Christopher Bell Speechless After Win In NASCAR Ambetter 301

Bell took the lead from Chase Elliott on Lap 260


July 17, 2022

LOUDON, N.H. — Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell won the Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with the win likely securing his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

The JGR driver became the 14th different winner this season — the most after 20 races since 2011, per NBC Sports. There are six races remaining in the season.

“I’ll tell you what, that was a hell of a race from my viewpoint. That was so much fun,” Bell said after the race on NBC Sports.

Bell entered Sunday’s race on the bubble at 16th place in the standings. The win was his first in New Hampshire and his second overall in 93 Cup Series starts. Dustin Long of NBC Sports noted how significant the win was for the JGR driver.

“If Christopher Bell wins today, that would move Martin Truex Jr. to the playoff cutline and in jeopardy of another winner bumping him out of the playoff picture,” Long wrote. “And this after Truex won 2 stages today before getting stuck in traffic and not able to go anywhere.”

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Bell took the lead from Cup Series leader Chase Elliott on Lap 260, and he did not relinquish the lead. As Long stated, Bell’s teammate, Truex, won the first two stages of the Ambetter 301. He held his lead for 173 laps but finished fourth.

“I wish I could tell you,” Bell said when asked about his performances in New Hampshire. “But the truth of it is I’ve just had great race cars, so it’s a bummer — I had problems in 2020 with a ’95 car because early in that race, we were looking like it was going to be a top 10 or possible top five. And then I think we had a brake rotor explode or something like that that took me out of it. So that was a bummer. And aside from that race, it’s been a great racetrack for me. I don’t think there’s anything that I have that makes me good here. I think I just have great race cars that allow me to succeed.”

There was plenty of action in New Hampshire after a brief rain delay due to severe weather in the area. Four cautions were issued within the first 93 laps of the race, including one within the first four laps

Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon also got in a dustup on Lap 164.

Bell had 14-to-1 odds to win at NHMS, according to BetMGM. If you bet $100 on Bell to come out the winner at the Granite State, you earned a payout of $1,500. The JGR driver had the confidence he could win at NHMS, but Bell admitted he couldn’t believe the thought became a reality.

“Just looking at all this, look at the crowd, winning Cup races is hard,” Bell said. “It just seems like we’ve been so close, and we’ve fallen off a little bit last week. I was talking to my best friend, and I told him earlier in the year I felt like we were right on the verge of winning. In the last couple of weeks, I felt like we were pretty far away, but here we are.”

Oh, and Bell was able to overcome his fear of shellfish while basking in the glow of Sunday’s victory.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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