Friday’s roundup: Bell wins at Texas under caution
Fort Worth, Texas — Christopher Bell won the NASCAR Truck Series race at Texas under caution Friday night, taking the white flag side-by-side with Chase Briscoe before a wreck behind them that left a truck upside down on the front stretch.
After a restart with two laps left, Bell and Briscoe were side-by-side and stayed that way the entire way around the 1 1/2-mile track back to the line. Bell had his No. 4 Toyota owned by Kyle Busch only inches and two-thousandths of a second ahead when they got to the white flag. The yellow flag came out right after that, and NASCAR determined on video review that Bell was still ahead at that time.
“It’s tough, a split-second decision of when the yellow gets thrown is the difference between who won,” Bell said. “If the yellow comes a couple of feet earlier, a couple of feet later, I don’t win.”
Because the leaders had already taken the white flag, the race was over at that point.
“I think that’s about as close as you can get to winning,” said Briscoe, who considers Bell one of his best friends.
The 10th and final caution came out when Austin Self’s truck collided with Timothy Peters, whose No. 99 truck ended up in the infield grass and flipped over onto its top before sliding along the front stretch and coming to a stop on its roof near the start/finish line.
Peters remained in the truck upside down for several minutes before safety workers turned it upright. He then got out and walked away to the cheers of fans in the stands. He was evaluated in the infield care center and released soon after that.
Briscoe had his career-best finish in the No. 29 Ford, the only non-Toyota truck in the top five. Grant Enfinger was third, followed by Ryan Truex and Ben Rhodes
Bell led 92 of 167 laps after starting 21st. The only driver to win from further back at Texas was Todd Bodine when he won after starting 22nd in the 2004 fall race.
A big victory for kid from Norman, Oklahoma, who while on the way to dirt track races in Texas used to ride by the massive speedway on Interstate 35 and dream of racing there.
“I didn’t really feel like it was a possibility. … I was just a dirt-track kid from Oklahoma. There’s no pavement racing around there,” Bell said. “To be able to race here was a dream come true. To be able to win here, I don’t even have words to describe it.”
Within the first 11 laps, even though seven of those were under caution, Bell had already gained nine spots to 12. By the end of 25 laps, Bell was running second to Johnny Sauter — and they were in the same order after the first 40-lap stage. Bell won the second stage.
Sauter, who got his third Texas win last fall, finished eighth.
At Long Pond, Pennsylvaina, Kyle Busch turned a lap of 179.151 mph to win the pole at Pocono Raceway.
Busch had the fastest lap to win a NASCAR Cup pole for the second straight week. Busch won the pole at Dover International Speedway.
Busch’s run at Dover was derailed when a tire came off the No. 18 Toyota during a pit stop. Busch crew chief Adams Stevens, tire carrier Kenny Barber and tire changer Jake Seminara were suspended four races for the infraction and will not be at Pocono. He won races at every active Cup track except Pocono and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Race engineer Ben Beshore is the interim crew chief.
Martin Truex Jr. starts second and Matt Kenseth third for a 1-2-3 start for Toyota. Ryan Blaney was fourth, followed by Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski, all Ford drivers.
Darrell Wallace Jr. starts 16th in the No. 43 Ford. He’s the first black driver in a Cup race since 2006.
At Fort Worth, Texas, Charlie Kimball has earned his first IndyCar Series pole with a two-lap average speed of 222.556 mph at the repaved and reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway.
Kimball’s run Friday was more than 3 mph faster than the previous the two-lap qualifying record at Texas. Will Power averaged 219.182 mph four years ago. Kimball’s first pole comes in his 109th career start.
Series points leader Scott Dixon will start on the front row Saturday night alongside his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate. Dixon’s qualifying average was 222.516 mph.
Alexander Rossi qualified third, ahead of Tony Kanaan and Tristan Vautier, who is filling in for injured Sebastien Bourdais.
Graham Rahal, the defending Texas winner who last weekend won both races in Detroit, will start 11th at the 1 1/2-mile Texas track.