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Christopher Bell wins the 250; full race recap

By Jonathan Fjeld

NEWTON, Iowa — Christopher Bell emerged victorious in Sunday’s 250 at Iowa Speedway.

Bell won over Cole Custer by 1.756 seconds to claim his fourth victory of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season and 12th of his Xfinity career. Bell led 186 laps and swept stages 1 and 2 en route to the victory. Last year in the June race, Bell finished second to Justin Allgaier.

“I think our Supra was just extremely fast today. We were kind of in the same position as last year, starting second and running second to Cole [Custer],” Bell said. “I think our car was just fast enough to where we could pass today.”

Custer led 59 laps, including the first 52 laps. Custer took the lead back during pit stops with 31 laps to go before losing it again to Bell with 26 to go.

“We were so loose to start, and we got it better and better, but at the end though we fought turning in the center,” Custer said. “It’s a balance of everything, I think we have things that we can do better, and we have good ideas on how we can do it better.”

Top ten finishers Harrison Burton and Zane Smith each made their first start at Iowa Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Burton finished fourth in his second career Xfinity start after finishing third in the Truck race earlier in the day. Smith finished fifth in his fifth career Xfinity start.

“I’m super happy with it, especially during the middle of the race when we were running second to third,” Smith stated. “It was really cool running up front with those guys and just knowing what I need.”

Jeremy Clements finished 12th in his best finish of 2019 and battled Gray Gaulding late in the race. Gaulding finished 14th on the lead lap in his first Iowa start in six years.

“Jeremy [Clements] is a great driver, a veteran driver. He’s a family organization and it’s cool seeing guys you can race side by side with and know you’re not gonna get spun out or put in the wall,” Gaulding noted. “We race each other extremely, extremely hard, but clean, and that’s what we should do.”

The top ten finishers were as followed: Christopher Bell (led 186 laps), Cole Custer (led 59 laps), Justin Allgaier, Harrison Burton, Zane Smith, Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, John Hunter Nemechek, Michael Annett, Austin Cindric.

Justin Haley finished 13th after leading five laps. Points leader Tyler Reddick finished 15th, one lap down, after having tire issues early in the race.

There were seven cautions and five lead changes among three leaders in today’s 250-lap race.

The first caution flew on lap 29 for David Starr having engine issues.

On lap 48, Joey Gase and Vinnie Miller had an incident in turn three which brought out the second caution.

With 72 laps to go, Tyler Matthews ran into trouble to bring out the yellow.

Late in the race, there were a string of late yellows with 35 and 16 laps to go, which saw trouble for Cole Custer and Chad Finchum respectively.

Tyler Reddick remains the points leader over Christopher Bell by 51 points as the series heads to Chicagoland Speedway for the June 29th Camping World 300 (3:30 PM EST, TV: NBCSN).

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