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Bell comes up just short in Loudon
Christopher Bell talks about his second-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and how he was close to catching his teammate William Byron in the final laps.
Runner-up Bell : 'Just got to keep digging'
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Truck Chase Grid LOUDON, N.H. – Christopher Bell had what he described as a "good … no, great" truck after his second-place finish in Saturday's UNOH 175 Camping World Truck Chase opener at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . If Bell's No. 4 Toyota Tundra was "good … no, great," his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate William Byron's race-winning No. 9 entry was great … no, incredible. "All day long, we couldn't run with him and we had 175 (laps) to get it done and we didn't," Byron told NASCAR.com on pit road after the race. "I think he was fading there at the end and lapped traffic was not doing him any favors, so open race track (I probably couldn't have caught him), but the way it was, I maybe had a shot at it." The dominant showing in which KBM trucks led every single lap -- 161 for Byron, 11 for Bell and three for Cody Coughlin 's No. 51, which ran out of gas late – may very well clue us into half the battle contestants we'll be looking at in less than two months at Homestead-Miami Speedway when four drivers compete for the inaugural Camping World Truck Series Chase crown. Based on what we saw Saturday, you'd be hard-pressed to find a reason to not include the streaking Byron and Bell tag-team among the quartet. Byron no longer has to sweat the Chase wild card that looms at Talladega next month in the Round of 8 as he's clinched his berth to the next series of races, while Bell's next-best result puts him in good position to move on should a rare – for him – hiccup occur. In the following Round of 6, it could be the No. 4 driver's time to land in Victory Lane for the second time this season. Bell picked up his second career Camping World Truck Series victory earlier this season at Gateway Motorsports Park and showed his strength at the "Magic Mile," two tracks similar in length and build to the penultimate race at Phoenix International Raceway . "(The similarities between here and Gateway) kind of, maybe (helped)," Bell said. "Gateway was not a race track that I had circled on my schedule that I thought I would have a possible win at, so to come here and be as good as we were, I think it's just a testimony to my crew chief, Jerry (Baxter). He does an awesome job, especially at these flat tracks where he has it all figured out." And don't expect the nerves to get in the way, as the 21-year-old was unfazed by any pressure that came along with Saturday marking the landmark first-ever Chase for the series, approaching it like any other race. "I think it was probably pretty similar (to what I was expecting). You just gotta treat these things the same," Bell said. "All these races are important; you never come out here to finish second. "Just gotta keep digging and pay attention and not make mistakes."
Heavy crash sidelines Bell , Gallagher early at Michigan
RELATED: Results " Standings BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Spencer Gallagher said he didn't know how fast he was going when his No. 23 Chevrolet collided with the No. 4 Toyota of Christopher Bell . "I don't want to know," a shaken Gallagher said after exiting the care center Saturday, the Careers for Veterans 200 under caution and workers clearing debris from the hard two-truck crash. Bell , his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota running second, had charged inside of leader Cole Custer (JR Motorsports) in Turn 3 on Lap 75 of the 100-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. But the back end of the vehicle tried to pass the front end -- spinning up the track and into the path of the oncoming entry of Gallagher. The impact was frightening. So much so that Gallagher, after exiting his truck, quickly made his way back to Bell's damaged vehicle. "That was a vicious hit for me so I had to see that he was fine," Gallagher, battling for fourth at the time, said. "Everyone is jockeying so hard for position and it's so easy to pull another guy around, not even trying to, just racing hard. … "Poor Christopher got sucked around on the bottom there; I tried to get up and away from him as quickly as I could and couldn't get it done in time. After I came to rest, I didn't know where I hit him but I didn't think I got him in any kind of a good place. I got out and took off running to him because I was afraid for the safety of a fellow competitor. "I was just hoping so much in my heart he was all right. It put the fear of God in me, seeing how that unfolded. Apologies to the safety officials for having to chase after my dumb ass but I needed to see with my own eyes that he was OK." The race, delayed by rain, was won by Brett Moffitt with a last-lap pass. Bell , who was also was not injured, was credited with a 24th-place finish; Gallagher was scored in 25th. "Just really bummed for everybody who works on this (truck)," Bell said afterward, "because we had a really fast Tundra today. I felt like I did a really good job all race just kind of biding my time. "I knew I had a fast truck and was just trying to take care of it. I got the opportunity there late in the race … maybe should have waited a little bit but had the opportunity. I tried to take it and it didn't work out." Bell fell to seventh in points but with a win at St. Louis earlier this season, is basically assured of a spot in this year's inaugural Chase for the series. "Kind of frustrated with myself there," he said. "Still had a lot of race to go. … Maybe it was a little too early to go for it." Gallagher dropped two spots to 14th. Officials called Gallagher to the hauler after the race for exiting his truck and approaching another vehicle. "They're going to want to talk to me," he said. "I understand it's against … policy but in that moment I was concerned about Christopher. … There were plenty of safety officials around me, there were no active race cars around so I took off running; I needed to see him with my own eyes."
