Christopher Bell has officially punched his ticket to Miami.
After a dominant performance Saturday under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway, Bell added to his already impressive win total this season by claiming the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 checkered flag. Bell, who now sits as the only driver locked into the final race of the 2019 season, led an impressive 101 of 200 laps Saturday night. The win is also his eighth of the season.
“That’s pretty special to win here at Texas. I have a lot of family here. This flag right here is for my nephew. I promised him years ago that if I ever won, I’d give him the flag at Texas,” said Bell after his win. “I knew we were very competitive, and then I began having brake problems. And then whenever I got those brake problems, I just wasn’t as good. I couldn’t keep the car underneath me and I was really loose. So I had to work a little harder, and that red flag helped me and my brakes came back. We were able to drive away.”
Ross Chastain finished second behind Bell, who gambled late in the race by not pitting on lap 142 after a yellow flag. Chastain held the race lead through two more yellows, but surrendered the lead with 29 laps to go. With his second place finish, Chastain has tallied 13 top fifteen finishes in 19 starts, including 4 top tens and one win. Chastain will move to the No. 10 Kaulig Racing entry full time in 2020.
Tyler Reddick’s championships took a literal hit Saturday as Reddick ended the night with a damaged race car and 29th place finish. Contact with Chase Briscoe and the wall on lap 161 sent his car sideways and into the inside SAFER barrier. The damage was too much to fix, as Reddick would be forced to retire from the race. Reddick still holds on to a coveted top four spot with ISM Raceway looming on the horizon next weekend.
ISM Raceway will host the penultimate round of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship on November 9th. The Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 takes the green flag at 3:30pm on NBC.
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