Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, found victory lane on Sunday evening at the Magic Mile after leading 149 of the 305 laps. 

“You never know how this thing’s gonna shake out whenever you change,” said Bell to NBC Sports after his win. “So many things like that and the adverse conditions. I personally love adverse conditions, because you’re always trying to think outside the box. Whenever we went back out, I was feeling around and they felt like that the normal Loudon groove was really really slippery. So I tried to just run down or run up, and Adam (Stevens, Crew Chief) put the tune on this thing and it was turning really good.” 

The adverse conditions that Bell speaks of were the wet track conditions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, after the race was halted for a nearly two hour delay with about 80 laps to go in the USA Today 301. After the track crews blew all of the standing water off the track, the Cup Series drivers drove on the track with wet weather tires on, just an hour after a heavy thunderstorm hit the speedway. 

The racing we saw afterwards was something we haven’t seen at NHMS in its 30+ year history, with five wide races and pure chaos taking place. What did the drivers think? Here is Chase Briscoe’s view on racing in wet conditions. 

“I thought it was really good. Truthfully, I think we could have probably started with the track honestly a little bit wetter. The beginning was pretty fun. We were like all over the place five wide at times and started sliding around. It’s been really encouraging. I think to see kind of the wet weather progression of how aggressive we’ve been with it, and I think we can continue to do that even from a visibility standpoint. I mean, it was totally fine with no wipers or anything, so I’m fine for rain racing on the ovals and even on the road course too.”

The USA Today 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway saw 14 cautions and 85 laps under yellow, and an average speed of 118.694 mph with an official time of 3:56:54 hours. There were six lead changes with five different leaders in the 305 lap event. 

Next week, the NASCAR Cup Series travels to the Music City of Nashville, Tenn., as they will race the Ally 400 at the Nashville Superspeedway. That race will air live at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

Kaleb Vestal
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