The NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) took to the track at Pocono Raceway this weekend for race 12 of the 2018 season on Saturday afternoon. With a new race package at Pocono this weekend, Bell and his Ruud-Meier Supply team went out on Saturday morning and ran a lap time of 55.864 seconds around the 2.5-mile speedway, good enough for the fifth starting position. After working his way up to as high as second during the first half of the race, Bell was caught in a late-race accident when the another competitor high his right-rear quarter panel, causing him to hit the backstretch wall and relegating him and his Ruud team to a 36th-place finish.
With the field rolling under cloudy conditions at the Long Pond, PA facility, Bell worked his way up to second by lap six and maintained his position until the caution flag waved on lap 25, signaling the end of stage one. Under the caution, veteran crew chief Dave Rogers called Bell down pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments to the Ruud Camry. Unfortunately, during the stop, NASCAR penalized Bell for speeding coming down pit road. Following the penalty, Bell restarted the second stage in 23rd on lap 30.
Despite the setback, Bell once again charged his way towards the front following the restart, being scored in 13th by lap 37 and in ninth on lap 47 when Rogers once again called Bell down pit road for his first green-flag pit stop of the afternoon. During the stop, the Ruud team changed four tires and packed the Ruud Camry full of fuel. Following the stop, Bell rejoined the field in 26th and maintained his position until the caution flag waved once again on lap 50, the end of stage two. Staying out under the caution, Bell restarted the final stage in in fourth on lap 55.
Bell slipped to sixth by lap 56 and was scored in fifth when the caution flag waved once again on lap 58. Playing strategy, Rogers once again called Bell down pit road for two tires and fuel on the Ruud Camry. Following the stop, Bell restarted in 16th on lap 60. Following the restart, Bell was running three wide down the backstretch when another competitor hit his right-rear quarter panel, turning him into the wall and relegating him and his Ruud-Meier Supply team to a 36th-place finish.
Bell and his Rheem team will return to the track next weekend at Michigan International Speedway for their only stop of the 2018 season. Coverage of the race begins at 1:30 PM ET live on Fox Sports 1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
What happened with the accident?
“I don’t know. Just restarts at Pocono (Raceway). It’s the bottom line. I feel like our Ruud Camry was exceptional and doing everything I needed it to. I just made a mistake there whenever I followed Kyle (Busch) to Pit Road at the end of the first Stage. He was going really fast and I thought I could, too. And I just ended up speeding. There was nothing I could have done there with Justin (Allgaier) for that matter. We were just victims of Pocono restarts. It just got really hairy. It was exciting. That’s why sometimes we love it and sometimes we hate it.”
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