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CWTS: Bell snares win at Gateway

(MRN) Christopher Bell held off fellow rookie Ben Rhodes on the night’s final restart to claim victory on Saturday at Gateway Motorsports Park. Their final dash to the checkered flag was set up by the last caution of the race brought out by an accident that involved Spencer Gallagher and John Wes Townley. Bell’s margin of victory was twenty-seven one-hundredths of a second after he led the final eight laps in the Number-4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Daniel Hemric took third place with Johnny Sauter and defending series champion Erik Jones completing the top five. Rhodes started from the pole but led just four laps on his way to the runner-up finish … After the trucks of Gallagher and Townley tangled to bring out the night’s final caution, the drivers tangled on the track after exiting their vehicles. They wrestled to the pavement and some punches were thrown before NASCAR officials separated the combatants … Rookie William Byron – a teammate of Bell’s at K-B-R – went into the race seeking his third straight victory but settled for seventeenth place in the thirty-two-truck field. He did lead a race-high forty-seven laps and that seventeenth-place finish was enough to lift him into the series lead. Two-time champion Matt Crafton went into the weekend atop the standings but was sidelined by an accident and went home with a twenty-seventh-place finish. Byron’s lead over Crafton is a single point heading into the next race July 7th in Sparta, Kentucky … Saturday night’s race included nine cautions for forty-four laps, more than a quarter of the race distance and just six short of the track record.

Top 10 Finishers in the Drivin’ for Linemen 200

DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED

1. Christopher Bell (R) (9) 38

2. Ben Rhodes (R) (Pole) 4

3. Daniel Hemric (13) —

4. Johnny Sauter (2) 29

5. Erik Jones (17) —

6. John H. Nemechek (4) —

7. German Quiroga (5) —

8. Kaz Grala (16)

9. Ben Kennedy (12) —

10. Timothy Peters (21) —

Unofficial Point Standings – After 9 Races

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND LEADER

1. William Byron (R) 226 —

2. Matt Crafton 225 -1

3. Timothy Peters 221 -5

4. Daniel Hemric 216 -10

5. Johnny Sauter 204 -22

6. John H. Nemechek 192 -34

Ben Kennedy 192 -34

8. Tyler Reddick 191 -35

9. Christopher Bell (R) 185 -41

10. Ben Rhodes (R) 181 -45

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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