Bell survives multiple setbacks to win the Camping World Truck Series race

The Camping World Truck Series drivers were racing for the 20th time here in the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway after a three-hour delayed start due to rain. The qualifying session had been rained off, and so drivers started in order of owner points.

Drivers would have to tackle a slick track following a touch-up repave that happened late last year and it was certainly going to make for some interesting racing. On the pole was Johnny Sauter, but the race winner would be the driver starting in second – Christopher Bell – in his third victory this season.

Johnny Sauter was the driver to try to catch as he led most of the first Stage until the first caution came out for Mills who lost control of his truck and span out with 14 laps to go in Stage one. Many drivers hit pit road ahead of the end of Stage caution and Bell actually had a lug nut stuck on his front-right tyre during this pit stop. His crew chief was reported to have said “let’s just get all the bad luck out of the way now.” Little did they know just how accurate that would turn out to be at the end of this race.

We saw a crazy three-wide restart on lap 9 when Bell’s bad luck continued and he span out from 20th position after he was sandwiched between Brandon Jones and Cindric. He had to return to pit road for fresh tyres. Sauter sacrificed his lead position to head down pit road during this caution as well, and eventually it was Ben Rhodes who won the first Stage in his first Stage win this season.

Immediately after the start of Stage two, four trucks were involved in a wreck when Rhodes turned up into Christopher Bell. Rhodes span around, caught his teammate Enfinger and also collected Crafton and TJ Bell. With three to go in Stage two, Bell made a mistake, got loose and dropped a couple of spots down to seventh and finished the Stage in sixth. Just like Rhodes, there was another first when Gragson won his first Stage this season in Stage two.

Christopher Bell got a great restart at the beginning of the Stage and built up a good early lead just as another caution came out for Gragson. He got too low on the track and jumped up the hill into Cindric. Bell dominated restart but lost the top spot a few laps later to JH Nemechek whilst working through lap traffic.

Lap 107 saw Snider go sideways from 11th and bring out another caution. Upon the restart Truex and Grala were involved in a wreck just as Bell resumed the lead and another yellow flag came out. Bell stayed in front after the restart with 32 laps to go and defended the spot well, ahead of Brandon Jones who wasn’t letting Bell get away. Bell clung onto the lead impressively and went on to win the race.

This win by Bell just goes to show how a set of unfortunate events don’t necessarily equate to final track position for these drivers. Perhaps it’s also testament to the determination and grit that drivers display week after week.

That level of persistence takes a great amount of mental strength, plus a good team who’ll be there with guidance and support. Bell’s victory goes to show how resilient he is and how much potential he has at such a young age. Bell and the other drivers consistently show a lot of promise and it’ll be exciting to watch them continue to grow, achieve and succeed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and beyond.

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