Driver Press Recap
NASCAR Cup drivers were available to the press Saturday morning/afternoon and had much to say about their cars, and the track, here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the possibility of switching the set up and new additions to the course.
The biggest topic was the addition of a start/restart zone and everyone that spoke about it today was in favor of it. Martin Truex, Jr. said he is glad there is a start/restart zone and he thinks it won’t be 5-6 cars wide, like it had been. He does think that there would still be some darting in, but he thinks it will be calmer. When asked if he thought it should have been single file, he said he didn’t think that was in NASCAR’s vocabulary.
One of the rumors swirling around is that the Brickyard may go back to the oval. It seems as though emotions are mixed on the driver’s end of things. Christopher Bell likes the track here, it’s a fun place, but is looking forward to perhaps being on the oval. Denny Hamlin definitely prefers the oval, “we’re crossing over the bricks in the wrong direction.” He would rather run the oval. Martin Truex, Jr likes that there are lots of opportunity to run road courses. And Austin Cindric said, as long as he was in Indy, it was all pretty cool to him.
The other thing that the drivers were talking about was the opinion some drivers had that the last few races didn’t matter. Truex vehemently disagreed. He said that every race was important. He was trying to lock down bonus point for the playoffs. And Austin Cindric feels like they have the best chance to get a win here at Indy.
I guess the thing that sums it up the best is when Austin Cindric said, “As long as I’m in Indy, it’s pretty cool to me.”
Christopher Bell drove himself to his fifth win of the season at New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.
Bell led 186 of the 200 laps in the Roxor 200, holding off Cole Custer to take the checkered flag. He and Custer are tied with five wins a piece this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Finishing second in Stage 1 after a three-wide finish, Christopher Bell elected to pit for fuel and fresh tires before the next stage. Bell dominated the stage with over a six second lead over Justin Allgaier.
With the laps winding down, the action on the track began to heat up. On lap 140, Noah Gragson tagged the wall to bring out a caution, allowing for the final round of pit stops under yellow.
The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Toyota led the way followed by Allgaier, Reddick, Custer and Cindric. Custer made his way up to second and set his sights on Bell.
Menard got into Burton with less than 50 laps to go, bringing out another caution. Bell and Custer were side by side on the restart, but Bell had the advantage.
Custer closed the gap to a 1.5 second lead, but ran out of time and laps.
Bell drove the No.20 Joe Gibbs Toyota to victory lane for the 13th time in his Xfinity Series career.
“I’m very thankful to be driving these Supras for Joe Gibbs Racing. All of our partners, man, they just provide really fast race cars and I’m the lucky guy who gets to drive them.”
Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick and Paul Menard rounded out the top five.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Iowa Speedway for the U.S. Cellular 250 on July 27 at 5:00 PM on NBCSN.
Christopher Bell wins the CircuitCity.com 250 at Iowa Speedway after dominating all three stages.
His quest for the win began after taking four fresh Goodyear tires with 10 laps to go in the first stage. He passed Stewart Haas Racing's, Cole Custer with two to go and won his seventh stage of the season.
The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led majority of the laps and maintained almost a two second lead over Cole Custer throughout Stage 2.
When the green flag waved for stage three, Bell went into defense mode. Cole Custer, who had been battling tough handling all race long, slammed into the outside wall and brought out the sixth caution of the day. The leaders took the opportunity to get four fresh tires and Sunoco fuel before the green waved for what they thought would be the final time.
Custer had a fast stop and was able to beat Bell off of pit road, giving him the preferred lane on the restart. The outside line ran good all race long and gave anyone running it the advantage over those on the bottom. Battle ensued for the top spot between Custer and Bell, as they raced side by side around the racetrack. After making contact with the No.00, Bell took the lead and had his sights set on the checkered flag.
Unfortunately, Chad Finchum made contact with the outside wall bringing out the seventh caution of the day. With 10 to go, Bell took the lead over Cole Custer and held him off as the laps were winding down.
Christopher Bell took the checkered flag for the fourth time this season and for the 12th time in his Xfinity Series career.
“I got to win at Dover on Mother’s Day weekend, with my mom there and now on Father’s Day weekend with my dad here. That’s pretty special.”
Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Harrison Burton and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five.
The Xfinity Series will be back in action on June 29 at 3:30 PM ET from Chicagoland Speedway for the Camping World 300 on NBCSN.
For the fourth time in 2017 and the fallout of teammates, Christopher Bell won the Overton’s 150 after a late race battle for the lead.
“My guys do the best. They do a good job taking care of me. I just can’t say enough to be able to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I am glad to be able to get SiriusXM into victory lane,” said Bell.
Despite a late race charge and a strong run at Pocono after a few disappointing weeks, Ben Rhodes will finished second.
“Pretty mellow about it. I guess that has been the story of the day. There were several situations out that we could have put ourselves in a bad place. I let a couple guys go early on in the race. I knew we had a fast Safelight Tundra,” said Rhodes.
Running up front for majority of the day, Ryan Truex finished in the third position.
John Hunter Nemchek, Johnny Suater, Matt Crafton, Austin Cindric, Cody Coughlin, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Haley round out the top-10.
There were five lead changes among five different drivers. The caution flew four times for XX laps. The average speed was 119.210 mph. The time of race was one hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Michigan International Raceway on August 12th for the LTI Printing 200. The race will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. ET.
SPARTA, Ky.— For the third in 2017, Christopher Bell was victorious in the rain-delayed Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 from Kentucky Speedway.
“This is pretty special man. This is an extremely tough race for me. We had our ups and downs there and through practice yesterday, just kind of – practice didn’t really go smooth. We had such a good Toyota Tundra that I knew, I knew if the right circumstances came up we could do it and Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) did a great job on top of the pit box just getting me track position after I made a mistake there and spun out. Just really glad to be here," said Bell in victory lane. "Really thankful for all the guys at TRD, everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports – they build such fast Tundras. It’s a pleasure to drive them. Our Joe Gibbs engines are flawless and that showed today.”
Despite a late race charge, Brandon Jones was just 0.187 seconds away from victory, but finished second at Kentucky.
“It was all fun and games for sure. It was a great truck for sure. I think it showed a lot about a team that can go from running a couple races in a year to one of the best teams in the series right now. I was tickled to death and pumped. Just wish we could have ended up in victory lane,” Jones stated.
Sitting quietly through much of the race, Justin Hayley finished in the third position.
“We snugged it up a bit tonight. Our Chevy was very fast tonight,” said Justin Hayley.
The race saw 10 lead changes among eight different drivers. Bell led the most laps at 54. The caution flew eight times for 42 laps.
Next up for the Truck Series is a trip to Eldora Speedway. The race will be broadcasted on Fox Business Network and Motor Racing Network beginning at 9:30 p.m. EDT.