For the second week in a row, Daytona International Speedway produced a first-time winner in the NASCAR Cup series.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell was honored on the track when he took the lead from Joey Logano with two laps to go and secured a comfortable 2.119-second win over the 2018 series champions.
MORE: Highlights from Sunday’s Daytona road race
Bell, 26, is the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and this is his second season at the highest level, his first drive for the Gibbs championship organization. However, his work Sunday was more like a veteran. In the decreasing laps there were eight warning flags, eight race directors and lots of action.
Below is more of Bell’s win, as well as the full results of Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on the Daytona Road Course.
Who won the NASCAR race yesterday?
Christopher Bell moved around Joey Logano in the chicane just before the white flag and slightly extended the lead to win his first career trophy in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“This is definitely one of the highlights of my life so far,” said a smiling Bell after climbing off the roof of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota No. 20, where he displayed the No. 1 sign in the stands.
Bell’s pass for the win brought an exciting and thrilling final dozen laps. Defending race winner and reigning serial champion Chase Elliott led the best 45 laps of the race but was caught in heavy traffic with 15 laps remaining after his final pit stop. He won the first stage and finished fifth after moving back up with six laps to go while spinning in the infield – a victim of a chain reaction collision in what was then the Fender-to-Fender race. He ended up coming home 21st and took a streak of four road racing victories.
NASCAR results in Daytona
Behind Bell and Logano, Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Denny Hamlin finished third, followed by Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.
Kevin Harvick, AJ Allmendinger, last week’s Daytona 500 winner, Michael McDowell – also a first-time winner – Ryan Preece and Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10. This is the third time in the history of the NASCAR Cup Series that a season has started with two first. Time winners participating in the opening seasons of 1949 and 1950.
With his first win, Bell now ranks fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series ranking. Hamlin, who won the second stage, will lead the championship next Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) 12 points ahead of Logano at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Dixie Vodka 400.
Below are the full results of Sunday’s race over the Daytona Road Course.
|12.||Martin Truex Jr.|
|18th||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
Holly Cain writes for the NASCAR Wire Service.