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XFS: Bell comes from back of field for second win of season

(MRN) With the 2018 Playoffs just two months away, rookie Christopher Bell moved into position for a potential Number-1 seed with his second victory of the season on Friday night at Kentucky Speedway. Bell started the race at the rear of the field after a spin in qualifying forced the team to change tires and forfeit its original Number-12 starting spot. But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was undeterred once the green flag flew. His steady march toward the front found him in seventh place at the conclusion of Stage-2. Bell kept the race leader in sight over the final hundred laps and moved ahead of Justin Allgaier seventeen laps from the finish, keeping the Number-20 Toyota in front the rest of the way. Bell beat runner-up Daniel Hemric to the finish by eighty-four one-hundredths of a second. Kyle Busch (one of Bell’s J-G-R teammates) won the opening stage and led a race-high 111 laps before settling for third place. Allgaier and pole winner Cole Custer completed the top five.

With nine races left in the regular season, Bell has twelve bonus playoff points, four more than Allgaier. But it’s more than a two-man scrap for a potential top seed in the post-season. Hemric and Elliott Sadler (who finished twelfth on Friday) are tied for first place in the standings. The regular-season champion will receive a fifteen-point bonus to carry throughout the playoffs.

Top 10 Finishers in the Alsco 300

DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED

1. Christopher Bell (R) (12) 17

2. Daniel Hemric (5) 8

3. Kyle Busch (3) 111

4. Justin Allgaier (2) 32

5. Cole Custer (Pole) 14

6. Tyler Reddick (R) (8) —

7. John H. Nemechek (6) 14

8. Ryan Reed (9) —

9. Paul Menard (14) —

10. Austin Cindric (R) (4) —

Unofficial Point Standings – After 17 Races

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND LEADER

1. Elliott Sadler 608 —-

Daniel Hemric 608 —-

3. Cole Custer 605 -3

4. Christopher Bell (R) 591 -17

5. Justin Allgaier 569 -39

6. Tyler Reddick (R) 541 -67

7. Brandon Jones 500 -108

8. Ryan Truex 479 -129

9. Matt Tifft 458 -150

10. Austin Cindric (R) 428 -180

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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