Christopher Bell performed great during qualifying for a front row spot alongside Polesitter Ross Chastain.
Will it be enough for Bell to shine on his first ever Darlington race?
Let’s find out.
He remained battling in 2nd throughout the opening segment where he’s somewhat loose trying to pass Ross Chastain for the lead.
When he went to pit road during the Stage break, the No.20 crew added treatment alongside four tires & fuel.
Despite starting the next Stage in 4th, Bell got a push and shoved trying to hold on Daniel Hemric in 3rd place.
But Bell on the far high line against the wall at Turn 4 before going sideways & tagged Hemric’s left rear bumper & suffered a tire rub.
And the No.20 car began to get worse where he had to pit twice trying to get the damage fixed for the next restart.
Unfortunately, the smoke became severe with both left & right front tire rubs; Bell ended his day early in 34th.
His 2018 Intermediate Layout Results
- 3rd from Pole, Atlanta
- 2nd from Pole, Las Vegas
- 2nd from 18th, Texas
- 3rd from 7th, Charlotte
- 12th from 11th, Chicagoland
- 1st from 12th, Kentucky
- 1st from 2nd, New Hampshire
- 34th from 2nd, Darlington
Christopher Bell’s 2018 Season So Far.
- 24 Starts
- 3773 of 4187 Laps Completed, 91.8%
- 439 Laps Led
- Four Wins, 16.7%
- 13 Top 5 postings, 54.2%
- 14 Top 10 finishes, 58.3%
- Average Start: 8.8 & Finish: 11.1
- DNF: Four
- He currently sits 4th in the Drivers’ Standings with 852 Points, -36 behind Justin Allgaier.
- 39th/Crash, Daytona 1
- 3rd, Atlanta
- 2nd, Las Vegas
- 4th, Phoenix
- 21st, Fontana
- 2nd, Texas
- 29th/Crash, Bristol
- 1st, Richmond
- 12th, Talladega
- 4th, Dover
- 3rd, Charlotte
- 36th/Crash, Pocono
- 11th, Michigan
- 2nd, Iowa
- 12th, Chicagoland
- 3rd, Daytona 2
- 1st, Kentucky
- 1st, New Hampshire
- 9th, Watkins Glen
- 11th, Mid-Ohio
- 2nd, Bristol 2
- 20th, Road America
- 34th/Crash, Darlington
It’s the first time that Bell failed to finish an Intermediate track Top 10 since finishing 12th at Chicagoland at the end of June.
The same went when he didn’t finish back to back Top 10 runs for the second time in recent weeks.
You may revisit during the first two weeks of June where Bell finished 36th at Pocono through his 3rd DNF before today & 11th in Michigan respectively.
And these come from unfortunate spins and wrecks except Michigan in which Bell felt frustrated post-race.
Unlucky to suffer another horrible experience having entered with high expectations.
He remained inside the Top 5 the whole time having finished 2nd in Stage 1.
If he stayed there during Stage 3 and avoided the Ross Chastain-Kevin Harvick incident, Bell would’ve won at Darlington on his first ever start.
The fast No.20 Toyota Camry is still there for Bell to bounce back next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Although, he may have fallen to 4th in the Drivers’ Standings right now.
But Bell believes that he can bounce back in the last two regular-season races with possible race wins and take the Minor Championship Trophy off Justin Allgaier at Las Vegas.
At last but not least.
Make sure you follow Christopher Bell via the following pages:
You can also shop his Fan Gear via the link here.