Christopher Bell wins Xfinity playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway
Christopher Bell won Saturday night’s Xfinity Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway and locked himself into the championship race in Miami.
Bell swept every stage of the race and claimed his series-leading eighth victory of the year, topping his total from his rookie season.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led 101 of 200 laps and beat Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones and John Hunter Nemechek.
A native of Oklahoma, Texas Motor Speedway is Bell’s home track.
“That was pretty special to win here at Texas,” Bell told NBCSN. “I got a lot of family over there in the background. This (checkered flag) is for my nephew. I promised him years ago that if I ever won I’d give him the flag at Texas. ... I knew we were competitive. Us and (Tyler Reddick) were really similar early on. Then I started having brake problems. Whenever I got those brake problems I just wasn’t as good. I could keep the car underneath me, I got really loose. Had to work a little bit harder.”
Bell has 16 wins through 72 Xfinity starts, which is tied for the most with Sam Ard and Jack Ingram.
This is the fourth time this year Bell has swept every stage of the race and won. He’s the only driver to do it.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Christopher Bell
STAGE 2 WINNER: Christopher Bell
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Austin Cindric has finished in the top three in four of the five playoff races and has top-10 finishes in three of four Texas starts ... John Hunter Nemechek has top-10 finishes in five of the last six races, including the last four ... Justin Allgaier finished sixth. He has top-10 finishes in the last 15 races, the longest streak of his career.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Playoff driver Noah Gragson finished 30th after contact with Harrison Burton with 50 laps to go sent him through the infield grass and damaged his No. 9 Chevrolet. It is his first DNF of the year … A few laps into the ensuing green flag run, Tyler Reddick wrecked on the backstretch while racing with Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones. He finished 29th … Briscoe finished 22nd after he had a late pit stop for a right-front tire problem ... Bobby Earnhardt brought out the first caution on Lap 19 when he spun and experienced a hard wreck in Turn 2. He finished 37th … On Lap 60 Brandon Brown wrecked after a spin in Turn 2 ... With 11 laps left in Stage 2, David Starr wrecked after making contact with Stefan Parsons and plowing through the infield grass. He finished 33rd … Justin Haley finished 32nd due to a mechanical failure on his backup car.
WHAT’S NEXT: Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200 at ISM Raceway at 3:30 p.m. ET Nov. 9 on NBC