Tyler Reddick led Harrison Burton when the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 waved under green at Texas Motor Speedway.
Within the first ten laps, Christopher Bell overtook Reddick on the inside line at Turn 4, not knowing the 20 threw the No.2 under the bus.
Even the Bobby Dale Earnhardt crash on Lap 19-20 didn’t help Reddick from arresting Bell for both the race lead and Stage 1.
So does Harrison Burton, who slipped away from the front row to the back end of the Top 10.
But Burton did rebound at the start of Stage 2 thanks to some changes during the pit stop & into 3rd.
It’s been a while that Reddick got under Bell’s thick skin through most of the 1st & early 2nd phase of the race.
And the Brandon Brown crash on Lap 60 gave Reddick the upper hand over Bell for the race lead.
But having touched the outside wall before the David Starr crash & towards the halfway mark, Reddick fell from 1st to 3rd as Bell swept the first two mini-wins with 110 laps left in the final stage.
Austin Cindric’s fantastic pit stop fast-tracked him to the lead during the break.
Cindric’s No.22 Ford maintained the lead very well for a while off, Cole Custer before Chase Briscoe suffered a flat tire with 72 to go.
At the same time, Reddick did reclaim the race lead baton before many yellows later; he spun off from the rear of Chase Briscoe’s No.98 Ford at the back straight, having ended up 29th.
Ross Chastain came out of nowhere, entered late as he looks to hijack Bell’s dominant night for the win thanks to his excellent pit & race plan.
But it’s Christopher Bell who ran so speedy and steady throughout the night.
Bell now punched his ticket to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami in two weeks where he will be able to challenge to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Title.
For others still competing in the semi-finals, they have one last shot to prove themselves next Saturday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.
Drivers in the running:
- Cole Custer
- Tyler Reddick
- Justin Allgaier
- Chase Briscoe
- Michael Annett
- Noah Gragson
- Austin Cindric
Now we turn out attention to tomorrow’s Cup scene with the AAA Texas 500.