(MRN, Pete Pistone) Christopher Bell set a new NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie win mark with his sixth victory of the season in Saturday’s Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway as the Round of 8 in the Playoffs was set.
Bell scored his second win of the playoffs and will lead the eight drivers in the next round of the playoffs.
“It’s been a career year for me,” Bell said. “All credit to Joe Gibbs Racing. We have really fast race cars every time I go to the racetrack.
“It’s been a lot of run this year. This team has never been quitting, they keep giving me fast racecars. It’s an honor to drive for this company.”
Bell led three times for 110 laps, including the final 29. He was the ninth different winner in the last nine Dover Xfinity Series races.
Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Spencer Gallagher rounded out the top five.
Brandon Jones, Daniel Hemric, Austin Cindric, John Hunter Nemechek and Ryan Truex completed the first 10 finishers.
The eight drivers moving on to the next round led by Bell are Hemric, Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric and Matt Tifft.
Four drivers were eliminated from the playoffs including Ryan Reed, Ryan Truex, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain, who moved Tifft out of the way for a spot late in the race, still wasn’t able to advance in the championship picture.
“Too many mistakes on my part,” Chastain said. “I sped on pit road…Just playing catch-up from there, we had the car, I was just trying to go by those guys. He ran into me after lug nut check down there, but I’m not sorry at all. I don’t apologize for what I do on the race track.”
Tifft made slight contact with the rear of Chastain’s car as the field went through a post race lug nut check.
“It was very intense, especially the last part of the race,” Tifft said. “We weren’t very good today, we’ve had a lot of strong runs lately, but that just wasn’t one of them.”
Bell and Hemric won the first two stages.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to action on Saturday, October 20 at Kansas Speedway.