Christopher Bell wins Xfinity race at Road America
Christopher Bell won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Road America in a two-lap shootout to earn his sixth win of the season.
Bell beat Austin Cindric, Tyler Reddick, Noah Gragson and Kaz Grala to earn his first career win on a road course.
Bell led 10 of the race’s 45 laps. He started the race in 12th and was in position to win in the final stage thanks a debris caution caused by his teammate Brandon Jones with 14 laps to go. Bell had pit from second place right before the caution and was able to stay out when the rest of the field pit.
“I’m honestly in shock,” Bell told NBCSN. “I really butchered qualifying, tore the crap out of that left-front (tire). I felt like once we got in the race there I’d be able to drive by those guys. And they dropped the green flag and they’re driving by me. That wasn’t very much fun. Then I told (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) ‘I’m just really, really tight.’ We got those tires off and he said that left front was hurt pretty bad. We got pretty good there whenever we got the fresh tires on. The strategy obviously worked out really good for us pitting there.”
The final restart was caused by Gray Gaulding spinning off course in Turn 1 with five laps to go.
Bell’s win snaps Cindric’s two-race win streak on road courses.
Matt DiBenedetto, who led the most laps with 18, had bounced back from going off track in the middle of the race and was second on the final lap before he spun in the final turn. He finished 27th.
“Just being stupid on my part,” DiBenedetto told NBCSN. “Was looking in my mirror and got too high and barely got up in the marbles and made the most rookie mistake of my life. It was dumb. Uncalled for. We had the fastest car on track and nothing to show for it. ... I drove stupid. I’m pretty pissed off at myself. Nothing else. Won’t sleep all week. This isn’t exactly a good run when I’m trying to make my career.”
STAGE 1 WINNER: AJ Allmendinger
STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Tyler Reddick finished in the top five in all three road course races this year and is on a seven race top-five streak ... Kaz Grala finished fifth in his last scheduled race of the year. It’s his third career top-five finish ... Chase Briscoe (seventh) has finished in the top 10 in the last seven races .. Jeremy Clements (eighth) earned his third top 10 of the season.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Justin Allgaier, the defending race winner, finished ninth after he locked his brakes up entering Turn 1 on the last lap of Stage 1 and became buried in the gravel … Cole Custer finished 10th after he went off course on the Stage 2 restart and suffered damage to his grille and had to make multiple pit stops for repairs.
WHAT’S NEXT: VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway at 4 p.m. ET Aug. 31 on NBC.