Bell's Gamble on Fuel Comes Up Two Laps Short in Vegas

Bell's Gamble on Fuel Comes Up Two Laps Short in Vegas NK Photography Photo
People come to Las Vegas from all over the world to gamble, to beat the odds in order to win big. Christopher Bell and the No. 54 JBL team took a gamble on fuel mileage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night hoping to win a trip to victory lane, but this time he came up just short from the payout. Bell ran out of fuel with two laps to go while running fourth which resulted in a 14th-place finish.
 
With a strong qualifying run, Bell started the 146-lap race from fifth place. The JBL Tundra was tight early in the race, but an early caution allowed him to pit on lap 21 for fuel and a wedge adjustment to free up the truck. The handling improved as the race continued and by the halfway mark at lap 73 Bell was up to fourth place.
 
After three cautions in the first 50 laps of the race, the second half of the race was one long green-flag run. Bell pitted for fresh tires and fuel on lap 91 and was as high as third by lap 101. As the laps wound down crew chief Shannon Rursch informed Bell he would be about three laps short from making it to the finish on fuel. He began saving fuel hoping to stretch it until the end of the race. With four laps to go the race leader, Matt Crafton, came to pit road for a splash of gas and Bell was still in fourth place.
 
As he rolled into turn four with two laps to go, Bell radioed to the team he was out of gas. He came to pit road for enough fuel to finish the race, but fell back to 14th place.
 
"Our JBL Tundra was really good tonight," Bell said. "We just came up a little bit short on fuel. We had moments where we got up to third, had one of my first-ever green-flag pit stops and I think it went really well and we made up some track position. I learned a lot and still have a lot to learn. I'm looking forward to my next three races."
 
John Wes Townley won the race followed by Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy, John Hunter Nemecheck and Brandon Jones rounded out the top five. KBM's Erik Jones was ninth and Matt Tifft was 19th. The No. 54 team remains 12th in the owner's championship point standings.
 
The Truck Series returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Talladega Superspeedway. Live coverage of the Truck Series race will air on Fox Sports 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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Steven B. Wilson

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