NEWTON, Iowa – Christopher Bell was in his own league on Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway.
The native of Oklahoma was practically unbeatable during Sunday’s CircuitCity.com 250, leading a race-high 186 laps en route to his fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the season.
Bell took the lead for the first time at the end of the first stage from polesitter Cole Custer. Once out front Bell was rarely challenged for the rest of the day, but he did have to survive a few late-race restarts to earn his trip to victory lane.
The first of those cautions came with 35 laps to go when second-place Custer scrapped the wall in turn two. All of the leaders hit pit road, with Custer getting off pit road first ahead of Bell despite being the driver to bring out the caution flag.
The race resumed with 28 laps left and Custer and Bell immediately began the fight for the lead. They stayed side-by-side for a lap, but Custer managed to pull clear of Bell to hang on to the lead.
That lead lasted only another lap as Bell worked his way back to Custer’s inside. The two lead cars made contact coming across the start/finish line with 26 laps left and Bell was able to pull up in front of Custer coming out of turn two on the same lap.
One final caution flag waved with 16 laps left when Chad Finchum bounced off the turn two wall, but Bell would not be denied. Custer tried to challenge Bell during the restart with 10 laps left, but Bell got clear of Custer coming out of turn four on the same lap and pulled away.
Bell beat Custer to the checkered flag by 1.746 seconds for his second Iowa Speedway victory.
“I got to win at Dover on Mother’s Day weekend, or I guess the weekend before with my mom there,” Bell said. “Now I won on Father’s Day weekend with my dad here, so this is pretty special.”
Custer led 60 laps en route to his second-place finish on Sunday afternoon.
“I think every driver will agree that this place puts on the best racing (of any track) that we go to,” Custer said. “Christopher and them had the best car all day. I feel like we caught up to them a good amount, we just needed more time to work on it. We only had 45 minutes of practice. I think we’ll come back better next time.”
Justin Allgaier bested Harrison Burton at the line to finish third, with Burton and Zane Smith completing the top-five.
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