Ryan Repko

Chase Briscoe passes Christopher Bell late for Iowa Xfinity win

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Chase Briscoe stopped Christopher Bell’s two-race winning streak at Iowa Speedway, capturing Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250.

It was the second career Xfinity win for the 24-year-old Briscoe, a native of Mitchell, Indiana, first in 2019. He bounced back from a penalty for running over an air gun on pit road earlier in the race.

“I just can’t believe it,” Briscoe told NBCSN. “When I ran over the hose, I was worried.

“It’s nice, for sure, to kind of silence everybody. We definitely still aren’t near where we need to be but I feel like we’ve been way closer, especially these last couple of weeks. We still have to get better if we’re going to beat the big 3 (Tyler Reddick, Bell and Cole Custer), but I feel like we’re slowly getting into the conversation to be that fourth guy.”

Bell, who had won at Iowa this past June, as well as last July, led a race- and career-high 234 laps. But Briscoe grabbed the lead away from Bell late in the race on Lap 244 and led the final seven laps to take the checkered flag.

“That was tough, to be able to hold him off for as long as I did and not win the race,” Bell told NBCSN. “This car was super, super fast today.”

MORE: Results, points after Iowa race

MORE: Dillon Bassett’s car runs into track sweeper in Iowa Xfinity race

Bell has now finished first twice and second two other times in his last four starts at Iowa.

“It’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said Bell, who was seeking his sixth win of the season in Saturday’s race. “I tried to chase him (Briscoe) into the corner. Maybe I could have opened my entry and tried to turn down, looking back at it. He did a good job, he won the race and we had a great race car.”

Bell finished second, followed by John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Tyler Reddick.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Justin Allgaier, Shane Lee, Justin Haley, Zane Smith and Michael Annett.

Stage 1 winner: Christopher Bell (series-leading 11th stage win)

Stage 2 winner: Christopher Bell (12th stage win)

Who had a good race: Even though he finished second after dominating almost the entire race, Christopher Bell had one of his most impressive performances of the season, including leading a career-high 234 laps. … John Hunter Nemechek battled Bell for the lead several times in the final stage, including leading six laps, before finishing a still very impressive third.

Who had a bad race: Cole Custer suffered his fourth DNF of the season when his car unexpectedly and sharply veered right and into the outside wall with 86 laps to go in the race. Custer finished 29th. “I honestly couldn’t exactly tell you,” Custer told NBCSN when asked what happened. “I got really loose going into three and guess I over corrected it into the fence. … I’m really frustrated. I hate that we’re out (of the race).”

Notable: The series now has three road course events in the next four scheduled races.

What’s next: Zippo 200 at The Glen, Saturday August 3 (3 p.m. ET on NBC), Watkins Glen International

 

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