Christopher Bell held off Brad Keselowski and Ryan Preece over the final 18 laps to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Bell took the lead from Keselowski on the final restart with 18 laps to go. Bell was on four fresh tires while Keselowski was on two.
Keselowski hounded the rear bumper of Bell’s No. 20 Toyota for the last five laps but was unable to make a pass attempt.
“The better tires, they didn’t hurt us that’s for sure,” Bell told NBCSN. “(Crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) was able to put four (tires) on there and, man, we got going there that long green flag run and I was getting really nervous because I didn’t have a (tachometer), so I didn’t really know how I was going to get down pit road, but luckily I’ve got the best spotter on the roof, man, and Tony (Hirschman) was able to kind of guide me and let me know, ‘Alright, I think you can pick it up a little bit,’ and then a couple times he told me to slow it down, so it worked out for us. We were able to take four tires there and that was a big deal.”
It is Bell’s third win of the season and second in a row. He led 93 of 200 laps around the 1-mile track.
The top five was completed by John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Tifft.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Christopher Bell earned his third stage win of the year.
STAGE 2 WINNER: Brad Keselowski
More: Race results, point standings
POST-RACE INSPECTION: NASCAR announced that the cars of Ryan Preece and John Hunter Nemechek failed heights in inspection after the race. Penalties will be announced next week.
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Keselowski led 72 laps and came in second after he had to start from the rear for being late to the driver-crew chief meeting … Matt Tifft earned his second top five of the season … Ryan Preece has finished in the top five in three of five starts this season.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain finished 26th after wrecking by himself on Lap 80 … Ryan Truex was spun by Ryan Reed with six laps to go in Stage 2. The incident also involved Justin Allgaier. Truex finished 13th and Allgaier placed seventh … A wreck involving Chad Finchum and Garrett Smithley caused a caution with 23 laps to go … Austin Cindric wrecked coming to the checkered flag. He finished 17th.
NOTABLE: There was a 7 minutes and 30 second red flag period to fix sand barrels knocked over by Jeremy Clements at the start of pit road with 34 laps to go … After contending up front for much of the race, Daniel Hemric placed 11th, ending a career-best streak of eight straight top 10s.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think we would have won today on four (tires), but that’s not the way it played out.” – Brad Keselowski.
WHAT’S NEXT: U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on July 28 on NBCSN