in the next two races

The win is Bell’s series-leading seventh of the season and 15th of his career.

 

“That one was pretty special,” Bell said. “Going 92 laps straight there (to finish the race) was really difficult, we were sliding all around. 

“I felt like if I could get to traffic I would be in good shape because my car could really move around good. I could run up (the track) and I could run down. (Custer) was keeping pressure on us pretty good but this Supra was too good.”

Asked if he felt he had thrown the gauntlet down Friday night, Bell said: “Man, we’ve been really, really fast really all year long but the last three races we had an opportunity to win. I’m glad we got it done today.”

Austin Cindric finished second, Cole Custer was third, Justin Allgaier was fourth and Chase Briscoe completed the top-five.

With 50 laps remaining in the race, Bell maintained a 1.2-second lead over Custer as Allgaier ran in third. Cindric was fourth and Briscoe fifth.

With 30 to go, Custer’s deficit remained about the same and Cindric was in third, 6 seconds behind the leader.

After 240 laps, Bell’s lead had grown to 2.9 seconds over Cindric, who had moved into the runner-up position ahead of Custer.

Stage 2 

Bell continued to dominate, earning the Stage 2 victory with a more than 3-second lead over Custer.

Allgaier finished third, Michael Annett fourth and Cindric completed the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit, with Cindric the first off pit road. The race returned on green on Lap 83 with Jones in the lead as he stayed out.

Cindric quickly got around Jones for the lead on the restart only to be passed by Bell for the lead on Lap 85.

On Lap 87, Custer made his way into the second position as Cindric ran third.

With 50 laps remaining in the second stage, Bell maintained a small but steady lead over Custer as Cindric ran third.

After 110 laps, Bell finally opened up a 1-second lead over Custer. Cindric was third, Allgaier fourth and Briscoe fifth.

With 15 laps to go in the stage, Bell had opened up a more than 3-second lead over Custer as Allgaier moved into third.

Stage 1 

Bell dominated on his way to the Stage 1 win, leading 69 of the 75 laps.

Cindric was second, Noah Gragson third, Annett fourth and Custer rounded out the top-five.

Cindric started on the pole and led the first lap but Mike Marlar spun on the backstretch to bring out a caution. The race returned to green on Lap 6, with Cindric in the lead followed by Bell and Burton.

Bell got around Cindric on Lap 8 to take the lead for the first time.

On Lap 19, Burton cleared Cindric to take the second position as Cindric dropped to third.

With 50 laps to go in the first stage, Bell had moved out to a 3.2-second lead over Burton with Cindric still in third.

After 40 laps, Bell’s lead had ballooned to more than 6 seconds as Harrison Burton and Cindric closed up again to battle for second place. On Lap 43, Cindric got back around Burton to reclaim the second spot.

On Lap 51, Vinnie Miller hit the Turn 2 wall which brought out the second caution of the race. Only a handful of cars elected to pit which left Bell in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 58.

Tyler Matthews wrecked in Turn 2 on Lap 60 to bring out another caution. Bell continued to lead the way when the race restarted on Lap 68.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 20 United States Christopher Bell  Toyota 250 1:57'16.0 238
2 22 United States Austin Cindric  Ford 250 1.70 8
3 00 United States Cole Custer  Ford 250 4.432  
4 7 United States Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 250 11.40  
5 98 United States Chase Briscoe  Ford 250 13.657  
6 18 United States Harrison Burton  Toyota 250 14.049  
7 9 United States Noah Gragson  Chevrolet 250 14.812  
8 8 Zane Smith  Chevrolet 250 15.299  
9 1 United States Michael Annett  Chevrolet 250 20.132  
10 2 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 250 20.571  
11 19 United States Brandon Jones  Toyota 250 21.035 4
12 39 United States Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 250 23.436  
13 90 United States Dillon Bassett  Chevrolet 249 1 lap  
14 21 Joe Jr.  Chevrolet 249 1 lap  
15 23 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 249 1 lap  
16 51 United States Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 249 1 lap  
17 11 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 249 1 lap  
18 07 United States Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 248 2 laps  
19 01 Ryan Repko  Chevrolet 248 2 laps  
20 35 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 248 2 laps  
21 78 United States J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 247 3 laps  
22 08 United States Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 247 3 laps  
23 36 United States Josh Williams  Chevrolet 247 3 laps  
24 93 CJ Mclaughlin  Chevrolet 247 3 laps  
25 52 United States David Starr  Chevrolet 247 3 laps  
26 61 United States Chad Finchum  Toyota 246 4 laps  
27 0 United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 246 4 laps  
28 99 United States Matt Mills  Toyota 244 6 laps  
29 4 United States Stephen Leicht  Chevrolet 241 9 laps  
30 15 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 240 10 laps  
31 38 Hermie Sadler  Chevrolet 125 125 laps  
32 17 United States Mike Harmon  Chevrolet 85 165 laps  
33 74 Tyler Matthews  Chevrolet 58 192 laps  
34 86 United States Brandon Brown  Chevrolet 55 195 laps  
35 5 United States Vinnie Miller  Toyota 50 200 laps  
36 89 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 24 226 laps  
37 13 United States Stan Mullis  Toyota 18 232 laps  
38 66 Mike Marlar  Toyota 1 249 laps  
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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Christopher Bell
Author Jim Utter