Disappointing End for Strong Run by Bell at Talladega
Date: June 22, 2020 (Rain delayed from June 21, 2020)
Event: Geico 500 (Round 13 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega Speedway (2.66-mile Superspeedway)
Format: 188 laps (Stages 60 laps / 60 laps / 68 laps)
Start / Finish: 35th/29th (Running, Completed 190 of 191 laps)
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney
Stage 1 Winner: Tyler Reddick
Stage 2 Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60)
- Rain on Sunday postponed the Talladega Superspeedway race to Monday afternoon. Christopher Bell lined up 35th in his No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry based on a random draw.
- Right from the start, Bell worked the top line around the 2.66-mile Superspeedway and drafted his way inside the top 10 just five laps into stage one.
- By the competition caution on lap 25 Bell was 12th and said his No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry was a little tight, but overall, the car felt pretty good.
- Bell pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment under the competition caution.
- Over the rest of stage one Bell continued to work the high line around the track, drafting as high as second as weather loomed around the track.
- Rains came just before the end of stage one forcing NASCAR to issue a red flag. Bell was 17th when the red flag was issued and after the rain cleared NASCAR called drivers back to their cars where they finished out the stage under yellow.
- Bell finished stage one 17th then came down pit road for four tires and fuel.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 65-120)
- Bell started 14th and finished fifth in stage two.
- Bell held his ground in the top 10 throughout stage two. A caution on lap 94 presented an opportunity to pit for right-side tires and fuel. Bell came down pit road eighth and returned to the track seventh to restart the race on lap 100.
- With 20 laps remaining in the stage, Bell drafted his way inside the top five and finished out the stage fifth.
- Bell reported his No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry was a little loose, so at the stage break Bell pitted for four tires and fuel. Six cars opted not to pit, which lined Bell up 15th to start the final stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 125-191)
- Bell started stage three 15th and crossed the finish line 29th.
- Bell came down pit road under caution just 10 laps into the final stage for left-side tires and fuel, restarting ninth with 50 laps remaining in the scheduled distance of the race.
- While running seventh a caution came out on lap 172. Bell and the No. 95 team opted to remain on the track, while others pitted, cycling Bell to the lead.
- On lap 146, Bell led the field to the green. Bell had restarted in the top line and tried to team up with another Toyota driver, but accidently pushed the car below the yellow line.
- Bell had to serve a pass-through penalty of pit road for forcing the other competitor below the yellow line. Serving the penalty under green cost Bell a lap to the field.
- The team tried to stretch fuel mileage as long as they could hoping for a caution and to get back on the lead lap but had to come down pit road with eight laps remaining for a fuel only stop.
- A late race caution set the field up for overtime. Bell restarted 30th and suffered some damage in an incident coming to the checkered flag but was able to drive his No. 95 Procore Camry across the finish line to salvage a 29th-place finish.
Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series heads north to Pocono Raceway for a double header weekend. The Pocono Organics 325 will run on Saturday, June 27th at 3:30pm on FOX and the Pocono 350 is on Sunday, June 28th at 4:00pm on FOX Sports 1.