Christopher Bell takes Xfinity win in thrilling finish at Iowa
Christopher Bell prevailed for his third consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series win in a wild finish at Iowa Speedway.
For Bell, the triumph makes him the first series regular to win three in-a-row since Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1999.
Sam Ard holds the series record for consecutive wins with four set back in 1983.
"When it's your day it's your day," Bell said in Victory Lane after leading 94 of 250 laps. "I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em."
Elliott Sadler, who started the race from pole, led the first 26 laps before he was overtaken by Cole Custer.
The first caution of the race came out when Tyler Reddick cut a left rear tire.
Custer remained in control of the race until Vinnie Miller went spinning with five laps to go, ending the stage behind the pace car.
Behind Custer, it was Sadler, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric, Kyle Benjamin, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, Daniel Hemric and Shane Lee.
At the start of the second stage, Sadler moved back into the lead until Custer snatched it away once more on Lap 83.
But with just five laps remaining in the stage, Custer got hung up behind slower traffic and lost the lead to Bell, who went on to take the stage win. Custer, Allgaier, Jones, Cindric, Nemechek, Benjamin, Sadler, Ryan Reed and Hemric.
However, it was Custer won the race off pit road and controlled the restart with 120 laps to go. 20 laps later, he was once again being challenged by Bell, who got around him as the final pit stop neared.
On Lap 197, Custer made his final green-flag pit stop, followed by Bell on pit road four laps later.
Mad-dash to the finish
Bell led the way and appeared to be cruising to the checkered flag until a dramatic caution with 14 laps to go. Chase Briscoe spun sideways directly in front of the leader, but Bell was lucky to escape with minimal damage.
The race resumed with nine laps to go. Custer's day went awry as he slid up the track, bouncing off the wall. Behind him, a spinning Garrett Smithley brought out another yellow.
The race turned into a two-lap shootout. On the restart, the field fanned out four-wide into the first corner with Allgaier prevailing. Bell fell all the way down to fourth, but he would get another shot at it as a heavy accident took place back in the back between Max Tullman and Matt Tifft.
The crash required a red flag, which lasted for 15 minutes. The field lined up again for another two-lap shootout as the race ran over into overtime.
The final restart of the race proved to be a wild one with contact throughout the pack. Bell charged from the outside of the second row and got into the back of Allgaier out of Turn 2. The two went side-by-side at the white flag and banged doors. Bell would ultimately clear him into Turn 1 and went on to capture the win.
Allgaier would have to settle for second, but he was displeased with the way Bell drove him at the end of the race.
"Unfortunately we took off there and (Bell) had me lifted up on the restart and then off of 2, tried to put me in the fence. Yeah I'm salty .. just disappointing to get run over like that."
Behind him, Hemric and Jones collided for third, sending both spinning as the field roared by.
Benjamin ultimately finished third, Ross Chastain scored an impressive fourth-place result and Nemechek rounded out the top-five.
|5||42||John Hunter Nemechek||Chevrolet||257||2.241|
|13||3||Shane Lee||Chevrolet||256||1 lap||6|
|14||5||Michael Annett||Chevrolet||256||1 lap|
|15||23||Casey Roderick||Chevrolet||256||1 lap|
|16||36||Alex Labbé||Chevrolet||255||2 laps|
|17||35||Joey Gase||Chevrolet||255||2 laps|
|18||22||Austin Cindric||Ford||254||3 laps|
|19||52||David Starr||Chevrolet||253||4 laps|
|20||51||Jeremy Clements||Chevrolet||253||4 laps|
|21||78||Tommy Joe Martins||Chevrolet||253||4 laps|
|22||9||Tyler Reddick||Chevrolet||252||4 laps|
|23||76||Boyd Spencer||Chevrolet||252||5 laps|
|24||90||Josh Williams||Chevrolet||251||5 laps|
|25||0||Garrett Smithley||Chevrolet||250||7 laps|
|26||2||Matt Tifft||Chevrolet||249||8 laps|
|27||15||Brandon Hightower||Chevrolet||249||8 laps|
|28||8||Ray Black Jr.||Chevrolet||248||9 laps|
|29||01||Vinnie Miller||Chevrolet||247||10 laps|
|30||26||Max Tullman||Ford||245||12 laps|
|31||55||Peter Shepherd III||Toyota||242||15 laps|
|32||74||Mike Harmon||Chevrolet||241||16 laps|
|33||66||Stan Mullis||Dodge||236||21 laps|
|34||39||Ryan Sieg||Chevrolet||206||51 laps|
|35||38||Jeff Green||Chevrolet||140||117 laps|
|36||92||Dexter Bean||Chevrolet||73||184 laps|
|37||40||Chad Finchum||Toyota||56||201 laps|
|38||89||Morgan Shepherd||Chevrolet||46||211 laps|
|39||93||Stephen Leicht||Chevrolet||36||221 laps|
|40||45||Josh Bilicki||Toyota||2||255 laps|
Will Christopher Bell make it three in a row this weekend at Iowa?
Travis Mack named new Xfinity Series crew chief for Michael Annett