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NASCAR Xfinity: Christopher Bell wins at Kentucky

SPARTA, KY – JULY 13: Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 Rheem Toyota, poses in Victory Lane with the winner’s decal after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 13, 2018 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Christopher Bell passed Justin Allgaier on lap 184 of the 200-lap Alsco 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Friday night and led the remaining 17 laps en route to his third-career series win, his second of 2018.

Allgaier fell back to fourth by the checkered flag after leading 32 of the final 50 laps. Daniel Hemric, meanwhile, took runner-up honors. Pole sitter cole Custer finished fifth after leading the first 14 laps of the race.

For Bell, his latest win came after a drive from the back to the front after a spin in the final round of qualifying necessitated in a tire change prior to the start of the race.

“Man, it was extremely difficult,” Bell said. “Starting in the back there, I knew my car was going to handle a little bit different than what it would at the front, and all throughout practice, I knew that we were – my car that was capable of racing for the win, but when we started in the back. Man, it just drives so different back there and the guys kept getting good pit stops, and we’d gain a spot here, gain a spot there, get a good restart, and next thing you know, we’re up there racing at the front, and it’s driving totally different and keep telling myself, ‘We’ve got a shot at this thing,’ and just really proud of this team, everyone at Rheem, Ruud, GameStop, Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development), all the people at Xfinity that help put this series on. It’s just a ton of fun to be here, and I’m thankful that I get to stand in victory lane one more time.”

Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch dominated the race, leading 111 laps, including a stage-one win at lap 45. Busch, though, reported a possible right-rear tire going down after losing the lead to Hemric and second to Allgaier on lap 144. He pitted during a caution a few laps later on lap 147 and restarted outside the top-10, but by the checkered flag, Busch was up to third.

“I don’t know if we were just too loose or what, but every time it would step out and get loose, it would tip over on the right rear, so that chicken or the egg,” Busch said. “I don’t know which is which. I don’t know if it’s soft right-rear or if it was just loose, but, you know, we kind of started to lose the handle, there, that run, and we just weren’t able to recover. We obviously had to come to pit road ,and we got way back in traffic and had to come back through and finished third, but, you know, that’s not what we’re here for. We want to win these races when I’m in them. I only get seven chances, so got to thank NOS Energy Drink and all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing. Wish we were better than that tonight. Glad Christopher got a win. Those guys needed that and keep their chances better for their championship here this year.”

During Busch’s stint of domination, John Hunter Nemechek took a stage-two win at lap 90. He did so by passing Busch for the lead on lap 80, but during the caution after the second stage, Busch got off pit road to retake the lead.

Nemechek went a lap down and nearly two later in the race when he shut off his engine in an effort to conserve fuel and had trouble getting his car re-fired. By the time his car restarted, he was nearly two laps down. He got back on the lead lap during the final caution on lap 162 and finished seventh.

Other top-10 finishers included Tyler Reddick in sixth, Ryan Reed eighth, Paul Menard ninth and Austin Cindric in 10th.

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Posted by on July 14, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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