Bell claims fourth victory of season in Overton’s 150
By Matt Courson and Justin Melillo
July 29, 2017
LONG POND, Pa.—Christopher Bell wasn’t the most dominant truck on Saturday afternoon, but at the conclusion of the Overton’s 150 at Pocono Raceway, he wound up in Victory Lane once again.
Bell claimed his fourth victory of 2017, the sixth of his career, and takes over the point lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings by 18 over Johnny Sauter.
“My Tundra has been really good all weekend since we got here and I knew that we had the better truck, but it was just a matter of planning out the pass,” Bell said.
“Whenever I kept trying to dive inside of him down the front straightaway, I could never stall him enough to get clear by the time I got to turn one and I kept looking in my mirror and every time we would get side-by-side on the straightaway, we would just bring all those guys and get them closer to us.”
STAGE ONE (LAPS 1-15)
Ben Rhodes led the field to the green flag alongside Kyle Busch.
On the start, Busch took the early lead from Rhodes and Bell followed behind, with Busch taking the Green-Checkered flag in stage one, while Bell came in second.
Busch crossed the finish line to claim the stage victory, followed by Christopher Bell, Ben Rhodes, Ryan Truex and Matt Crafton.
STAGE TWO (LAPS 16-30)
The green flag waved to begin the second stage, with Kyle Busch and Ryan Truex out front.
Busch and Truex took two tires on pit stops, while everybody else elected for four fresh tires.
Busch and Truex stayed side-by-side on the restart until Turn 2, but Busch got the advantage off of the second turn.
Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter played a little bit of strategy by coming to pit road before the stage end.
Busch claimed the second stage victory, his sixth of the year in five races.
The second stage was free of cautions.
Bell ended up finishing in third, and took home a total of 17 bonus points between the two stages.
STAGE THREE (LAPS 31-60)
Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton cycled back to the lead, and Crafton got the advantage on the restart, but trouble was looming ahead.
Racing side-by-side coming into the tunnel turn, Kyle Busch and Justin Haley were racing for position when Haley came down on Busch, sending him into the turn 2 wall.
The race went green as Crafton led on lap 38, but another incident slowed the field.
Contact between Chase Briscoe and Kaz Grala sent Noah Gragson into the wall. Grala and Gragson were unable to make repairs and return to the race.
On lap 53, Christopher Bell passed John Hunter Nemechek for the lead.
The battle between Bell and Nemechek allowed third-place Ben Rhodes to catch the leaders, but neither were a match for the driver of the No. 4 Toyota.
Christopher Bell held off Nemechek to win the Overton’s 150, the first of his career at Pocono Raceway.
This is Bell’s sixth win in 42 starts. This is his fourth victory and 11th top 10 in 2017.
Bell leads Johnny Sauter by 18 points in driver’s standings. 19 trucks finished on the lead lap.
The Camping World Truck Series takes off next weekend, but returns at Michigan Int’l Speedway for the LTi Printing 200.
Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts