Christopher Bell, a 20-year-old with dirt track experience, won Wednesday night’s 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway in only his third career NASCAR Camping World Series race.
Bobby Pierce, an 18-year-old from Oakwood, Ill., making his series debut, finished second after claiming the pole and winning his qualifying race earlier in the evening.
Bell, who competed in the Kings Royal sprint car race last weekend at Eldora, and Pierce were the class of the field with their dirt experience. Bell led 106 of the 154 laps. Bell led 39 laps.
Bell, a 20-year-old from Norman, Okla., driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, led at the final competition caution on Lap 110 and stayed in front the rest of the way at the half-mile, high-banked track owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart.
Tyler Reddick placed third with Erik Jones fourth and Daniel Hemric fifth.
How Christopher Bell won: The dirt veteran showed his poise as he battled Bobby Pierce much of the night for the lead and held Pierce off on repeated restarts in the final segment. Bell took off on the green-white-checkered restart and cruised to the win.
Who else had a good race: Daniel Hemric, who had never competed on dirt until Wednesday, ran a smooth, steady race to place fifth. … Erik Jones rallied late to place fourth. … Inaugural race winner Austin Dillon finished sixth.
Who had a bad race: Cole Custer, who won at Gateway last month, had his truck damaged in a multi-truck incident early and then later hit the wall hard enough his right front went flat. He placed 29th. … Johnny Sauter damaged his truck after hitting the wall and suffered a right rear flat. He came in for repairs and was held a lap after his crew started to fuel his truck – fueling was only allowed during the two competition cautions. He finished 22nd.
Notable: Former Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, in his first race on dirt, was running in the top 10 when he slid up and slammed the wall and had to pit late for repairs. He placed 28th.
Quote of the night: “(Christopher) Bell did everything right to win the race,’’ runner-up Bobby Pierce told Fox Sports 1. “It was a lot of fun out there.”
Next: The series races Aug. 1 at Pocono Raceway for the Pocono Mountains 150.