Bell Battles to Top-10 Finish at Eldora

Bell Battles to Top-10 Finish at Eldora NK Photography Photo
Christopher Bell spun off Turn 2 late in Stage One of Wednesday night's Eldora Dirt Derby 150 at Eldora Speedway in Rosburg, Ohio and got t-boned by Kaz Grala. After his crew made repairs to major damage the right side of his No. 4 Toyota, Bell restarted the race in the 23rd position. He was able to battle back to lead 22 laps, but suffered a flat right-front tire while running second with 24 laps remaining. After getting a fresh tire under caution, the 2015 winner of the event was able to end the night with a hard-fought ninth-place finish.
 
Qualifying Race No. 4: 
  • After posting the fourth fastest time in Wednesday afternoon's qualifying session, Bell started Qualifying Race No. 4 from the pole. He led all 10 laps en route to the victory and earned the fourth starting position for the 150-lap event. 
Stage One Recap: 
  • Bell moved up to the third position on the first lap of the race and into the runner-up position on lap 14. He remained in the runner-up position when NASCAR called for a competition caution to allow teams to remove mud from the front grill and windshield.
  • The field went back green with eight laps remaining in the initial stage and two laps later Bell spun while working the high side off Turn 4.
  • He was able to get his truck pointed in the right direction and avoided getting put a lap down. The majority of right side of the truck was crinkled in and the right-front fender was cutting into the tire.
  • The stage would end under caution with Bell in the 23rd position. 
Stage Two Recap: 
  • After multiple trips down pit road to repair the damage and replace the right-side tires, Bell started Stage Two from the 24th position.
  • Despite communicating that his steering wheel was turned 90 degrees in the wrong direction, the talented wheelman began to march back through the field. He returned to the top 10 on lap 74 and ended up finishing Stage Two in the fourth position. 
Final Stage Recap: 
  • After the top-three truck visited pit road when it opened, Bell inherited the lead. He would remain out front for 22 laps before getting passed by pole sitter Stewart Friesen.
  • The 22-year-old driver reported that his Toyota Tundra was getting tighter as the race reached the closing stages. Just before the field went back to green-flag conditions with 22 laps remaining, he communicated that he felt like he had a right-front tire going down. Bell quickly faded toward the rear of the field but was saved when the caution was displayed for a stalled truck.
  • Bell came to pit road to have his right-front tire replaced and returned to the track scored in the 14th position for the lap-130 restart.
  • He would go on to finish the 150-lap event in the ninth position, giving him top-10 results in all three of his Truck Series starts at the famed half-mile clay oval. 

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Steven B. Wilson

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