SPARTA, Ky. — An early spin didn’t stop Christopher Bell from returning to the front to claim victory in the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
He took the lead from John Hunter Nemechek with a pass to the high-side in Turn 3 and held off Brandon Jones right down to the final lap to score the victory.
“This is pretty special,” Bell said after the race. “We had our ups and downs. Practice didn’t go very well, but we had a really fast Tundra, and (crew chief) Rudy Fugle made great calls from the pit box after I made a mistake and spun out.”
After rain delayed the original start by roughly three hours, Johnny Sauter led the field to the green flag at 10:39 p.m. Matt Mills brought out the first caution on Lap 22 when he got loose, overcorrected and hit the outside wall exiting Turn 4.
On the ensuing restart on Lap 27, ThorSport Racing teammates Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger “sandwiched” Sauter going into Turn 1 to take the lead, with Enfinger taking the sole lead. The caution flew a second time on the same lap when Bell went spinning in Turn 3.
Rhodes took the lead from his teammate on the following restart on Lap 32 and drove on to win the first stage.
Noah Gragson, who pitted under the first caution, assumed the race lead.
Back to green on lap 42, the caution flew on the same lap for a multi-car wreck in Turn 3, which collected three of the four ThorSport trucks.
After that wreck, the rest of the stage proceeded under green, with Gragson winning it.
Myatt Snider exited pit road with the race lead. He lost the lead on the ensuing restart to Bell.
The race didn’t make it a lap before Gragson was turned by Austin Cindric on the frontstretch, bringing out the sixth caution.
When the next run settled into a longer green run, Bell came up on lapped traffic. John Hunter Nemechek took advantage of this and took the lead from Bell on Lap 94.
It was interrupted by a solo spin by Snider with 44 laps to go.
Bell took the lead on the ensuing restart with 37 to go when the caution flew for a two-truck wreck in Turn 3, setting up the run to the finish.
NUTS & BOLTS
The race lasted one hour, 59 minutes and 47 seconds at an average speed of 112.703 mph. There were 10 lead changes among eight different drivers and eight cautions for 42 laps.
Sauter leaves with a 28-point lead over Bell.T1710_UNOFFRES