Christopher Bell holds off Brandon Jones at Kentucky to earn third Truck win of 2017
Christopher Bell held off Brandon Jones in a strong battle over the last three laps to capture Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
It was Bell’s third win this season in the Camping World Truck Series, all coming on 1.5-mile tracks. He led 54 of the 150 scheduled laps.
Justin Haley finished third, followed by Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson. Sixth through 10th were: Kyle Busch, Parker Kligerman, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Austin Hill.
The start of the race was delayed three hours due to rain, but fans that waited things out were rewarded with an exciting finish. The race ended well past midnight Eastern Time.
Still, it wasn’t easy for Bell, who endured a dropped lug nut that got hung up on a brake rotor on one pit stop, prompting the team to take off the fresh tire it had just put on to retrieve the loose lug. Bell also suffered a single-car spin but recovered from that and roared back to win.
Just a few laps after Ben Rhodes won Stage 1, Rhodes got loose and spun, collecting ThorSport Racing teammate Grant Enfinger. Teammate ,Matt Crafton also suffered damage in the incident.
STAGE WINNERS: Ben Rhodes (Stage 1) and Noah Gragson (Stage 2) both earned their first career stage wins.
HOW BELL WON: Bell hovered around the lead for much of the race, leading 54 laps. Brandon Jones made a strong challenge in the closing laps.
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Runner-up Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson came back from a spin to finish fifth (and led 32 laps), while Matt Crafton rallied back from contact to finish eighth.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Just a few laps after winning Stage 1, Ben Rhodes admitted he got a bit too aggressive when he spun and took out ThorSport teammate Grant Enfinger and caused minor damage to another ThorSport teammate, Matt Crafton.
NOTABLE: Third-place finisher Justin Haley and fourth-place finisher Austin Cindric both earned their Truck Series career-best showings.
QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I knew if the right circumstances came up, we could do it.” – Christopher Bell.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Truck Series moves to the only dirt race on the schedule, July 19 at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Raceway in Rossburg, Ohio.