Bell set to run for Xfinity Series title for the second straight season
PLANO, Texas (November 5, 2019) – Christopher Bell earned his series-leading eighth win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway, clinching a chance to run for the championship in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Bell was dominant in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race, sweeping both stages and leading 101 (of 200) laps to claim his first victory at Texas Motor Speedway. With the win, Bell also clinched a spot in the Championship 4 as the Supra race car will compete for the first time in the championship-finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“That’s pretty special to win here at Texas,” said Bell, a native of Norman, Oklahoma. “I have a lot of family here. (Now), I believe Homestead becomes the number one focus.”
This will be Bell’s second appearance in the Xfinity Series Championship 4 after the Joe Gibbs Racing driver made his fiirst Playoffs appearance during his rookie season last year.
Bell’s teammates, Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton, also had strong performances at Texas with Jones (fourth) in the top five and Burton in seventh.
In the NASCAR Cup Series, Martin Truex Jr. led the Toyota charge by finishing sixth in Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. Truex was joined in the top 10 by his teammates, Kyle Busch (seventh) and Erik Jones (10th).
“We were not very good, and then we got some track position and we were hanging on okay,” said Truex. “We made huge adjustments. We’ve not adjusted on a car that much all year long and we still never got it perfect, but definitely a lot better at the end. We just fought hard and never gave up on it all day and came home with a decent finish.”
With one race, at Arizona’s ISM Raceway, before the championship finale in Homestead, Truex has already clinched a spot after winning at Martinsville Speedway one week ago. Busch is in third, 22 points above the cutoff, while Hamlin – who suffered damage due to a spin early in Texas – is in fifth, 20 points below the cutline.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we can go (to Arizona) and win,” said Hamlin. “In these circumstances, I like the challenge. We’re going to go out there and give it our best shot and put our best foot forward and see if we can’t get a win next week.”
Doug Kalitta kept his championship hopes alive with a semifinal finish in NHRA Top Fuel at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. Kalitta goes into the final race of the season in Pomona, California, less than two rounds out of championship lead.
Advancing to the semifinals against the points leader, Kalitta was in a position to take over the point lead with a victory. Unfortunately, he never had the chance as something appeared to break in the safety box, releasing the parachute on the burnout and giving Torrence the victory on a solo run.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Kalitta. “I was going forward and the thing just shut off. It’s a very sinking moment when you see your parachute release like that. It is just real unfortunate. We were definitely going to give it our best out there to see if we could get by Steve (Torrence). We are just going to drag it out to Pomona and go after the championship there.”
NASCAR heads to Arizona’s ISM Raceway where four series will compete, including the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, which will all hold their final elimination race before the season-finale events. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series will also host their season finale in Arisona Saturday.
The Truck Series kicks things off on Friday, November 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1. On Saturday, the Xfinity Series continues racing action at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West holding its season finale to close out the night (tape-delayed November 14 at 6 p.m. ET). The NASCAR Cup Series headlines the weekend on Sunday, November 10 with Hamlin and Busch battling for a Championship 4 spot at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
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