Christopher Bell won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America in a two-lap shootout, earning his sixth win of the 2019 season.
“I’m honestly in shock,” Bell told NBCSN. “I really butchered qualifying, tore the crap out of that left-front. I felt like once we got in the race there I’d be able to drive by those guys. And they dropped the green flag and they’re driving by me. That wasn’t very much fun. Then I told Jason I’m just really, really tight. We got those tires off and he said that left front was hurt pretty bad. We got pretty good there whenever we got the fresh tires on. The strategy obviously worked out really good for us pitting there.”
Driver No. 20 led 10 of the race’s 45 laps in route to victory. Bell was in position to win Saturday’s race thanks to a debris caution caused from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones with 14 laps remaining. Bell would pit from second place right before the caution came out and was able to stay out while the rest of the field came to pit road.
The final restart of the day was result of Gray Gaulding spinning off course in Turn 1 with five laps remaining.
Bell’s win on Saturday snaps Austin Cindric’s two-race win streak on road courses.
Matt DiBenedetto, who led the most laps of any driver with 18, bounced back from going off track in the middle of the race and was second on the final lap before he spun in the final turn. He would finish 27th.
“Just being stupid on my part,” Matt DiBenedetto told NBCSN. “Was looking in my mirror and got too high and barley got up in the middle and made the most rookie mistake of my life. It was dumb. Uncalled for. We had the fastest car on track and nothing to show for it. I drove stupid. I’m pretty pissed off at myself. Nothing else. Won’t sleep all week. This isn’t exactly a good run when I’m trying to make my career.”
Justin Allgaier the defending race winner, finished ninth after he locked up the brakes entering Turn 1 on the final lap on the fist stage and became stuck in the gravel. Points contender Cole Custer finished 10th after he went off course on the Stage 2 restart and suffered damage to his grille and had to make several pit stops for repairs.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Darlington Raceway in the running of the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 where Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to compete. Live coverage begins at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
Stage 1 Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Briscoe
Race Winner: Christopher Bell