Bell Wins by Two Steps in a Texas Shootout
Christopher Bell came from the 21st starting position to win Friday night's Winstaronlinegaming.com 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth. The 22-year-old driver, who grew up just over two hours away from the 1.5-mile venue, led 92 of the final 98 laps and was inches ahead of Chase Briscoe when the field was frozen after a three-truck accident ended the race under caution during a two-lap shootout to the finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Bell, who fastest during all three practice sessions on Thursday, was relegated to a 21st starting position after his team failed to remove the cowl cover prior to making his lap during the first round of qualifying Friday afternoon limiting the engine to get to full song.
- The JBL Tundra methodically maneuvered forward in the early stages of the race, making its way into the top 10 for the first time on lap 12 and then into the top five on lap 14. On lap 25 he took over the runner-up position, but despite several attempts to work his way around Johnny Sauter for the lead had to settle for a second-place finish in Stage One.
Stage Two Recap:
- After pitting for four tires and fuel, Bell restarted from the eighth position when the field went green on lap 47 to start Stage Two.
- He was able to work his way to the front of the field for the first time on lap 70 and remained on point when the field cross the start-finish line on lap 80 to win Stage Two.
Final Stage Recap:
- Crew chief Rudy Fugle elected to replace just the left side tires under caution allowing the JBL Tundra to easily win the race off pit road.
- The Final Stage went green on lap 86. The JBL Tundra got fresh right-side tires and a full load of fuel under caution on lap 121 and once again easily returned to the track with the lead.
- Bell held serve on several restarts as three more cautions slowed the field during the next 40-lap stretch.
- Shortly after the field went back green on lap 161, he raced side-by-side with Chase Briscoe all the way around the 1.5-mile track, but Briscoe was scored as the leader when a two-truck accident slowed the field again one lap later.
- The field went back green with two laps remaining in the 167-lap event. Once again, the two drivers raced side-by-side for nearly a complete lap. They appeared to make slight contact exiting Turn 4 and raced door-to-door as they took the white flag. Just as they crossed the start-finish line a three-truck accident occurred mid-pack bringing out the red flag and freezing the field.
- Per NASCAR rules with the leader haven taken the white flag, the race was ruled complete and the victor was decided by a photo finish. Bell had narrowly edged Briscoe and declared the winner.
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