NCS: Bell wins both stages blows up, Blaney runs out of fuel on last lap handing Enjoy Illinois 300 win to Austin Cindric

In a continued turnaround for the Ford camp where they would lock down the front row with McDowell putting his No. 34 machine on the pole over two Penske Ford’s of Cindric and Blaney. Another dominant team this season, Hendrick Motorsports, would fail to put a car in the top-10 after getting knocked out in qualifying.

McDowell would lead nearly every lap in the first stage of the day until Bell finally was able to get around to take over the lead with just four laps remaining in the stage to take home the opening stage win of the day over McDowell, Blaney, Cindric, and Hamlin.

The first stage would be slowed twice for caution involving Cody Ware tangling with Nemechek in the first caution of the day then Kraus to bring out the second of the day.

During the first stage caution of the day six of the contenders would elect to stay out with a couple cars of Preece and Truex both taking two tires winning the race off pit road. But stage one winner Bell would take four tires working himself around cars that didn’t pit over the next 15 laps retaking the lead with 70 laps complete.

With some pit stops complete and a contingent of Ford’s all trying to stretch out the second stage of the day caution would once again come out when Josh Berry would blow a tire going down the back slinging his car into the wall to end his day.

Stage two would come to an end with Larson and Busch making contact with each other as Larson would spin out pushing Busch up hard into the wall. Busch would get the worst end of the wreck driving his car straight to the garage ending his day.

Bell would take the second stage win over Cindric, Blaney, Elliott, and Keselowski.

With laps winding down pit strategy would come into play with Bell, Blaney and others making an early entry to pit road with Keselowski, Larson and others attempting to stretch out the final stop in hopes of a caution flag that wouldn’t come.

Blaney would work himself through traffic with a fast-closing Bell who had both stopped earlier as the final five cars that were hoping for a caution would finally make their stops. With just 23 to go the final car of Larson that needed to pit would hand the lead back over to the battle between Blaney in the lead and Bell in second.

Blaney and Bell would continue to battle lap after lap for the lead with Blaney having the advantage until Bell would take the lead with a crossover move. Bell’s lead wouldn’t last long within a lap Blaney was back around for the lead.

Bell would radio to the team after Blaney got by saying “I’m blowing up, it’s over.”

“I have no idea what happened, it was some kind of motor issue, I was surprised it made it to the end.” Continues Bell

In the closing laps Bell’s teammate Truex would help the wounded No. 20 machine by pushing them around to track trying to keep pace with the field.

With the white flag in sight Blaney would radio to the crew “I’m out of gas” slowing down the front as teammate Cindric would cruise on by taking the lead to take home the win ending an 85-race winless streak over Hamlin, Keselowski, Reddick and Logano.

“Honestly, I’m heartbroken for the 12 team. I don’t know what happened to them at the end of the race. They deserved to win this race. Ryan has been a hell of a leader on this team.” Said Cindric

“This weekend was a great weekend for everybody involved. But, yeah, to have two cars in the fight, eventual 1-2. Heartbroken for those guys. This is huge for me. This is huge for this team. I’m so glad I was able to get a win with Brian as my crew chief in the Cup Series. You never know when it’s going to happen again. Just drove by butt off, hope for the best.” Continues Cindric

Blaney would end up finishing in the 24th spot as he coasted the entire final lap.

“Never thought in my mind we were short. One lap short that just stinks.” Said Blaney

The NASCAR Cup Series moves onto Sonoma Raceway next Sunday, June 9th for the Toyota Save Mart 350 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.