Christopher Bell and the No. 54 Toyota Supra once again dominated Saturday Afternoon’s Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as the second-year NASCAR Cup Series driver claimed his third consecutive victory at the 1.058-mile facility and the sixth consecutive victory for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Bell led a whopping 151 laps en-route to his 17th career victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, moving him into a tie with NASCAR Cup Series teammate Denny Hamlin for 17th on the series’ all-time win list. The 26-year-old has now led an incredible 430 of the last 600 laps contested at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The Norman, Oklahoma-native started the event in 14th-place, but was able to work himself into the race lead by the conclusion of the race’s first stage at Lap 45. After a set of caution flag pit stops and a restart, Bell was able to reclaim the lead on Lap 55, stringing the next 146 laps of the race together without losing the top spot.
Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric had a fierce battle for the runner-up position throughout the race’s final run, finishing second and third, respectively. Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-five, with Justin Haley, Myatt Snider, Josh Berry – filling in for Michael Annett, Brett Moffitt and Riley Herbst rounding out the top-10.
The race featured a total of five cautions for 28 laps, three of which consisted of on-track incidents, the first of which occurred on Lap 27, when Brett Moffitt, Sam Mayer, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst and Mason Massey all sustained damage on the restart after the competition caution. Mayer, making his fourth start in the series, along with Massey, would be forced to retire.
Then, on the final lap of the race’s first stage, Kyle Weatherman and Tommy Joe Martins were collected in a two-car accident in turn one, which saw both cars make significant contact with the outside wall. Despite damage to both cars, both drivers were able to record finishes inside the top-21.
The final caution of the day was for Patrick Emerling – making his first Xfinity Series start of the season in the No. 23 for Our Motorsports — after his vehicle cut a right front tire in turn four, pounding the outside wall.
Austin Cindric leaves the 19th race of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with an 82-point advantage over Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger, with Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier and Harrison Burton rounding out the top-five in standings. With only seven regular season events remaining, Michael Annett continues to hold a 32-point margin over Riley Herbst for the final spot in the series’ playoffs, with Brandon Brown sitting only 41 points behind.
After New Hampshire, the series will take a two week hiatus to step aside for NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, returning to competition at Watkins Glen International on August 7.