Christopher Bell restarted from the fourth position with 20 laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont. but moments later missed a shift causing the engine to expire on his No. 4 Toyota Tundra. Despite finishing 26th in the event, Bell heads into the regular season finale at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. with a 30-point lead over reigning Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter.
Date: Sept. 3, 2017
Event: NCWTS 250 (Race 15 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Location: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont.
(2.459-mile, 10-turn road course)
Format: Three Stages; 20 laps / 20 laps / 24 laps
Start/Finish: 5th / 26th (engine, completed 44 of 64 laps)
Winner: Austin Cindric of Brad Keselowski Racing (Ford)
Stage One Recap:
- Bell started from the fifth position, but by the time the field exited Turn Three he had advance into the third position. He spent the entire 20-lap stage in the third position, despite reporting that his Toyota Tundra needed more grip.
Stage Two Recap:
- Crew chief Rudy Fugle elected to keep his driver on the track for the start of Stage Two, trying to get into a window of making the race on one pit stop.
- A stalled vehicle on the track brought out the second caution of the event on lap 26. When pit road opened, Bell brought his Tundra to the attention of his over-the-wall crew who administered a four-tire and fuel stop with both wedge and trackbar adjustments.
- Bell was scored in the 20th position for the lap-28 restart. The 22-year-old driver had maneuvered his way up to the 15th spot on lap 30, but reported that while negotiating his way forward he made contact with another competitor and developed a tire rub on the right rear fender.
- On lap 32, the No. 4 Toyota hit pit road where the over-the-wall crew filled it with enough fuel to make it to the end of the race and pulled out the right rear fender to give the tire clearance.
- The Oklahoma native returned to the track with seven laps remaining in the stage and ended up finishing Stage Two in the 13th position.
Final Stage Recap:
- With several teams making their final stop of the day when pit road opened, Bell advanced up to the fourth spot for the start of the final stage.
- Bell had fell in line in the fifth spot as the field went down the backstretch and approached Turn Eight, but missed a shift causing his engine to expire and ended his day early.
CHRISTOPHER BELL, driver of the No. 4 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
What happened out there?
“Just went from third to second there on the back straightaway.”
How was the racing on the track until you got to that point?
“I felt like our Toyota Tundra was pretty good. We were in position to win the race. We had a shot at it if I didn’t miss that shift.”
NCWTS 250 Recap:
- Austin Cindric collected his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory. Bell’s KBM teammate Noah Gragson finished 3.481 seconds behind Cindric in the runner-up position. Kaz Grala finished third, while Justin Haley and Ryan Truex rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 14 laps. There were five lead changes among five drivers. Bell did not lead a lap, but still leads the Truck Series with 521 laps led on the season.
How Bell’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished second
- Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 11th
NCWTS Driver Championship Standings:
Bell leaves the 15th race of the season leading the regular season Truck Series championship standings by 30 points over reigning champion Jonny Sauter. The Oklahoma native has earned 24 playoff points this season.
Bell will be behind the wheel of the No. 4 SiriusXM Tundra when the Truck Series resumes action on Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Live coverage of the Chicagoland 225 begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.