Bell Makes it Three in a Row

Christopher Bell won Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 from Iowa Speedway. The win was Bell’s fourth on the season and third in a row, making him the first Xfinity Series regular to accomplish this since Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1999.

Elliott Sadler brought the field to green and looked strong early on. Debris from Tyler Reddick’s car brought out the first caution 19 laps into the 60 lap first stage. On the restart with 35 to go Cole Custer took the lead from Sadler and lead the remainder of the stage. The stage finished under yellow after Vinnie Miller spun with 5 to go and Chad Finchum has an interior fire in his car which he had to abandon on the backstretch.

Custer held the lead during pit stops but Sadler reclaimed it on the restart. The first third of stage 2 featured a fierce four car battle for the top spot featuring Sadler, Custer, Bell and Justin Allgaier. Custer finally got the lead back 20 laps in. Bell hounded Custer as the stage came to an end before ultimately making the pass with 5 to go to win the stage.

Custer got the lead back in the pits and lead the early part of the final stage. He and Bell engaged in a lengthy battle which ultimately led to Bell leading again with 97 to go. Custer pitted with 54 to go, a few laps before Bell. Custer likely would’ve taken the lead back after the pit cycle but he ran into a slower car when attempting to merge onto the track. Custer got sideways but managed not to wreck. Bell got out to a lengthy lead but with 14 to go the 60 of Chase Briscoe spun right in front of Bell off of turn 4, Bell suffered very minimal damage.

The restart came with 9 to go and Bell shot out-front while Custer dropped back quickly. Brandon Jones battled side by side with Bell but the yellow flew again for a Garrett Smithley spin.

The next restart came with 2 laps to go and Allgaier took the lead on the topside but another caution came out for a two-car wreck involving Max Tullman and Matt Tifft. This would bring out a red flag.

Following a 20-minute stoppage the race went to its second overtime and Bell restarted fourth. As soon as the green flew Bell dropped low and was to Allgaier’s inside by turn 3. They were dead even at the white flag but Bell was aggressively pushing Allgaier up the track which gave him the advantage into turn 1. Bell took the checkers as several cars spun behind him in turn 4.

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