Christopher Bell dominated much of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and was rewarded with the winner’s trophy when the race was declared official after 249 of 400 laps due to inclement weather. The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led a race-high 90 laps in capturing his second win of the season and eighth of his NASCAR Cup Series career.

Bell was in front of Brad Keselowski when a lightning delay halted the action and forced cars to pit road near the midway point of Stage 3. Rain fell for more than an hour, and high humidity prevented track-drying efforts from resuming the race — which left an appreciative Bell with a career-defining victory in one of NASCAR’s crown-jewel events. 

Keselowski was second when the checkered flag flew with William Byron third, Tyler Reddick fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth. Pole winner Ty Gibbs finished sixth. Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman and Josh Berry completed the top 10. 

Kyle Larson’s attempt at competing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day fell by the wayside after a lengthy rain delay at Indianapolis led to Justin Allgaier serving as Larson’s stand-in at Charlotte.

Larson completed all 500 miles at Indianapolis on his way to an 18th-place finish and the 2021 Coca-Cola 600 winner arrived at Charlotte ready to take over for Allgaier — but weather delays put a halt to the action soon after Larson landed at the speedway. Allgaier took the green flag in Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, completed all 249 laps of Sunday’s race and was credited with 13th at the finish.

Byron passed Bell late in Stage 1 to claim the Playoff point for winning the stage. Bell won Stage 2.

Defending Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney crashed out early in Stage 2 and finished 39th.

CHRISTOPHER BELL, NO. 20 JOE GIBBS RACING TOYOTA (RACE WINNER): “It feels so good. And, really, the last two Coca-Cola 600s I felt like we had the potential to go to Victory Lane and both times we haven’t been able to do it. We’ve really been in a slump the last couple weeks so to come out here and have a banner day at such a high-profile, prestigious event is really big for us. Obviously, it’s a great thing to get stage points and the Playoff points that come with that. It’s a good day, for sure. You could feel the intensity of the race pick up (as Stage 3 began) and people were very aggressive for how early we were in a 600-mile event. I think it’s because everyone knew we were racing to the rain. I’m just very, very proud of this No. 20 group. I’ve been working really hard to get us back to where we need to be and today was a great step in the right direction.”

JOE GIBBS, NO. 20 JOE GIBBS RACING TOYOTA (WINNING CAR OWNER): “I think all of us, the fans, when you get a packed house like that, you’d like to see it go the whole way, but Mother Nature had other plans. I just appreciate Adam (Stevens), Christopher and the whole team. In pro sports, it’s hard. The hardest thing is staying up there (at the top). We’ve had a hard few weeks. To see the whole team bounce back like this, it’s just a huge deal for us.”

ADAM STEVENS, NO. 20 JOE GIBBS RACING TOYOTA (WINNING CREW CHIEF): “The size of that storm was big enough that it wasn’t confusing the radar. I think everybody had a pretty good handle on when it was going to get here. But it does change the dynamic of the race. You can’t afford to make a long pit stop if you need to make an adjustment and you can’t afford to put a second can (of fuel) in if you need a second can. You just couldn’t lose track position. It was different, had a different feel to it, a lot more intensity in the front of the pack. I think you saw that on the restarts and (it put) a lot more pressure on the guys on pit road, for sure.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 6 RFK RACING FORD (RUNNER-UP): “We had a car that could win the race. We ran down (Bell) twice, but we didn’t get to see it play out. It slipped through our fingers there. All in all, I’m really happy with our performance. The car was really fast, pit stops were phenomenal, but the weather is what the weather is. We scored good points today. I think we moved up to 10th (in the points standings), which was nice. We were the top Ford but I feel like we had a lot more if we were able to get going again. It was good to be that fast. You want it to count for wins and you don’t want to be a sore loser with second, but we had a car that could win today. We were going as hard as we could.”

TICKETS: 

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