For the second week in a row, Daytona International Speedway produced an inaugural NASCAR Cup Series winner.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell took the honor on the road course of the track, taking the lead from Joey Logano two laps from the finish and securing a comfortable 2.119 second victory over the 2018 Series champion.
MORE: Highlights from Sunday’s Road Race in Daytona
Bell, 26, is the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and this is his second season at the first level, his first drive for the organization of the Gibbs Championship. His Sunday job, however, was more reminiscent of a veteran. There were eight warning flags, eight race leaders and plenty of action on the descending laps.
More information on Bell’s victory can be found below, as well as the full results of Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona Road Course.
Who won the NASCAR race yesterday?
Christopher Bell rounded Joey Logano in the chicane a few yards before the white flag and easily stretched his head to win his first career NASCAR Cup Series trophy.
“It’s definitely one of the highlights of my life so far,” said a smiling Bell after stepping off the roof of his No.20 Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing, where he flashed the No.1 sign. on the stands.
Bell’s pass to the win capped a final dozen thrilling and suspenseful laps. Reigning race winner and defending Series champion Chase Elliott led a record 45, but got caught in heavy traffic after his last pit stop with 15 laps to go. He won Stage 1 and was fifth after coming back to the front with six laps to go when he sped into the infield – victim of a chain reaction collision in the wing-to-guard race – mud at the time. He finally came in 21st, achieving a four-game winning streak in road racing.
NASCAR results at Daytona
Behind Bell and Logano, Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin finished third, followed by Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.
Kevin Harvick, AJ Allmendinger, last week’s Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell – also first-time winner – Ryan Preece and Alex Bowman round out the top 10. This is the third time in NASCAR Cup Series history , a season began with two first-time winners, joining the inaugural seasons of 1949 and 1950.
With his first victory, Bell is now ranked fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. Hamlin, who won Stage 2, leads the championship by 12 points over Logano to the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway next Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Here are the full results of Sunday’s Daytona Road Course.
|12.||Martin Truex Jr.|
|18.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
Holly Cain writes for the NASCAR Wire Service.