Home Sports NASCAR: Christopher Bell wins rain-delayed New Hampshire race

NASCAR: Christopher Bell wins rain-delayed New Hampshire race

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NASCAR: Christopher Bell wins rain-delayed New Hampshire race

Christopher Bell won the NASCAR Cup Marathon race in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Bell won the rain-delayed race ahead of Chase Briscoe and Josh Berry as the entire field was on wet tires. After a two-hour rain delay, the final segment of the race was run on wet tires as NASCAR wanted to restart the race as soon as possible following the rain red flag.

Bell took the lead on lap 242 of the scheduled 301-lap race and led the rest of the way. He held the lead for the final 64 laps after two cautions for spins in the final 10 scheduled laps.

The race ended up taking more than six hours to complete and lasted 305 laps after Brad Keselowski’s spin with less than three laps remaining. His spin came after the penultimate caution of the race when Michael McDowell took out Ryan Blaney with nine laps to go as the two raced for second place behind Bell.

Bell also had a great car before it started raining. He led a race-high 149 laps after starting second, as no other driver led more than 53 laps. It’s Bell’s third win of the season after winning at Phoenix in the spring and the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600.

It was the second time this season that part of a Cup race was run on wet tires. The Richmond race this spring began with teams on wet tires before NASCAR stopped the race to have teams put on slick tires.

And like Richmond, NASCAR was tough on handling wet tires. Teams were not allowed to switch to slick tires if they felt the track was dry enough and were only allowed to change sets of wet tires when NASCAR allowed it.

NASCAR’s tire protocols led to a confusing end to the race. When Ross Chastain brought out the first yellow flag after the red flag, some teams wanted to change to new wet tires. After making their pit stops, NASCAR forced them to put their previous set of wet tires back on.

NASCAR then allowed teams to change wet tires twice before the end of the race as the track dried out and chewed up the tires. However, the pit stops were not competitive, meaning that the drivers returned to the track in the same position they were in at the time of the caution flag.

Had the race been called on lap 219, Tyler Reddick was set to take his second win of the season. Reddick pitted on lap 156 and inherited the lead when he did not pit at the end of the second stage. A series of cautions at the start of the third stage helped keep Reddick in the lead before he started to rain.

That burst of caution was a sign of things to come. After racing resumed on a wet track, there were six cautions for incidents in the final 70 laps. In total, there were 14 warnings. That’s the most in any New Hampshire race since 2002.

Kyle Busch started 30th and was quickly passed in the first stage of the race. Things didn’t get much better from there. Busch was officially involved in two cautions, but was part of three spins or crashes as his day ended just after the red flag.

The first accident occurred on lap 155 when Busch hit the wall after contact with Noah Gragson. On lap 217, Busch spun down the stretch just before the race was stopped due to rain.

Busch’s team tried to fix the car after the second spin and he was still on the lead lap. However, he apparently had a part fail before the race went green again after the rain delay and he crashed into the wall.

Busch finished 35th for the second consecutive week and the third time in the last four races. Busch has now finished outside the top 20 in eight of 18 races this season and is 17th in the points standings.

1. Christopher Bell

2. Chase Briscoe

3. Josh Berry

4. Kyle Larson

5. Chris Buescher

6. Tyler Reddick

7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

8. John Hunter Nemechek

9. Martin Truex Jr.

10. Ross Chastain

11. Ryan Preece

12. Todd Gilliland

13. Erik Jones

14.Harrison Burton

15. Michael McDowell

16. Ty Gibbs

17. Carson however

18. Chase Elliott

19. Austin Cindric

20. Ty Dillon

21. Daniel Suarez

22. Kaz Grala

23. Corey LaJoie

24. Denny Hamlin

25. Ryan Blaney

26. William Byron

27. Noah Gragson

28. Brad Keselowski

29. Justin Haley

30. Zane Smith

31. Daniel Hemric

32. Joey Logano

33. Austin Dillon

34. Bubba Wallace

35. Kyle Busch

36. Alex Bowman

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