Friday, July 7, 2017

Trackin’ Trucks: Christopher Bell wins in Kentucky


Christopher Bell celebrates his CWTS win at Kentucky.
Credit: Jerry Markland

By Courtney Horn

Christopher Bell held off a charging Brandon Jones to earn his third Camping World Truck Series victory late Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Bell led 54 laps during the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225, but he also had to overcome an early spin before gaining his first win at the 1.5-mile track. Bell got loose on Lap 27 and was unable to recover his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota from spinning. Bell suffered some minor damage, but that didn’t hinder the driver from contending for the win.

“This is pretty special,” Bell said of his fifth career CWTS victory. “We had our ups and downs. Practice (on Wednesday) didn’t go very well, but we had a really fast Tundra, and (crew chief) Rudy Fugle made great calls from the pit box after I made a mistake and spun out.”

A wreck on Lap 42 took out two of the four ThorSport Racing drivers, after Stage 1 winner Ben Rhodes made a move gone wrong. Rhodes, who restarted 13th, went three-wide with Bell and TJ Bell. When the drivers ran out of room going into Turn 3, Rhodes spun, collecting his teammates Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton.

"I was underneath the 4 (Bell) trying to make a move," Rhodes said. "Then I saw him start to come down on me so I started backing out, and as we were going down to the groove we just all ran out of room. I was trying to give everybody as much room as I could. Just unfortunate. I know all the restarts everybody was going as hard as they can.”

Enfinger was looking for his fifth straight top-5, but his truck was heavily damaged in the incident that ended his night. He finished 28th, while Crafton went on to secure a top-10 finish.

Jones also overcame a penalty during the restart that required him to serve a passthrough. That put him one lap behind the leaders, but he regained it at the end of Stage 2 as Noah Gragson gained his first stage win of the season.

Jones quickly made his way to the front to battle with Bell, but he could not get close enough to make a pass.

Justin Haley, Austin Cindric and Gragson rounded out the top 5 of the event, while points standings leader Johnny Sauter finished 9th.

A Look Ahead

The Camping World Truck Series heads to Eldora on Wednesday, July 19, to sling some dirt.

Bell looks for his second win at The Big E and hopes to close the gap in the points standings. He sits 28 points behind Sauter after 10 races.

Rico Abreu will make a one-race return to the CWTS with ThorSport Racing. Abreu finished third last year behind Bell and winner Kyle Larson.

Don’t miss the mid-week action July 19 at 9:30 p.m ET on FOX Business Channel.

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