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Bell Wins Xfinity Battle Of Gibbs Drivers

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 21 2018

Christopher Bell celebrates victory in Richmond on Friday night. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Jim Fluharty)

RacinToday.com

Christopher Bell held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Noah Gragson to win Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway.

Bell spoiled Gragson’s prospects for a victory in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, passing his teammate for the lead on Lap 172 of 250 and staying in front the rest of the way.

Bell crossed the finish line .423 seconds ahead of Gragson, after the driver of the No. 18 Toyota got to the bumper of Bell’s No. 20 in the closing laps.

“I had to work for it,” Bell said of his second career victory, his first of the season and his first at Richmond. “My teammate was really good. I knew throughout both practices that both of our cars were going to be really strong.

“Joe Gibbs Racing has been producing really, really fast Camrys for the last couple weeks, and it’s really shown… All in all, it was enough to stay in front of him at the end.”

Virginia native Elliott Sadler finished third and claimed a $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus, though he remained winless and frustrated at his home track. It was Sadler’s fourth career win under the Dash 4 Cash program.

“It’s tough,” Gragson said of his first Xfinity start. “I found a little something in the track, a little speed there at the end of the second stage on old tires, and I kept it in my memory banks till the end, and I told my team, ‘I’ve got something when it’s time to go—just tell me when.’

“And about 18 to go, I told them, ‘I can’t wait any longer; I don’t have any more patience.’ And I ran Christopher down about two or three car lengths.”

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NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – ToyotaCare 250

Richmond Raceway

Richmond, Virginia

Friday, April 20, 2018

  1. (2) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 250.
  2. (11) Noah Gragson(i), Toyota, 250.
  3. (8) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 250.
  4. (12) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 250.
  5. (3) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 250.
  6. (1) Cole Custer, Ford, 250.
  7. (6) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 250.
  8. (26) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 250.
  9. (13) Ryan Reed, Ford, 250.
  10. (18) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 250.
  11. (10) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 250.
  12. (14) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 250.
  13. (5) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 250.
  14. (7) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 250.
  15. (27) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 249.
  16. (19) Alex Labbe #, Chevrolet, 249.
  17. (17) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 249.
  18. (16) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 249.
  19. (21) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 249.
  20. (9) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 249.
  21. (24) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 249.
  22. (23) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 248.
  23. (30) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 247.
  24. (35) Tony Mrakovich, Ford, 247.
  25. (20) Joe Nemechek(i), Chevrolet, 247.
  26. (15) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 246.
  27. (28) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 246.
  28. (34) Spencer Boyd #, Chevrolet, 246.
  29. (4) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 246.
  30. (22) Kaz Grala #, Ford, 245.
  31. (38) Vinnie Miller #, Chevrolet, 244.
  32. (36) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 244.
  33. (37) Josh Bilicki #, Toyota, 244.
  34. (33) Chad Finchum #, Toyota, 238.
  35. (25) David Starr, Chevrolet, 229.
  36. (40) Mike Harmon, Dodge, Clutch, 133.
  37. (29) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, Brakes, 128.
  38. (39) Timmy Hill, Dodge, Fuel Pump, 107.
  39. (31) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Brakes, 32.
  40. (32) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Electrical, 26.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  93.284 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 00 Mins, 36 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.423 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 39 laps.

Lead Changes:  9 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Custer 1-43; C. Bell # 44-68; D. Hemric 69-79; J. Nemechek 80-115; C. Bell # 116-131; E. Sadler 132-154; N. Gragson(i) 155; E. Sadler 156-162; N. Gragson(i) 163-171; C. Bell # 172-250.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  C. Bell # 3 times for 120 laps; C. Custer 1 time for 43 laps; J. Nemechek 1 time for 36 laps; E. Sadler 2 times for 30 laps; D. Hemric 1 time for 11 laps; N. Gragson(i) 2 times for 10 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 21,20,00,3,1,2,9,19,42,22

Stage #2 Top Ten: 1,18,2,20,00,42,19,9,22,11

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 21 2018
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