Christopher Bell Takes the Checkered Flag in the ToyotaCare 250
Christopher Bell held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Noah Gragson leading the final 79 laps to win the ToyotaCare 250 Dash4Cash NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Richmond Raceway. Bell led a dominating 120 of 250 laps for his first career victory at America’s Premier Short Track.
Toyota Racing was dominant in the first race of the Toyota Spring Race Weekend at Richmond. Bell drove the No. 20 to its first win of the season, and second career NXS victory. The was Bell’s fifth top-five result of the season. He also has the most laps-led among active drivers in the NXS after eight races with 192. The ToyotaCare 250 victory officially locked Bell into the NXS Playoffs.
“That was pretty special. I had to work for it,” said Bell. “My teammate was really good. I knew throughout both practices that our cars were going to be really strong. Joe Gibbs Racing has been producing really, really fast Camrys for the last couple weeks and it’s really shown.”
Gragson of Joe Gibbs Racing was making his NXS debut tonight at The Action Track. He finished second in the No. 18 Toyota Camry by only 0.423 seconds behind teammate Bell. This is the 12th time a NXS racer has finished first or second in their premier race. Gragson is a full-time driver in the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The top five rounded out with Racing Virginia’s Elliot Sadler followed by Matt Tiff and Austin Cindric. With a tenth place finish at Richmond, Brandon Jones of Toyota Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing scored his fourth top ten finish of the season.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Gragson. “I found a little something in the track, a little speed there at the end of the second stage on old tires. I kept it in my memory bank until the end and I told me team, ‘I got something, when it’s time to go tell me when.’ About 18 to go, I told them, ‘Can’t wait any longer, I don’t have any more patience.”
The Dash4Cash winner of $100,000 was Sadler, who led 30 of the 250 laps. This is his fourth Dash4Cash win and qualifies for next week’s Dash for Cash, along with Bell, Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric, at Talladega Superspeedway.
Richmond Raceway 2018 NASCAR Season
The Toyota Spring Race Weekend continues “under the lights” for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday, April 21. The third annual Track Takeover driven by AAA will allow fans on the historic Richmond track prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Richmond’s Fall Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will make history with the grand opening of the DC Solar FanGrounds part of the Richmond Raceway Reimagined infield redevelopment project, along with hosting the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race and the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race on Sept. 21-22. To learn more about Reimagined, visit richmondracewayreimagined.com.
Tickets for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 and Fall Playoff Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondraceway.com.
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3-Time Cup Champion & Co-Owner of Stewart-Haas Racing