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Christopher Bell Stays Undefeated with Xfinity Series Victory at New Hampshire

When it comes to the NASCAR Xfinity Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there isn’t a better one-two punch than Christopher Bell and Joe Gibbs Racing.

For Bell, a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver, the victory continues an impeccable record at the 1.058-mile oval in Loudon, New Hampshire, in which the driver has gone undefeated in four starts.

Meanwhile, the victory in Saturday’s 200-lap contest continues the stranglehold that Joe Gibbs Racing has at the facility that plays host to NASCAR’s only stop in New England, where the organization has won eight of the last nine races, between four different drivers.

Entering the weekend, considering the track record on both sides of the fence, it was a no-brainer that Bell and the No. 20 Mobil 1 Toyota GR Supra were going to be the team to beat in Saturday’s event.

That wasn’t necessarily the case, though, as Cole Custer and Stewart-Haas Racing prepared a fast Haas Automation Ford Mustang, leading a race-high 114 of 200 laps, and looked to be in position to score their first victory of the season.

Then came a rash of late-race restarts, triggered first by a spin exiting the second corner by Xfinity Series debutant Armani Williams with 30 laps to go, triggering a split strategy, and several tight-knit restarts.

On the second-to-last restart, Bell had a heroic first two corners that got him alongside race leader Cole Custer, but couldn’t capitalize before the caution was displayed for another multi-car incident at the rear of the pack.

It was an epic three-wide move on the frontstretch in NASCAR Overtime that ultimately gave Bell the victory, as the No. 20 drove to the inside of both Custer and teammate Sheldon Creed to get position heading into the first corner, where he quickly got clear.

“That was 100 percent just circumstances there,” said Bell. “I did not do a very good job on the start and got a terrible launch and that allowed Sheldon [Creed] to get into second, and Sheldon ended up getting Cole [Custer] loose off of [turn] four and I had Sheldon’s left rear, and I was able to get to the bottom three-wide.”

Sheldon Creed, a full-time teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity program, came home in second place for the second time in the last three weeks. It’s the 10th runner-up finish of his career, tying a record with Daniel Hemric and Dale Jarrett for the most seconds before a driver’s first win.

After dominating the event, Cole Custer came home in third place, while JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Carson Kvapil completed the top five. Ryan Sieg brought home a solid sixth-place result, with Parker Kligerman, Riley Herbst, Alex Bowman, and Corey Heim rounding out the top-10.

Leaving New Hampshire, Cole Custer sits as the leader of the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings by 15 markers over Chandler Smith. Justin Allgaier jumps into third, with Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed rounding out the top five.

Up next for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the series’ annual trip to Nashville Superspeedway.

Race Results: NASCAR Xfinity Series SciAps 200 at New Hampshire

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