NASCAR Cup Series

Christopher Bell beats Reddick for Bristol Dirt win

2 Mins read
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Christopher Bell led the final 100 laps of Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway to score his first win of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, but they were what he called “some of the longest laps of my life.”

As cautions mounted for single-car spins, Bell faced heavy pressure from Tyler Reddick especially on the final restart with eight laps remaining. Reddick attempted to close in but any prospect of making a charge was dashed after Ross Chastain crashed due to contact from Trackhouse Racing team-mate Daniel Suárez on the final lap, ending the race under caution.

Bell took the lead from Reddick, who won Stage #2, before the final segment after electing to stay out instaed of pit. While a gamble, it paid off as he led the entirety of the stage.

“We clearly were not the best car, but Adam (Stevens, crew chief) kept asking me what I needed,” recalled Bell. “I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to help me enough on a pit stop adjustment to get me where I need to be.’ I just said, ‘Let’s stay out,’ and he believed in me and we were able to make it work.”

Kyle Larson started on the pole and seemed to be one of the the favourites before wrecking out on lap 175 after a clash with Ryan Preece.

2021 race winner Joey Logano, who claimed the Truck Series event on Saturday, had a difficult night as he was spun after contact with Bubba Wallace just twelve laps in, followed by further spins that resulted in terminal damage to his steering. Logano attributed his difficult night to the track being “really slick and as the cars get more and more sideways, they don’t really like it too much.”

Like Logano, multiple drivers spun on their own throughout the day. Notably, Michael McDowell did a 720-degree spin in the middle of the racing surface on lap 89 but managed to avoid being hit. He would go on to finish tenth, completing an impressive night for Front Row Motorsports as partner Todd Gilliland placed eighth.

Matt Crafton, racing in relief duty for Cody Ware, bowed out with an engine failure in his first Cup start since 2019.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1420Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
2645Tyler Reddick23XI RacingToyota250Running
323Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet250Running
42247Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet250Running
51414Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord250Running
62531Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet250Running
72719Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
81538Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord250Running
9264Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord250Running
102354Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
111334Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord250Running
121123Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota250Running
131024William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
141843Erik JonesLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet250Running
152021Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord250Running
162916A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet250Running
17336Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord250Running
182817Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord250Running
1972Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord250Running
20315J.J. Yeley*Rick Ware RacingFord250Running
213277Ty DillonSpire MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
223011Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
23912Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord250Running
24841Ryan PreeceStewart-Haas RacingFord250Running
253499Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet250Running
263778B.J. McLeodLive Fast MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
27319Josh Berry*Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
28161Ross ChastainTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet249Running
291748Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet248Running
30357Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet247Running
311910Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord240Running
3258Kyle BuschRichard Childress RacingChevrolet236Suspension
333642Noah GragsonLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet205Running
342451Matt Crafton*Rick Ware RacingFord185Engine
3515Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet177Accident
362113Jonathan DavenportKaulig RacingChevrolet176Accident
371222Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord96Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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