Bell Finishes Seventh at Kentucky
Jul 12, 2020
Date: July 12, 2020
Event: Quaker State 400 (Round 17 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps (Stages 80 laps / 80 laps / 107 laps)
Start / Finish: 34th/7th (Running, Completed 180 of 180 laps) 
Race Winner: Cole Custer
Stage 1 Winner: Aric Almirola
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80)
  • Christopher Bell started 34th at Kentucky Speedway based on a random draw.
  • Bell took his time in stage one learning as much as he could in his first Cup start at the 1.5-mile oval.
  • By the competition caution on lap 25 Bell was running 27th and said, "I think I'm pretty good, I'm just taking care of it while I learn."
  • Bell pitted under the competition caution for four tires and fuel.
  • Stage one ended on lap 80 and Bell had worked his way up to 21st. 
  • At the stage break Bell pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 88-160)
  • Bell started 17th and finished 19th in stage two.
  • The No. 95 Toyota was very fast, but the track was very hard to pass. 
  • Bell reported the handling was a little tight out of turn four, so the team brought him down pit road under green for a scheduled pit stop on lap 135 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. 
  • The team was able to bring Bell back down pit road under caution on lap 158 for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment.
  • Racing resumed with on lap remaining in stage two. Bell restarted 19th and finished stage two 19th.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 168-267)
  • Bell started stage three 15th and crossed the finish line seventh.
  • The No. 95 was tight to start the final stage at Kentucky, but Bell held his ground while the field cycled through green flag stops.
  • Bell was about to come to pit road when a car spun on track bringing out the caution.  With help from his spotter, Bell was able to quickly stay on track and not get stuck on pit road as the caution came out.
  • Bell had cycled up to fourth and was able to pit under the caution and maintain his track position to restart in the top 10 with 30 laps to go.
  • As the laps dwindled down, Bell reported his No. 95 Toyota was tighter than earlier in the race. 
  • The final laps were caution filled and Bell took the final restart with two laps to go from the 10th position. Bell raced his way up to cross the finish line seventh in his first Cup Series start at Kentucky Speedway.
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 95 Toyota Camry
Finishing Position: 7th
Another solid top-10 after starting from the back. Talk about the run through the pack at a track that is very difficult to pass on.

"It was a very confusing day. I have moments where I felt like my Camry was really fast and I could run really good lap times, and then I had moments where – I wasn't very good in traffic today for whatever reason. Normally, that is our strong suit is being able to pass guys, and today I really struggled with that. Obviously, I'm happy with getting out of there with a seventh, but disappointed. I wish we could have been a little bit better when we had that track position."

Up Next:
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the All-Star Race.  The No. 95 team will compete in the All-Star Open and attempt to race their way into the field for the All-Star Race.  The All-Star Open is on Wednesday, July 15th.  The race will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. ET on FS1.