Christopher Bell scored a runner-up finish in Sunday afternoon’s darkness-shortened NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After a red flag for rain on lap eight for rain, NASCAR was forced to shorten the 301 lap race by eight laps to 293.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Race 22 of 36 – 293 laps, 318.458 miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Aric Almirola*
2nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
3rd, Brad Keselowski*
4th, Joey Logano*
5th, Ryan Blaney*
10th, DENNY HAMLIN
12th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
26th, BUBBA WALLACE
37th, KYLE BUSCH
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 Rheem – Watts Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What was it like trying to chase down Aric Almirola in the closing laps?
“How many laps did we run? 293 – so eight laps, that sucks. Really proud of everyone on this No. 20 Rheem Pristine Auction Camry. We did good. We kind of struggled early and made the car the best it was right there at the end. That’s all you can ask for and felt like we gave him (Almirola) a run for his money, that’s for sure.”
Had the race gone the distance, did you feel you could have passed Aric Almirola for the win?
“I didn’t know how may laps they cut it short, but definitely whenever I saw the board and saw that we were eight laps short, it stings man. I felt like I probably had a little better pace than him and I was able to get to him. I know lapped cars were giving him a bad time, but I was able to get to him. It was going to be a heck of a race, but really proud of everyone on this Rheel Pristine Auction Camry. They did really good. Everyone on this 20 crew – we didn’t start out the greatest and then we were really good, probably the best we were all day right there at the end of the race. That’s all you can ask for is to have a shot at it and just wish we had eight more laps.”
Where do you feel like you were better than the other cars throughout the race?
“I don’t know. I fought a little bit of everything – was a little loose in, a little loose off. I feel like my car cut the center probably better than theirs and that’s where my speed was. I’m happy for Aric (Almirola), that’s cool for him to win. He’s been close a couple times. Building on our program too so hopefully we can knock off a couple more wins here soon.”
At any point, did you feel like it was getting too dark towards the end of the race?
“Well, I don’t know, I had a dark shield on so I had to flip that thing up 50 laps ago. It was pretty dark for the last however many laps of the race. What’s eight more?”
Were you ever concerned about getting today’s race in due to the weather?
“Looking at the forecast, it looked like we weren’t going to take the green at all today. Then all of the sudden in cleared up and said it wasn’t going to rain. They dropped the green and it started raining. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I’m happy we got it in for sure.”
Toyota Racing PR