U.S. Cellular 250

Results, points after Xfinity race at Iowa

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Chase Briscoe lived up to his name, chasing Christopher Bell for much of the race, before finally passing Bell for the lead and held on for the final seven laps to win Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

While Bell led a race- and career-high 234 laps out of the scheduled 250 circuits around the 7/8-mile oval, Briscoe remained patient and methodical – even after an earlier pit road penalty for driving over an air gun – and never gave up on the prospect that he could still win.

MORE: Chase Briscoe passes Christopher Bell late for Iowa Xfinity win

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

It was Briscoe’s first win of 2019 and the second of his Xfinity Series career (he also won last year on the Roval at Charlotte).

Bell finished second, while John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five.

Click here for the race results.

Points

Tyler Reddick continues to lead the Xfinity Series point standings, although runner-up Christopher Bell closed Reddick’s lead from 56 to 46 points.

Cole Custer remains in third, but his late race wreck cost him, dropping from 76 points behind Reddick after last week’s race at New Hampshire to 97 points after Saturday’s race at Iowa.

The top five of the standings is rounded out by Justin Allgaier (-153 points) and Austin Cindric (-207), who also had a rough race, crashing early and finishing 37th.

Click here for the updated Xfinity standings.

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

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Dillon Bassett was in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time in Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

With 28 laps to go, Bassett was among several cars that tried to make it to pit road for what would likely be the final pit stop of the race.

While the other cars made it onto pit road without incident, Bassett did not, as his Chevrolet ran into the rear of a track sweeper that had been clearing up track drying powder near the entrance to pit road.

There was some smoke coming out of the rear of the sweeper just before impact that may have obscured Dillon’s vision.

Bassett finished 26th.

MORE: Chase Briscoe passes Christopher Bell late for Iowa Xfinity win

MORE: Results, points after Xfinity race at Iowa

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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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Tonight’s Xfinity race at Iowa: Start time, lineup and more

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The Xfinity Series is back at Iowa Speedway this weekend for its second trip of the season to the short track.

How long can Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick‘s stranglehold on victory lane last?

Here’s all the info you need for today’s U.S. Cellular 250.

(All times are Eastern)

START:  The command to start engines will be given at 5:25 p.m. by U.S. Cellular Customers Eric Brecke, Mark Jones and Kent Carson. Green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:32 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage opens at 8:30 a.m. Qualifying is at 12:05 p.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 3:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 4:45 p.m. The invocation will be given at 5:17 p.m. by Matt Sanford. Abbie Callahan will perform the National Anthem at 5:18 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 250 laps (218.75 miles) around the 7/8-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 4:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: Wunderground.com forecasts a temperature of 87 degrees with a 20% chance of precipitation at the race start time

LAST TIME: Christopher Bell won the June race over and Cole Custer. Bell won this race last year over Justin Allgaier.

STARTING LINEUP:

Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe on front row for Iowa Xfinity race

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Christopher Bell captured the pole for this afternoon’s U.S. Cellular 250 Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Bell covered the 7/8-mile oval at 132.855 mph. Bell has won the last two Xfinity races at Iowa, including this past June 16 (and also last season on June 17, 2018).

Chase Briscoe, the final driver to make a qualifying run, was second-fastest at 132.676 mph.

Brandon Jones was third-fastest (132.436 mph), followed by Riley Herbst (132.225 mph) and Justin Allgaier (132.026 mph).

Sixth through 10th were Cole Custer (131.992 mph), Shane Lee (131.932 mph), Austin Cindric (131.849 mph), Michael Annett (131.716 mph) and Ryan Sieg (131.573 mph).

Series points leader Tyler Reddick (131.551 mph) qualified 11th.

The race will take the green flag shortly after 5 p.m. ET and will be televised on NBCSN.

There were two incidents of note during the session.

A steering wheel that the crew uses to steer the car from the grid onto pit road fell off the roof of Morgan Shepherd’s car when he took to the racetrack. To be clear, it was not the steering wheel Shepherd used in the car.

I’ll make sure it’s actually connected to the steering shift, not on the roof of the car,” fellow competitor Tyler Reddick told NBCSN. “It’s kind of funny, it’s not something you see every day, but that could easily happen to anyone.”

A few moments later, the No. 17 Chevrolet of Mark Meunier spun and backed into the outside wall, suffering significant damage and was unable to qualify for the race.

Click here for full qualifying results.

Click here for the full starting grid. 

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