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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Bell beats Elliott for first win of 2022

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Whereas Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team-mate Martin Truex Jr. dominated a lot of the race, it was Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and Bell who emerged because the quickest vehicles following the ultimate spherical of pitstops.

Elliott, the 2020 Cup Collection champion, nudged 2004 title-winner Kurt Busch’s 23XI Racing Toyota out of the way in which for the lead on lap 247 of 301 however was then surpassed himself by Bell 13 excursions later.

From there, Bell couldn’t be touched and topped Elliott by 5.767 seconds for his first victory of the 2022 season and simply the second of his profession after profitable the 2021 Daytona highway course occasion.

The 27-year-old turns into the 14th completely different winner within the Cup Collection this season to safe a spot within the 16-driver playoff. 

“That one was much-needed proper there,” mentioned Bell, who sits in eighth in factors however was in peril of lacking the playoff and not using a victory.

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“That was a hell of a race from my viewpoint. That was a lot enjoyable racing, we have been all working completely different strains. That was a blast.

“I’m so blissful – so blissful to be right here at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Profitable Cup races is difficult. It’s looks as if we’ve been so shut and we fell off a little bit bit final week. However right here we’re as we speak.”

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem / WATTS Toyota Camry

Photograph by: David Rosenblum / NKP / Motorsport Images

Bubba Wallace completed third within the lead 23XI Toyota forward of Truex and Kevin Harvick within the main Ford from Stewart-Haas Racing.

Finishing the top-10 have been the third JGR Toyota of Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski (RFK Ford), Trackhouse Chevrolet team-mates Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, and Kurt Busch.

Polesitter Truex took command early on and simply claimed the Stage 1 win over Wallace, Kyle Larson (Hendrick Chevrolet), Elliott and Harvick, main all 70 laps.

And Truex additionally received Stage 2, holding off a fast-approaching Harvick, Elliott, Joey Logano (Crew Penske Ford) and Larson.

Truex held the lead by means of cautions attributable to a spin for Kyle Busch, however dropped behind Logano because the 2018 champion stayed out following a multi-car incident attributable to Corey LaJoie spinning into Harrison Burton in Flip 1, with Michael McDowell additionally concerned. But it surely solely took 20 laps following the lap 101 restart earlier than Truex reclaimed the lead, with Larson transferring into third.

Truex remained out entrance after pitstops prompted when Ryan Blaney spun in Flip 4 and backed into the wall, one other following shortly after when Chase Briscoe spun in Flip 4.

One other spin for Kyle Busch on lap 163 resulted in an extra warning, throughout which Austin Dillon and Keselowski inexplicably traded blows a number of instances with each vehicles taking appreciable harm.

With the good thing about contemporary tyres for the beginning of Stage 3, Truex solely took 5 laps to energy forward of Briscoe – who had stayed out – for the lead.

Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Kevin Harvick, Stewart Haas Racing, GEARWRENCH Ford Mustang

Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Kevin Harvick, Stewart Haas Racing, GEARWRENCH Ford Mustang

Photograph by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

However after the following spherical of stops, when Todd Gilliland spun and hit the wall in Flip 4 on lap 205, Truex appeared to lose his edge and from fourth on the restart was unable to make the identical progress he had earlier.

Kurt Busch had inherited the lead by staying out, so led the way in which on the lap 210 restart forward of Logano, Cole Custer and Truex.

Elliott and Bell got here alive on this section of the race, and on lap 243 Elliott made contact with Logano racing for second place – inflicting the Ford driver to slide again to fourth.

Elliott then obtained into Kurt Busch in a battle for the lead, which he claimed for the primary time within the race on lap 247. However he wasn’t capable of preserve Bell at bay, because the JGR driver moved forward on lap 260.

Kurt Busch was pressured to pit underneath inexperienced for gasoline on lap 270, with Logano pressured to do likewise with 4 laps remaining, dropping him to twenty fourth. 

NASCAR Cup New Hampshire race outcomes

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