NASCAR Cup Series

Christopher Bell gets loud with Loudon win

2 Mins read
Credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

It is an understatement to describe Christopher Bell as being quite good at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He has scored top-ten finishes in all but one of his eight national series starts there, while also winning five times including Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event.

Bell and his Toyota allies dominated the Ambetter 301 as he, Martin Truex Jr., and Kurt Busch combined to lead 254 of 301 laps. Although Truex was the favourite throughout with 172 laps led and winning the first two stages, a late two-tyre pit stop ultimately dropped him barely out of top ten range and he spent the final 100 laps trying to climb back up the order, eventually settline for fourth.

“Just put on two tyres and got in a bad spot on the restart,” explained Truex. “I got put three-wide and the #22 (Joey Logano) didn’t get going and I was on the inside behind him. I tried to shove him to get him going and get us going and (Kevin) Harvick made it three-wide and put us in a bad spot. And just my car was terrible on two tires and couldn’t go anywhere. Just should have put four tyres on, I guess.”

With Truex out of the picture, Bell battled with Chase Elliott before taking the lead on lap 260 and holding it for the final forty-two circuits. The win is Bell’s second in the Cup Series and adds to an impressive Loudon résumé; he led 146 of 200 laps in last year’s Xfinity Series race at the track en route to the win, making him three-for-three in Xfinity victories there.

“That one was much needed right there,” Bell said in his post-race interview with NBC Sports. “That was a hell of a race from my viewpoint. That was so much fun racing with the #45 (Busch), the #22 (Logano), and the #9 (Elliott). We were all running different lines. That was a blast.

“[…] I was talking to my best friend and I told him, earlier in the year, I felt like we were right on the verge of winning, and then the last couple weeks, I felt like we were pretty far away, but here we are today.”

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1520Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota301Running
229Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet301Running
3423Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota301Running
4119Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota301Running
5104Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord301Running
61411Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota301Running
796Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord301Running
8181Ross ChastainTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet301Running
91999Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet301Running
10345Kurt Busch23XI RacingToyota301Running
11624William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet301Running
121718Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota301Running
13282Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord301Running
1485Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet300Running
152914Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord300Running
162016A.J. Allmendinger*Kaulig RacingChevrolet300Running
171617Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord300Running
181112Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord300Running
192243Erik JonesPetty GMS MotorsportsChevrolet300Running
202531Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet300Running
21138Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet300Running
222447Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet300Running
23303Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet300Running
241222Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord300Running
252638Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord300Running
263121Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord300Running
272341Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord300Running
281534Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord299Running
293315J.J. Yeley*Rick Ware RacingFord299Running
303651Cody WareRick Ware RacingFord297Running
31710Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord282Running
32217Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet88Accident
333542Ty DillonPetty GMS MotorsportsChevrolet5Accident
343477Josh Bilicki*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet5Accident
352748Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet4Accident
363278B.J. McLeod*Live Fast MotorsportsFord4Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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