Christopher Bell showed that he had lots of speed in qualifying Saturday (May 25) at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race was more of the same.
Unfortunately, Bell fell victim to debris on the track. That debris cut his right front tire and put Bell’s Rheem Toyota into the wall in turn 1. The crash was actually the second time that Bell hit debris on Saturday. Toward the end of stage one, he hit the same piece of debris in turn 4 that damaged the nose of Cole Custer‘s Ford.
The No. 20 Toyota was significantly damaged in the incident, which also saw teammate Brandon Jones smack the wall. While Jones was able to continue with repairs and stay on the lead lap, the damage was simply too great for Bell to continue. Bell was not too happy afterward.
“No, not at all,” Bell replied outside the infield care center when asked about whether he had any warning of his tire deflating. “We were pretty tight in the first stage, but in the second stage, we were loose.”
Bell is fine after his crash, just frustrated. He entered the race second in points, 23 behind Tyler Reddick. The DNF and a 31st-place finish will cost Bell a significant amount of points, but he’s already locked into the playoffs thanks to his multiple victories. However, the pain won’t be quite as great since Bell won stage one before crashing out.