DOVER, Del. — Christopher Bell set an Xfinity Series rookie record Saturday with his sixth victory, winning the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway.
DOVER, Del. – Christopher Bell won the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway, where the Xfinity Series playoff field was sliced from 12 to eight drivers Saturday.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who also won the first-round opener at Richmond Raceway, set a series rookie record with his sixth victory, breaking a mark he previously shared with Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.
“It’s been a career year for me,” Bell told NBCSN. “All credit to Joe Gibbs Racing. We have really fast race cars every time I go to the racetrack.”
Ross Chastain just missed advancing by three points, falling out of contention as Matt Tifft gained four points over the final 25 laps after the last restart. The final caution flew after Chastain bumped Tifft into Chase Briscoe, who skidded up the track and into the SAFER barrier. Tifft rallied when the race returned to green, making enough passes to advance.
Chastain had entered the playoffs as a major underdog despite scoring his first career win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Chip Ganassi Racing. He returned to his underfunded JD Motorsports ride the past two races but still was in the hunt to advance through the checkered flag at Dover.
“Too many mistakes on my part,” said Chastain, who was penalized for speeding on his final stop. “But I’m not sorry at all. This is awesome. I don’t apologize for what I do on the racetrack. I bring my friends with me. We’ve got a lot to be proud about.”
Tifft hit Chastain’s car on the cooldown lap but claimed afterward that it was by accident.
“He was doing what he had to do,” Tifft said. “I just ended up on the receiving end of it on that time. I had to force my way through a couple cars toward the end to make sure we advanced.
“Of course, I’m upset because I’m on the receiving side. This is why we have the playoffs because it creates that excitement and intensity. It’s going to happen to one of us.”
Hemric led the 20 laps, won the second stage and was in the running for his first career win before a speeding penalty during the caution after Stage 2 dropped him to 19th with 104 laps to go. The Richard Childress Racing driver finished seventh.
“That’s unacceptable,” Hemric, who also was penalized for speeding last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, told NBCSN. “I’ve got a lot of things to clean up on my end.”
Stage 1 winner: Christopher Bell
Stage 2 winner: Daniel Hemric
What’s next: Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway, 3 p.m., Oct. 20 on NBC
DOVER, Del. – Daniel Hemric won the pole for today’s Xfinity race at Dover International Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN). It’s his third pole of the season.
Today’s race will eliminate four drivers from the Xfinity playoffs.
The Xfinity Series has its first elimination race of the season with four drivers facing the end of their playoff hopes. Austin Cindric, Ryan Truex, Ryan Reed and Brandon Jones enter the race below the cutoff line.
Here is all the info for today’s race:
(All times are Eastern)
START: Mike Cote, Bar Harbor President and CEO, will give the command to start engines at 3:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:14 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (200 miles) around the 1-mile oval.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 8 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1:15 p.m. Qualifying is at 12:05 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:30 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Nikki Briar will perform the anthem at 3:01 p.m.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green on NBCSN. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for cloudy skies with a high of 72 degrees and a 6 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup
Under misty conditions, Justin Allgaier posted the fastest single lap of 153.446 mph in final practice. He also paced the field in the first session.
He beat Cole Custer (153.440 mph) by only .001 seconds.
Bell had the quickest 10-lap average with a speed of 152.037 mph.
Drivers under the cutoff line who need to find a little more speed are Brandon Jones (152.342) with the ninth fastest time, Ryan Truex (151.515) with the 14th fastest time and Ryan Reed (151.356) with the 16th fastest time. Reed was the slowest playoff eligible driver in this session.
Justin Allgaier posted the fastest lap in the first practice session for the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover with a speed of 154.712 mph. He enters the Round 1 elimination race at Dover 11 points above the cutoff line.
Allgaier beat second-place Tyler Reddick (154.195) by .078 seconds.
Cole Custer (153.748), Daniel Hemric (153.597) and Christopher Bell (153.590) rounded out the top five.
Ryan Preece had the quickest 10-lap average of this session with a speed of 152.041 mph.
The four playoff drivers below the cutoff line are Brandon Jones (153.152) with the eighth fastest speed. Austin Cindric (153.126) was ninth, Ryan Truex (151.675) was 15th and Ryan Reed (151.350) was 16th.