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NASCAR Truck: Christopher Bell wins at Texas

Christopher Bell celebrates in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway after winning the WinStarOnlineGaming.com 400 on June 9, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Christopher Bell celebrates in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway after winning the WinStarOnlineGaming.com 400 on June 9, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Christopher Bell parlayed a dominant performance in Friday night’s WinStarOnlineGaming.com 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway into his second win of 2017, making him the first multi-race winner among series regulars. He led 92 of the 167 laps that made up the race.
“We’re in victory lane, so it’s just a dream come true to be able to win, here, in Texas, my hometown,” Bell said. “All of the Tundras are built right here, in Texas, so it’s a huge win for us, everybody at Toyota and Toyota Racing Development. Man, our JBL Tundra was super, super good.”
Although Bell dominated, Bell narrowly beat Chase Briscoe in the race that ended under caution when Timothy Bell’s truck wound up upside-down in the infield grass after contact from Austin Wayne Self just before the field took the white flag. Peters was able to climb from his truck under his own power and walk to the ambulance that transported him to the track’s infield care center.
“First off, I want to make sure everyone is okay,” Bell said in victory lane. “It’s kind of a sorrow victory, here, in victory lane. That was a pretty bad flip, and I’ve taken my fair share of flips, and it hurts a lot worse whenever it’s in the grass like that one was, so I hope he’s okay. That’s the most important part.”
Bell’s win was the fourth of the season, in the first seven races, for Kyle Busch Motorsports, with all those wins coming at mile-and-a-half tracks. GMS Racing won the other three races, shutting all other teams out of victory lane, so far, this season.
Grant Enfinger finished third, Ryan Truex was fourth, and Ben Rhodes finished fifth after overcoming a tire issue that sent him down pit road for an unscheduled green-flag stop in the first 20 laps of the race.
While the middle portion of the race ran incident-free, the event got off to a slow start and finished slowly, bookended by a rash of cautions. The yellow flag waved twice in the first 10 laps and another six times in the final 50 laps. Johnny Sauter also sustained contact from Self in the racing-ending incident after leading 49 laps. He managed an eighth-place finish, his worst finish of the season, to date, since his 15th-place showing in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Sauter was the only driver other than Bell to lead over 15 laps. After Noah Gragson, who received his high school diploma during driver introductions, started on the pole, and he and Matt Crafton combined to lead the first 19 laps, Sauter took his first lead on lap 20 and led until Bell took his first lead on lap 70.
After Bell took the lead, he ran up front for most of the remaining laps. He and Briscoe, though, did trade the lead back and forth through the lat race cautiions, with Briscoe taking the lead just before the ninth caution on lap 160 and Bell retaking the top spot just before the final caution.
“I didn’t think he (Briscoe) had the lead whenever he got it, and then, I didn’t think I had the lead whenever I got it, so it’s just so tight, man,” Bell said. “Me and Chase have known each other for a long time. We’re really good friends and met each other racing online whenever we were in our teens, and now, here, we are racing in the Camping World Truck Series together.”
Other top-10 finishers included Justin Haley in sixth, Gragson in seventh, Crafton ninth and Kaz Grala in 10th.
“I don’t know how we ended up seventh,” Gragson said. “Started on the pole really good and felt like, as the night came, ,it loosened up a little bit, and we were already on the side of being loose, so just really hard to race in traffic. Come down pit road and tightened it up quite a bit, and I thought it was pretty good, and then, left-rear kept on getting loose on me that the loose on the hub, and the lug nuts couldn’t get tight on the wheel, so I kept having a vibration. We came down pit road multiple times, went laps down, but we kept on fighting, and that was through a lot of adversity today. I’m shocked that we’re back up here to seventh. Just kept on fighting, and that’s really what our team’s been about this year.”
Gragson made an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel on lap 103.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on June 10, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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