Bell spins, hit hard by Gallagher
Christopher Bell spins in Turn 3 and ends up collecting the No. 23 of Spencer Gallagher in a hard wreck. Both drivers walked away.
Bell spins while leading
Christopher Bell spins while out front after a restart at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Townley, Bell wreck at Pocono
John Wes Townley and Christopher Bell wreck at Pocono Raceway.
Bell : 'I'll take a record any way I can get 'em'
Christopher Bell and Cameron Hayley joke about how Bell was able to get back on the lead lap by using a record five free passes.
Bell earns first Camping World Truck Series win of 2016
RELATED: Results " Standings " Updated NCWTS Chase Grid MADISON, Ill. -- A gutsy decision to use the bottom lane for a restart with two laps to go paid off for Christopher Bell , who earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in Saturday night's third annual Drivin for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park . Bell , driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, survived a chaotic and intense second half to edge Ben Rhodes to the checkered flag, giving KBM its 50th victory in the series, tying Roush Fenway Racing for the all-time series wins lead. "This one's for my guys," said Bell in Victory Lane. "My guys, they deserve this one. We've been so fast all year long and I just kept making a lot of mistakes. I just can't say thank you enough to all the guys at Toyota, TRD, JBL, everyone at KBM, all my pit crew guys they did an awesome job. Track position was everything. We got awesome motors underneath the hood of these things and all the guys at JGR, they never give up and keep digging." Rhodes, who contended for his first career win, had to settle for a career-best second. "He ( Bell ) had a really loose truck and that's what you needed at the end of the race," Rhodes said. "It just got tighter and tighter as the runs went on. I was way too tight but I was making some good ground on the outside and he came up on us a little bit, which is fine. It's racing for the win at the end. He did an awesome job all night. He raced everybody clean and with respect. I think we could use a little more of that in our series after this crazy Drivin' For Linemen 200." For the second consecutive year, Mother Nature soaked the 1.25-mile track shortly before qualifying was to begin, forcing the field to be set by combined practice speeds, handing the top starting position to Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Rhodes. Despite an hour and fifteen-minute delay for inclement weather, Rhodes would lose the lead on the start from veteran Johnny Sauter who held command until Tyler Reddick elected to stay out on a Lap 26 caution for an incident in Turn 3. The bold strategy for Reddick paid off with the race lead until the event's third caution on Lap 65 for the expiration of the caution clock. During routine pit stops, a quick stop from William Byron's crew handed him the lead. The NASCAR Next alumnus led for a whopping 48 laps, until outside pole sitter Sauter squeezed ahead on pit road following a Lap 113 caution for the second expiration of the caution clock. The two would be under attack on the restart from Christopher Bell who surged into the lead on Lap on Lap 119 and despite losing the lead to Rhodes on Lap 149, the Toyota Racing development driver reclaimed the lead on Lap 153 and held on for his first NCWTS win on pavement. The event was red-flagged three times for incidents. The first for a three-truck incident in Turn 3 on Lap 120 lasted six minutes, 38 seconds. The second came 11 laps from the finish for a seven-truck accident in Turn 4 for a total of 10 minutes, 50 seconds. The final red flag broke out behind the leaders for an incident between Spencer Gallagher and John Wes Townley that lasted 12 minutes, 49 seconds. The two drivers wrestled after climbing from their trucks and were summoned to the Truck Series hauler post-race. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take a one-week breather before returning to competition at Kentucky Speedway on Thurs., July 7 for the Buckle Up Your Truck 225.
