The driver of the No. 20 Toyota used a move from his dirt-track background to pass Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones with 18 laps to go and power on to the win. Bell’s first victory at Bristol was his second win of the season and 10th of his Xfinity Series career.
This victory also came with a $100,000 bonus from NASCAR’s Dash 4 Cash program.
Prior to the winning pass, Bell had come in for a pit stop and had fresher tires than Jones.
“This place, for whatever reason, suits his driving style, and he should have won here last year,” Bell said of Jones. “He was really good on the restart, but he couldn’t quite hang on. I was able to run him down. I went high and he couldn’t hold me off. I was able to do a slide job to the top lane and get by him.”
Defending series champion Tyler Reddick, driving a specially wrapped Dollywood-sponsored No. 2 Chevrolet, finished second. He got close to Bell at the end but couldn’t get to his bumper. Reddick had fallen to seventh on a restart before making a charge back to the front.
He earlier made several runs to get ahead of Bell but couldn’t complete the pass.
“It’s hard to pass at Bristol and everyone does such a good job with the race cars where we’re really close,” Reddick said. “The top way is the fast way to run the racetrack. The bottom was OK on restarts, but that left-side tire didn’t get ahold of the track grip when it got really hot, and I was working it pretty hard.”
Reddick also was engaged in an intense battle for second with Cole Custer, who won his seventh career pole after turning a lap at 126.503 mph Saturday morning.
“We didn’t have the fire-off speed or perfect scenarios to pass people when we got up in the top five,” said Custer, who finished third. “I’m pretty mad because I think we had the best car at the end, we just didn’t have the best fire-off. We had the best car at the end. It’s just a matter of having track position.”
Jones, who bounced off the wall and had to make a late-race pit stop for a flat tire, finished 14th.
BEST OF THE REST
Chase Briscoe in a Ford and John Hunter Nemechek in a Chevrolet rounded out the top five.
Austin Cindric in a Ford, Justin Haley, Michael Annett and Noah Gragson in Chevrolets and Harrison Burton, son of former Cup Series star Jeff Burton, completed the top 10..
GOOD RUN FOR FINCHUM
Knoxville’s Chad Finchum, driving the No. 42 Toyota sponsored by Kingsport Speedway, finished 20th. He was running higher in the closing laps but had to make a late pit stop for a flat right-rear tire.
“For the obstacles thrown at us during the race, it was a pretty good day,” Finchum said. “We showed speed in qualifying and it gave hopes of a top-15 or even a top-10 finish. We fired off to start the race and the car wasn’t as fast. I tried dropping down to the inside, but the car wasn’t any better. We were still battling there late in the race and had a tire go down and lost some spots. Still, 20th was a pretty good day.”
Alsco 300 Results
At Bristol Motor Speedway
Lap length: 0.53 miles
(Starting position in parentheses)
1. (8) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 300 laps.
2. (2) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 300.
3. (1) Cole Custer, Ford, 300.
4. (3) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 300.
5. (10) John Hunter Nemechek, Chevrolet, 300.
6. (4) Austin Cindric, Ford, 300.
7. (11) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 300.
8. (9) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 300.
9. (7) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 300.
10. (5) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 300.
11. (16) Zane Smith, Chevrolet, 300.
12. (14) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 299.
13. (15) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 299.
14. (13) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 298.
15. (19) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 297.
16. (21) Ray Black II, Chevrolet, 296.
17. (20) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 294.
18. (23) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 294.
19. (25) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 293.
20. (18) Chad Finchum, Toyota, 292.
21. (31) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 292.
22. (26) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 292.
23. (22) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 291.
24. (30) Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 291.
25. (32) David Starr, Chevrolet, 289.
26. (28) Tommy Joe Martins, Toyota, 288.
27. (27) Joey Gase, Toyota, 286.
28. (24) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 284.
29. (34) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, 272.
30. (6) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, accident, 227.
31. (17) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, rear gear, 193.
32. (36) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, radiator, 190.
33. (12) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, accident, 41.
34. (37) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, accident, 40.
35. (33) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, water pump, 13.
36. (29) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, ignition, 12.
37. (35) John Jackson, Toyota, suspension, 9.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 91.328 mph.
Time of Race: 1 hour, 45 minutes, 3 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 0.906 seconds.
Caution Flags: 4 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: C. Custer 1-25; T. Reddick 26-84; J. Allgaier 85-90; T. Reddick 91; J. Allgaier 92-171; T. Reddick 172; J. Allgaier 173-202; C. Bell 203; J. Allgaier 204-225; C. Bell 226-263; B. Jones 264-282; C. Bell 283-300.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Justin Allgaier 4 times for 138 laps; Tyler Reddick 3 times for 61 laps; Christopher Bell 3 times for 57 laps; Cole Custer 1 time for 25 laps; Brandon Jones 1 time for 19 laps.