Bell Wins Xfinity Playoff Race at Richmond

AP Photo/Steve Helber

RICHMOND, VA – RIS – Christopher Bell stormed past Matt Tifft with 13 laps to go and won the NASCAR Xfinity race at Richmond Raceway on Friday night. It was the first race of the Xfinity Series playoffs.  The race also saw the return of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in competition.  In his only race of 2018, he finished 4th and led the most laps.

Earnhardt said afterward he will probably run another race next year, but doesn't want to do too much to take away from his burgeoning broadcasting career.

"I want to be in the booth for a long, long time," he said.

Bell won for the fifth time this season, including twice at Richmond Raceway. He joins such stars as Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle on the list of drivers who have won five races in a season.

"To be able to come out here and win on a late race restart like that is really special," said Bell, who won last year's championship in the truck series.

On a night when series points leader Justin Allgaier crashed with about 25 laps to go, winding up 32nd, Bell also took the points lead with six playoff races to go.

Ross Chastain rallied to finish second, followed by Daniel Hemric.

The race was the 31st in the series for Elliott Sadler, a Virginia native who grew up about 70 miles away and regularly attended races at the track. Sadler, who is retiring at the end of the season, was hoping to capture his first career victory on the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval. He ran in the top 10 most of the race and finished sixth.

Daniel Hemric, Earnhardt, and Tifft rounded out the top five.

Unofficial Race Results for the 38th Annual Gobowling 250 - Richmond Raceway, September 21, 2018

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 1, Christopher Bell # (P), No. 20 Rheem Toyota, 250, 2, 2, 5, 67, 5, 58, Running
2) 3, Ross Chastain (P), No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet, 250, 10, 4, , , , 43, Running
3) 6, Daniel Hemric (P), No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, 250, 1, 3, 2, 35, 1, 52, Running
4) 2, Dale Earnhardt Jr, No. 88 Hellmann's Camaro Chevrolet, 250, 3, 1, 2, 96, 1, 51, Running
5) 10, Matt Tifft (P), No. 2 Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup Chevrolet, 250, 4, 6, 1, 15, , 44, Running
6) 13, Elliott Sadler (P), No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, 250, 6, 7, , , , 40, Running
7) 14, Tyler Reddick # (P), No. 9 Nationwide Children's Chevrolet, 250, 8, 8, , , , 36, Running
8) 9, Brandon Jones (P), No. 19 Juniper Toyota, 250, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 8, Shane Lee, No. 3 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 28, Running
10) 21, Ryan Reed (P), No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford, 250, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 7, Ryan Truex (P), No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 250, 7, , , , , 30, Running
12) 16, Spencer Gallagher, No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 11, Austin Cindric # (P), No. 22 MoneyLion Ford, 250, 9, 10, , , , 27, Running
14) 17, Michael Annett, No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 4, Cole Custer (P), No. 00 Go Bowling Ford, 250, , 9, , , , 24, Running
16) 20, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 RepairableVehicales.com Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 18, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Larry's Hard Lemonade Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 12, Ryan Preece, No. 18 Craftsman Toyota, 250, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 22, Mason Diaz, No. 90 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 27, David Starr, No. 52 Extreme Kleaner Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 19, Alex Labbe #, No. 36 sticky-stuff.com/James Carter Attorney Chevrolet, 248, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 23, Joey Gase, No. 35 Donate Life Virginia Chevrolet, 248, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 26, Ray Black II, No. 8 ISOKERN Chevrolet, 248, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 29, Garrett Smithley, No. 0 teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet, 248, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 28, JJ Yeley, No. 38 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 246, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 34, Chad Finchum #, No. 40 Smithbilt Homes Toyota, 245, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 25, Matt Mills #, No. 78 JF Electric Chevrolet, 244, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 32, Katherine Legge, No. 15 BUBBA burger Chevrolet, 242, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 31, Bayley Currey, No. 55 Rollin Smoke Barbeque/Touched by Pros Toyota, 242, , , , , , 0, Running
30) 39, Josh Bilicki #, No. 45 Prevagen Toyota, 242, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 24, Quin Houff, No. 4 BEATINCANCERWITHDUKE.ORG Chevrolet, 231, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 5, Justin Allgaier (P), No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, 226, 5, 5, 2, 37, , 17, Accident
33) 30, Spencer Boyd #, No. 76 Grunt Style Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 15, Ty Majeski, No. 60 Ford Ford, 145, , , , , , 3, Accident
35) 38, Mike Harmon, No. 74 The Journey Home Project Chevrolet, 122, , , , , , 2, Overheating
36) 40, Carl Long, No. 66 CrashClaimsR.Us Dodge, 98, , , , , , 1, Overheating
37) 37, Vinnie Miller #, No. 01 JAS Expedited Trucking Chevrolet, 91, , , , , , 1, Engine
38) 36, Timmy Hill, No. 13 CrashClaimsR.Us Toyota, 85, , , , , , 1, Electrical
39) 35, Jeff Green, No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 28, , , , , , 1, Vibration
40) 33, Morgan Shepherd, No. 89 Visone RV Chevrolet, 22, , , , , , 1, Handling
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Total Race Length - 250 Laps - 187.5 Miles
.75 Mile Paved Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 03 Mins, 08 Secs.
Average Speed: 91.364 MPH
Margin of Victory: 0.566 Seconds Race Comments: Christopher Bell won the 38th Annual GoBowling 250, his sixth victory in 35 NASCAR Xfinity Seriesraces.
Caution Flags: 5 for 40 laps: Laps: 77-85 (Stage 1 Conclusion [52])
148-158 (#16, #60 Incident on backstretch
Stage 2 Conclusion [23])
162-165 (#15 Incident in Turn 4 [90])
220-225 (#15 Incident in Turn 2 [39])
227-236 (#00, #7 Incident in Turn 3 [18]).
Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers: C. Bell # (P) 1-7
J. Allgaier (P) 8-34
C. Bell # (P) 35
J. Allgaier (P) 36-45
D. Hemric (P) 46-79
C. Bell # (P) 80-123
D. Earnhardt Jr 124-152
C. Bell # (P) 153
D. Earnhardt Jr 154-220
D. Hemric (P) 221
M. Tifft (P) 222-236
C. Bell # (P) 237-250. 

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2018, Issue 9, Posted 11:59 PM, 09.21.2018