Christopher Bell Dominates at Iowa Xfinity Race

Christopher Bell scored his fourth win of the season
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Christopher Bell knows a lot about long, dominant runs.

The seasoned open-wheel racer's won the last three Chili Bowl Nationals in his native, Oklahoma — and Sunday led an astounding 186 laps of Sunday's 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race while cruising to a commanding victory at Iowa Speedway.

The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing/Ruud Toyota pulled away from Cole Custer on the final restart with 10 laps to go and powered to his series-leading fourth victory of the season on Father's Day.

"Man, I got to win at Dover on Mother's Day weekend, or, I guess it was the week before with me mom there," said Bell, who has won five of the past eight short track races in the series. "Now I just won on Father's Day with my dad here with my dad here, so it was pretty special.

Custer settled for second and adopted a no-hard-feelings approach to the slight contact from Bell that preceded losing his brief late lead.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]"I think it was racing," said Custer, who led the first 54 laps before Bell seized near-total control. "I think every driver will agree that this place puts on the best racing that we go to, so it was fun. Christopher and them had the best car all day. I feel like we caught up to them a good amount. We just need a little more time to work on it."

Justin Allgaier — who edged Bell in this race a year ago — took third. Harrison Burton and Zane Smith rounded out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, who finished 15th after battling early car trouble, saw his points lead over Bell shaved from 89 to 51.

Bell's won two straight races at Iowa and has powered to Victory Lane in five of the past eight short track events.

"This Ruud Supra was outstanding," Bell said. "Hopefully we can continue to bring these type of race cars to the race track."

Bell won all three stages. He led 160 consecutive laps at one point, but Custer narrowly edged him in the race off pit road with 28 laps to go. That gave Custer the favored line up high, but Bell eventually found enough grip on the bottom to regain the lead six laps later.

Still, he couldn't fully breathe easy.

The race's final caution flag flew after Chad Finchum's No. 42 car dinged the wall in Turn 2.

Custer gamely tried to mount a challenge on the low side, but Bell's car again proved to be too fast and nimble to be overtaken.

Custer posted his eighth top-five finish of the season. Both he and Reddick — who along with Bell make up the series' so-called "Big Three" in 2019 — own three wins each this season.

"We're close," Custer said. "We're just gonna come back better next time."

Christopher Bell takes the checkered flag at Iowa Speedway
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Bell's second straight series victory at Iowa ended a streak in which there had been nine different winners in a row at the 7/8-mile track.

And other than Custer, no one stood a chance at preventing Bell's repeat triumph in the heartland.

"I think our potential is really high," Bell said. "Our big track stuff, I feel like we still need to gain on a little bit and obviously we're working hard to do that. This was a much-needed win."

But what's the next step?

Bell was asked about whether he deserves a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride, but he wouldn't bite.

"My dream was to make a living driving a race car," Bell said. "And I've been able to do that for numerous years now. So if I'm truck racing, sprint car racing, midget racing, I'm already fulfilling my dream. So whether I'm running Xfinity or Cup, I'm living my dream right now, so I'll be happy."


Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Status
1 2 20 Christopher Bell Ruud Toyota 250 186 Running
2 1 0 Cole Custer FIELDS Ford 250 59 Running
3 14 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 250 0 Running
4 10 18 Harrison Burton(i) Dex Imaging Toyota 250 0 Running
5 3 8 Zane Smith LaPaz Margarita Mix Chevrolet 250 0 Running
6 4 9 Noah Gragson # Switch Chevrolet 250 0 Running
7 9 98 Chase Briscoe # Nutri Chomps/Bomgaars Ford 250 0 Running
8 6 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Allegiant Chevrolet 250 0 Running
9 12 1 Michael Annett TMC Transportation Chevrolet 250 0 Running
10 7 22 Austin Cindric Menards/Richmond Ford 250 0 Running
11 11 19 Brandon Jones 1st Foundation Toyota 250 0 Running
12 13 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 250 0 Running
13 8 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 250 5 Running
14 18 8 Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 250 0 Running
15 5 2 Tyler Reddick TAME the BEAST Chevrolet 249 0 Running
16 19 7 Ray Black II ISOKERN Fireplaces & Chimneys Scuba Life 249 0 Running
17 23 36 Josh Williams Starbrite Star Tron/Simcraft Chevrolet 249 0 Running
18 17 28 Shane Lee Circuit City Toyota 248 0 Running
19 21 21 Joe Graf Jr. Eat Sleep Race Chevrolet 247 0 Running
20 33 15 Tyler Matthews Line Tec Services Chevrolet 247 0 Running
21 20 42 Chad Finchum MBM Motorsports Toyota 246 0 Running
22 32 1 Ryan Repko The McLain Group Chevrolet 245 0 Running
23 28 99 Ryan Ellis The Wes Cook Band Toyota 244 0 Running
24 27 90 Ronnie Bassett Jr. Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet 244 0 Running
25 22 4 Stephen Leicht SEM Chevrolet 204 0 Brakes
26 26 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Chevrolet 123 0 Electrical
27 34 74 Mike Harmon The Journey Home Project/Charlie Daniels 120 0 Brakes
28 37 66 Stan Mullis Toyota 109 0 Power
29 25 0 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 106 0 Hub
30 16 39 Ryan Sieg C2 Freight Resources Chevrolet 78 0 Fuel Pressure
31 15 86 Brandon Brown # Vero True Social Chevrolet 76 0 Engine
32 31 78 Vinnie Miller Pit Viper/Koolbox Chevrolet 48 0 Accident
33 30 35 Joey Gase Iowa Donor Network Toyota 46 0 Accident
34 24 52 David Starr Franklin Signs & Graphics Chevrolet 30 0 Engine
35 29 89 Morgan Shepherd Visone RV Chevrolet 23 0 Brakes
36 38 13 Timmy Hill CrashClaimsR.US Toyota 21 0 Electrical
37 35 38 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet 16 0 Electrical
38 36 93 Josh Bilicki Ziegler Auto Group Chevrolet 10 0 Electrical

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