Christopher Bell Dominates First Xfinity Playoff Race at Richmond

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RICHMOND, VA – RIS- Christopher Bell made a statement on Friday night as he dominated the NASCAR Xfinity Series Go Bowling 250 at Richmond International Raceway.  It was the first race of the Xfinity playoffs, and he now moves on to the next round.

Bell led 238 of 250 laps – a career high – and swept each stage to earn his seventh victory of the year, matching his total from 2018.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has now won three of the last four races at Richmond and six of the last 11 short track races.  He now has won seven races this season.

The top five was made up of pole-sitter Austin Cindric, Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe.

“That one was pretty special,” Bell told NBCSN. “Going 92 laps straight there is really difficult, man. We were sliding all around. I felt like if I could get to traffic I was going to be in good shape. Because my car could really move around good. I could run up, I could run down. (Cole Custer) was keeping pressure on us pretty good, but this Rheem Supra was too good.”

Bell won the first two stages on the night and then received the checkers.

Cindric took his runner-up finish in stride and looking forward to the rest of the playoff races.

“Obviously, a really good night for the Money Lion Ford Mustang, keeping the Fords up front”, Cindric said. Two runner-up finishes here at Richmond is good, but you want to win races, so I’ve got to keep working and keep figuring out how to catch that guy in the 20, but, overall, a great day.”

Bell started the night having already won 15 race stages, more than twice as many as any other driver, and went from the fourth starting spot to the lead after just six laps. He led the rest of the 75-lap first stage, lost the lead to Brandon Jones and then Cindric for a total of six laps and then went back in front for the rest of the race on the 85th circuit.

Bell started the night having already won 15 race stages, more than twice as many as any other driver, and went from the fourth starting spot to the lead after just six laps. He led the rest of the 75-lap first stage, lost the lead to Brandon Jones and then Cindric for a total of six laps and then went back in front for the rest of the race on the 85th circuit.

Custer was running second for much of the final stage but lost a spot late in the race.

“We were just kind of loose to start the run and it just kind of got worse and I probably was using too much brake,” he said. “It’s a really good way to start off the playoffs.”

Allgaier’s top-five run came after he had to start from the rear of the field in his 300th career start.

“We weren’t quite as good as the cars that beat us there at the end but we were able to get ourselves into a good spot,” he said.

The Xfinity cars and drivers now head to Charlotte Motor Speedway to test the newly configured ROVAL and run there for the second time on September 28th.

Unofficial Race Results: 39th Annual Go Bowling 250: September 20, 2019
Richmond Raceway: 0.75: Mile Paved

Fin, Car, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 20, Christopher Bell (P), No. 4 Rheem Toyota, 250, 1, 1, 2, 238, 7, 60, Running
2) 22, Austin Cindric (P), No. 1 MoneyLion Ford, 250, 2, 5, 2, 8, , 50, Running
3) 00, Cole Custer (P), No. 12 GoBowling Ford, 250, 5, 2, , , , 49, Running
4) 7, Justin Allgaier (P), No. 2 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, 250, 10, 3, , , , 42, Running
5) 98, Chase Briscoe # (P), No. 5 Ford Performance Ford, 250, 9, 7, , , , 38, Running
6) 18, Harrison Burton(i), No. 6 DEX Imaging Toyota, 250, , 9, , , , 0, Running
7) 9, Noah Gragson # (P), No. 8 Superior Essex Chevrolet, 250, 3, 6, , , , 43, Running
8) 8, Zane Smith, No. 15 PatientPop Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 1, Michael Annett (P), No. 10 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, 250, 4, 4, , , , 42, Running
10) 2, Tyler Reddick (P), No. 3 Gimme Radio Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 19, Brandon Jones (P), No. 11 Freightliner Toyota, 250, 8, , 1, 4, , 29, Running
12) 39, Ryan Sieg (P), No. 13 Larry's Hard Lemonade Chevrolet, 250, , 8, , , , 28, Running
13) 90, Dillon Bassett, No. 26 Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 21, Joe Graf Jr., No. 16 Eat Sleep Race Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 23, John Hunter Nemechek # , No. 38 Safeway Chevrolet, 249, 7, 10, , , , 27, Running
16) 51, Jeremy Clements, No. 14 TopGolf Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 11, Justin Haley # (P), No. 7 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 249, 6, , , , , 25, Running
18) 07, Ray Black II, No. 18 ISOKERNFrplcsChmnys/ScbaLife Chev, 248, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 01, Ryan Repko, No. 19 The McLain Group Chevrolet, 248, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 35, Joey Gase, No. 30 Donate Life Virginia Toyota, 248, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 78, JJ Yeley, No. 34 BringYourBible.org Toyota, 247, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 08, Gray Gaulding, No. 9 Panini Chevrolet, 247, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 36, Josh Williams, No. 28 Harkin Construction Chevrolet, 247, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 93, Hermie Sadler, No. 35 Virginia Lottery Chevrolet, 247, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 52, David Starr, No. 29 HollywdAutoSls/PrfrdTowng Chev, 247, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 61, Chad Finchum, No. 20 MBM Motorsports Toyota, 246, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 0, Garrett Smithley, No. 32 Trophy Tractor Chevrolet, 246, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 99, Matt Mills, No. 23 J.F. Electric Chevrolet, 244, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 4, Stephen Leicht, No. 21 teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet, 241, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 15, BJ McLeod, No. 33 teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet, 240, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 38, CJ McLaughlin, No. 36 Sci Aps Chevrolet, 125, , , , , , 6, Axle
32) 17, Joe Nemechek(i), No. 25 Chevrolet, 85, , , , , , 0, Brakes
33) 74, Tyler Matthews, No. 24 Chevrolet, 58, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 86, Brandon Brown #, No. 22 Vector Security Chevrolet, 55, , , , , , 3, Engine
35) 5, Vinnie Miller, No. 27 Pit Viper Sunglasses Chevrolet, 50, , , , , , 2, Engine
36) 89, Landon Cassill, No. 17 Visone RV Chevrolet, 24, , , , , , 1, Handling
37) 13, Stan Mullis, No. 37 LasVegas.net Toyota, 18, , , , , , 1, Suspension
38) 66, Mike Marlar(i), No. 31 Toyota, 1, , , , , , 0, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 57 Mins, 16 Secs.
Race Length: 250 Laps: 187.5 Miles

Average Speed: 95.935 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.700 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 20, 22, 9, 1, 00, 11, 23, 19, 98, 7
Stage 2 Top 10: 20, 00, 7, 1, 22, 9, 98, 39, 18, 23

Race Comments: Christopher Bell won the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway, his 15th NASCAR Xfinity Series victory.

Prior to the start of the race the following cars dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: No. 7, 90 (tire change), No. 23, 38 (unapproved adjustments).

Caution Flags: 5 for 31 laps;
Laps: 2-5 (No. 66 Incident backstretch [None]);
52-57 (No. 5 Incident turn 2 [86]);
61-67 (No. 74 Incident turn 1 [None]);
77-83 (Stage 1 conclusion [35]);
152-158 (Stage 2 conclusion [51]).

Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers;
A. Cindric (P) 1-6;
C. Bell (P) 7-79;
B. Jones (P) 80-83;
A. Cindric (P) 84-85;
C. Bell (P) 86-250.

Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Christopher Bell, No. 20

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2019, Issue 9, Posted 11:23 PM, 09.20.2019