Bell Finishes 24th at Phoenix
Mar 8, 2020

Date: March 8, 2020
Event: FanShield 500 (Round 4 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix Raceway (1.0mile tri-oval)
Format: 312 laps (Stages 75 laps / 190 laps / 312 laps)
Start / Finish: 15th/24th  
Point Standings: 32nd 

Race Winner: Joey Logano
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75)

  • Christopher Bell qualified 15th in his No. 95 Procore Camry for 312 laps at Phoenix Raceway.
  • The No. 95 fired off tight and slid back to 19th when the first caution of the day was displayed on lap 57. 
  • Bell came down pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.  NASCAR informed the team Bell had sped on pit road and as a penalty had to start at the tail end of the field for the next restart. 
  • Bell restarted 32nd on lap 63 and one lap later the caution was back out for an incident on the track.  Crew chief Jason Ratcliff called Bell down for fuel only and once again Bell was issued a speeding penalty on pit road.  Ratcliff brought the No. 95 back in for another splash of fuel and once again Bell was issued a speeding penalty. 
  • Bell concluded stage one 30th after starting at the tail end for multiple speeding penalties. 
  • Having just pitted Ratcliff opted not to pit at the stage break which positioned Bell in the top 10 to start stage two at Phoenix.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-190)

  • Bell started ninth and finished 19th in stage two.
  • Bell was quickly over come by fresher tires and dropped back through the field at the start of stage two. 
  • While running 17th a caution came out on lap 130 and Bell reported that he needed more of the same adjustments and his car was handling tight through the center of the turns. 
  • Bell brought the No. 95 Procore Camry down pit road for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. 
  • The tight handling conditioned continued to worsen and Bell finished up stage two 19th before coming down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 191-312)

  • Bell started 21st in the final stage and ended the day with a 24th-place finish.
  • The previous changes didn’t make much of a difference in handling and in an effort to pick up track position, Ratcliff made a call for two-tires during a pit stop under caution on lap 216.  Bell came in 20th and restarted fifth.
  • Unfortunately, a few laps later Bell was turned sideways by another competitor, resulting in some damage to the right rear of his No. 95 Procore Camry.
  • The damage completely changed the handling and on lap 251 Bell went a lap down to the leaders.  Luckily one lap later a caution came out on the track and Bell was the recipient of the “lucky dog” award and was back on the lead lap.
  • Bell came down pit road for four tires, fuel, track bar adjustment and so the team could tend to the right rear damage. 
  • The team took every opportunity they could over the closing laps to continue to work on handling adjustments and the body of the No. 95 and in the end Bell survived a green-white-checkered conclusion to finish 24th at Phoenix Raceway.

Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday, March 15th at 2pm ET on FOX.