Box Score Info:
Christopher Bell and his Rheem team paid a visit to Iowa Speedway for the Iowa 250 and their first of two visits of 2018 season at the Newton, IA facility. After starting the 250-lap event in 39th, Bell worked his way inside the top 10 by lap 28 and never looked back, crossing the finish line in the second positon and earning his eighth top-five finish of the 2018 season.
Following the drop of the green flag, Bell marched his way towards the front, cracking the top 20 by lap nine and the top 10 by lap 28. Continuing to pass cars, Bell radioed to crew chief Jason Ratcliff on lap 44, while running in seventh, that his Rheem Camry was “good, he just needed a little more lateral grip.” With his balance close, Bell gained one more spot and ended stage one in sixth on lap 60. Under the caution, Ratcliff called Bell down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to the Rheem Camry. Following the stop, Bell restarted stage two in ninth on lap 69.
Following the lap 69 restart, the second stage would go green for the entire run with Bell once again cracking to top five by lap 72 and ending the stage in third on lap 120. With the balance of his Rheem Camry good during the run, Ratcliff once again called the Rheem Camry down pit road for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. Following the stop, Bell restarted the final stage in third on lap 129.
Following the restart, Bell maneuvered his way into second on lap 131 and continued putting pressure on the eventual race winner, Justin Allgaier, until the caution flag waved on lap 200 for an accident in turn four. With only 50 laps remaining in the race, Ratcliff once again called Bell down pit road for his final four-tire stop of the afternoon. Following the stop, Bell restarted the race in fourth on lap 205. Bell continued running down Allgaier during the closing laps of the race, ultimate crossing the finish in the second position and earning his eighth top-five finish of the season.
With his second place finish, Bell was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie as well as Toyota Racing driver.
The NXS will take a weekend off before returning to the track at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 30th for their only visit of the season at the Joliet, IL track. Coverage of the race begins at 3:30 PM ET live on NBCSN, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio