Christopher Bell opened the Xfinity Series playoffs with a win in Friday night’s race at Richmond Raceway.
Bell took the lead from Matt Tifft on a restart with 14 laps to go and didn’t look back, as he beat Ross Chastain, Daniel Hemric, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tifft.
The win is the fifth for Bell this year and the first in seven races. He completes a sweep of the season’s races at Richmond. It’s also his first win from the pole.
“It’s not very often that you get to win with a car that’s not a winning car, we’ll take it,” Bell told NBCSN. “Man, I’m just pumped.”
Earnhardt, who made his first NASCAR start since retiring from full-time Cup competition 10 months ago, led a race-high 96 laps and won Stage 2.
“It got my expectations all messed up,” Earnhardt told NBCSN. “I was like, ‘Dang, I got to win now.’ We didn’t have the car at the end. Restarting on the outside is kind of tough. … We’ll try to do another one next year and see where we go.”
Elliott Sadler finished sixth in his last start at his home track.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Hemric
STAGE 2 WINNER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
MORE: Results, point standings
WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Ross Chastain placed second after having to start from the rear for unapproved adjustments. It was his third and final scheduled start for Chip Ganassi Racing … Ryan Reed placed 10th after also starting from the rear for unapproved adjustments. It’s his first top 10 in six races.
WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Ty Majeski wrecked with three laps left in Stage 2 following contact with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ryan Reed. It’s the 11th DNF for the No. 60 team this season due to a wreck … Katherine Legge placed 28th after causing two cautions in the final stage … No. 1 seed Justin Allgaier wrecked out from contact with Cole Custer on a restart with 25 laps to go.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT No. 1: “That’s the first stage win of my career.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning Stage 2.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT No. 2: “To be the last time on this track, I don’t have a win, but I have a lot of great memories here.” – Elliott Sadler, who competed in his last race at his home track.
WHAT’S NEXT: Drive for the Cure 200 on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval at 3 p.m. ET Sept. 29 on NBCSN.