Bell celebrates first NCWTS win of 2016
Christopher Bell celebrates in Victory Lane at Gateway Motorsports Park after winning his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of 2016.
The Rundown: Darlington
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid standings Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Darlington Raceway 1. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : Edwards battled back from an early pit road miscue, flat tire and track position two laps down to take the checkered in the longest race of the season thus far. His No. 19 pit crew was his saving grace, as the team performed a dynamic 12-second pit stop that won Edwards the race off pit road for the night's final restart. " RELATED: Edwards discusses winning the Southern 500 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske : Pole-sitter Keselowski was blisteringly fast through the night, leading a race-high 196 laps around the storied raceway, wheeling the race's fastest lap of 176.587 mph and contending for the win. But his crew didn't match his speed, as Keselowski came up .902 seconds behind Edwards in the final race off pit road. " RELATED: Keselowski breaks down his night 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : The trend of strong pit crews for Joe Gibbs Racing held strong with Hamlin, as he consistently gained multiple spots on pit road throughout the night, helping him pace the field for 57 laps. 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske : Pacing the field twice for 29 laps, Logano earned his first top-five result at the "Track Too Tough to Tame" in his seven starts. 5. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : Pacing the field for 44 laps, Harvick was a heavy contender for the win throughout the night, fighting Edwards and Keselowski for the checked in the final laps. 6. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : Busch overcame a setback at Lap 307, when Martin Truex Jr . accidently hit his No. 41 Chevrolet from behind, sending it spinning across the track. 7. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : Persevering through a late-race collision with Greg Biffle , Busch's seventh-place finish allowed him to officially clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . " RELATED: Busch makes the Chase 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Junior's post-race description of Sunday's race as "challenging" but "very rewarding" was fitting, as the No. 88 team took a while to find their groove throughout the weekend, eventually finishing 18 spots ahead of their 26th-place starting position. 9. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing : Truex Jr. earned his 17th top-10 finish of the season at Darlington, setting a record with his Furniture Row Racing team for its most top-10s in a season. 10. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: Wheeling the fan-favorite Kyle Petty throwback car, Larson ran with NASCAR's elite throughout the evening, earning a second-straight top 10 in his sophomore year at the "Lady in Black." " RELATED: See all the throwback paint schemes 11. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports : Sitting precariously on one of the Chase bubble positions, Almirola's steady 11th-place result shaved off six points in the standings from Clint Bowyer -- the last driver in the Chase Grid as of today. " RELATED: Who is on the Chase bubble? 12. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Crew chief Keith Rodden rolled the dice early with a speedy two-tire stop that allowed Kahne to gain 13 positions and pace the field for two laps before getting passed by cars with four fresh Goodyears. 13. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing After going completely sideways early in the race, Newman's No. 31 had minimal damage, which allowed him to finish in the top 15 for the fourth consecutive race. 14. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: The No. 1 crew fought radio communication troubles through the night, forcing the team to communicate in three-word spurts with McMurray. 15. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : "Smoke" stayed on the track during a cycle of yellow-flag pit stops to lead 10 laps on older tires after beating Larson on the restart at Lap 212. 16. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Equipped with a car that was better handling in the shorter runs, the frequent cautions allowed Gordon to run in the top 10 for much of the night. 17. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing : Spotter Brett Griffin advised Bowyer during the race to "just race the track and stay out of that (expletive) wall" -- which he accomplished, but still earned his worst result at Darlington since 2011. 18. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : A flat right-front tire and collision with Kyle Busch provided plenty of typical Darlington obstacles for Biffle, whose 18th-place finish was somewhat disappointing after his impressive practice speeds. 19. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Called out by teammate Gordon over the radio, Johnson was issued a warning after accelerating too quickly prior to entering pit road at Lap 128 – but the "Lady in Black" awarded the No. 48 a penalty of her own less than five laps later when Johnson spun out after making contact with Logano. " RELATED: Gordon calls out Johnson 20. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports: Wheeling the "Proud to be an American" scheme driven by Sterling Martin, Cassill earned his best finish since Pocono in August. 21. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : The "Lady in Black" proved she shows mercy to no one, even an established driver like Kenseth, who smacked the wall at Lap 20 and damaged his No. 20 ride. 22. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing : His throwback Chevy sporting a Darlington stripe that was earned in opening practice, Dillon was the first driver to pilot the No. 3 ride on Labor Day weekend at Darlington since Dale Earnhardt did in 2000. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing : From a collision with Justin Allgaier early in the race to a penalty for jumping the restart at Lap 124, Allmendinger's 23rd-place finish on Sunday didn't come easy. 24. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing : Bowman overcame an early brush with the wall, flat left rear and right rear tires and a collision with T.J . Bell for a career-best finish at Darlington. 25. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing : Making his first Sprint Cup Series start at the "Lady in Black," DiBenedetto’s 25th-place result earned him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award. 26. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing : Aggressive driving caused Menard to hit the back of David Ragan at Lap 279, sending the No. 55 spinning and leaving Menard still without a career top-10 finish at Darlington. " RELATED: See the contact 27. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : Gilliland took the wave around to lead Lap 303, managing to end the race on the lead lap. 28. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports : Turning laps in a Mark Martin -themed throwback car, Hornish Jr. spun at Lap 299, but saved it and continued racing. 29. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing : His car sporting a pink decal honoring team owner Bob Germain’s late wife, Gracie, and her battle with breast cancer, Mears faced string of issues -- vibration, no second or third gear and low volts -- at the "Track Too Tough to Tame." 30. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing : In his first Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington, Blaney earned his initiation-style stripes at Lap 95 when he hit the wall while running 16th. 31. Jeb Burton , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing : Burton brought out the record-setting 18th caution in Sunday night's Southern 500, when his No. 23 Toyota spun out between Turns 1 and 2. 32. Mike Bliss , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport: After bringing out the fifth caution at Lap 120 following a brush with the wall, a collision between Bliss' No. 33 and J.J. Yeley's No. 26 signaled another caution just five laps later. 33. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports : Shortly after a radio conversation with his team where Allgaier said, "The 47 is all over us," he and AJ Allmendinger collided, sending the No. 51 limping down pit road with heavy right-side damage. 34. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing : A wreck at Lap 125 with Bliss and Michael Annett sent the No. 26 to the garage for repairs. 35. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : Bayne went for a spin at Lap 166 only to spin out again at Lap 247, sending him to the garage for repairs. 36. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : The No. 34 incurred early damage and made an early trip the garage, when it was caught up in a wreck with Chase Elliott and Cole Whitt at Lap 7. 37. T.J . Bell , No. 98 Ford, Premium Motorsports: As the caution flag flew for Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s spin at Lap 198, Bell and Bowman made contact, leaving both vehicles with plenty of damage. 38. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : While racing hard with Bowyer, Stenhouse Jr. hit the fronstretch wall hard at Lap 198, forcing his No. 17 to the garage momentarily for repairs. 39. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports : The No. 46 incurred heavy left-side damage that required garage-time, after getting caught up in a wreck between Yeley and Bliss at Lap 125. 40. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing : A pair of back-to-back cautions brought out by the No. 55 car marred Ragan’s day, as his Michael Waltrip Racing ride ultimately went up in flames -- and to the garage. " RELATED: Contact leads to hard hit for Ragan 41. Chase Elliott , No. 25 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Making his fifth and final Sprint Cup Series start of 2015, Elliott battled from an early-race incident with Cole Whitt to race inside the top 20. Unfortunately, the Hendrick Motorsports part-time rookie went for a hard spin at Lap 228, his No. 25 ride suffering day-ending damage. " RELATED: Early damage for Elliott 42. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : "Sorry, I just got loose," Patrick speculated via her team radio following heavy contact with the wall at Lap 189 that sent her No. 10 down pit road for extensive repairs. She returned to the track later in the race, but left soon after with a smoking car. " RELATED: Tough night for Danica 43. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : Whitt's third Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington came to a close early in the race, when his No. 35 ride was collected in Brett Moffitt 's brush with the wall and did not return to the track.