Bell Sets XFINITY Series Rookie Wins Record, Round of 8 Set Saturday In Dover

Christopher Bell is starting to get hot again, making him the favorite to win this year’s NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. On Saturday, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver earned his second win in the last three races setting a record in the series for a single season win total among rookie drivers.

Bell, earned his sixth trip to victory lane in 2018 when he crossed the finish line first in Saturday afternoon’s Bar Harbor 200 at the Dover International Speedway. He led a race high 110 of 200 laps in a dominating victory in his No. 20 Toyota. 

The Oklahoma native broke a tie with Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards for most wins in a single season by a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender.

Bell, led Saturday’s race by over 3+ seconds in the closing laps until a caution flag flew on Lap 162 for Josh Bilicki who got into the Turn 4 SAFER barrier to bring out just the third caution of the day. That bunched the field back up with everyone hitting pit lane for the final time.

Bell’s teammate Brandon Jones entered the day needing a win in order to advance to the Round of 8 and he elected to take just two tires on pit road. They’d inherit the lead as a result of that risky move.

Bell, restarted alongside of him with four fresh tires.

On the Lap 171 restart, Bell would get back by. He’d lead the final 29 laps en route to his seventh career series win. He did have to outlast the field on a restart with 17 laps-to-go but he didn’t leave any doubt though.

Bell, now has five straight top seven finishes to his credit on the season and ended the first round how it started, in victory lane. He finished fifth in the middle race last weekend in Charlotte.

Cole Custer finished second in his No. 00 Ford for his 11th top 10 finish in the last 13 races on the season. The spring race winner Justin Allgaier brought his No. 7 Chevrolet home third ending a drought of two straight finishes of 15th or worse. He had 14 straight top 10 finishes to his credit prior including seven top three finishes in an eight race span to end the regular season.

Ryan Preece was fourth in his No. 18 Toyota while Spencer Gallagher rounded out the top five.

The eight drivers to advance to the Round of 8 are Bell, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Tyler Reddick, Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric.

Cindric, entered the day nine points behind Ross Chastain but he had a stellar day in his No. 22 Ford to move onto the second round with an eighth place finish. Chastain, finished 13th.

The series has the week off before starting the Round of 8 in two weeks at Kansas.

Bar Harbor 200 Results

  1. 20 Bell R
  2. 00 Custer
  3.  7 Allgaier
  4. 18 Preece
  5. 23 Gallagher
  6. 19 Jones
  7. 21 Hemric
  8. 22 Cindric R
  9. 42 Nemechek
  10. 11 Truex
  11.  1 Sadler
  12.  5 Annett
  13.  4 Chastain
  14.  9 Reddick R
  15.  2 Tifft
  16. 16 Reed
  17.  3 Lee
  18. 39 Sieg -1
  19. 60 Briscoe -1
  20. 51 Clements -3
  21. 36 Labbe R -3
  22. 90 Brown -3
  23.  4 Smithley -4
  24. 52 Starr -5
  25. 78 Miller R -8
  26. 01 Cassill OUT
  27. 66 Hill -11
  28.  8 Mills -12
  29. 55 Currey -13
  30. 35 Gase OUT
  31. 45 Bilicki R OUT
  32. 76 Boyd R OUT
  33. 38 Yeley OUT
  34. 40 Finchum R OUT
  35. 74 Harmon OUT
  36. 13 Long OUT
  37. 15 McLeod OUT
  38. 89 Shepherd OUT
  39. 93 Green OUT
  40. 99 Leicht OUT

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