Date: June 10, 2020
Event: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (Round 11 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville Speedway (0.526-mile)
Format: 500 laps (Stages 130 laps / 130 laps / 240 laps)
Start / Finish: 32nd/28th (Running, Completed 494 of 500 laps)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano
Stage 2 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130)
- Christopher Bell started 32nd based on a random draw for the starting lineup. NASCAR scheduled a competition caution on lap 60 since the field had no time on track for practice or qualifying prior to the start of the race.
- The No. 95 Toyota Camry handled well to start, and Bell was able to make up a few positions before the handling shifted to tight.
- Bell was running 21st when the competition caution was displayed on lap 60. He came down pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments.
- A caution came out on lap 112 and with not many laps left in the stage the plan was to take the “wave around” and get back on the lead lap after having been one of many cars lapped earlier in the stage. One competitor opted not to pit and cost the No. 95 and many others the chance to take the “wave around” and get back on the lead lap.
- The field returned racing with 11 laps remaining in stage one. Bell restarted 25th and dropped back to 28th to close the stage as fresher tires of those who had pitted prevailed.
- At the stage break Bell pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to try and help his car rotate the corner better.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 140-260)
- Bell started 27th and finished 30th in stage two.
- Stage two went caution free and the handling on the No. 95 continued to be an issue for Bell. The adjustments from stage one did not help, costing Bell another lap to the leaders.
- Bell closed out stage two 30th and pitted for four tires, fuel, packer and track bar adjustments. The team took some extra time trying to adjust on the No. 95 to set Bell up for the final stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 272-500)
- Bell started stage three 31st and crossed the finish line 28th.
- Bell went into the final stage trying to learn as much as he could in his first Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
- The tight handling continued over the final stage and the team continued to work on the car when they could.
- Bell made up a few positions in the final stage, but ultimately crossed the finish line 28th, six laps down to the leaders.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads south to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday, June 14th. The race will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.