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Bell Conquers the Daytona Road Course for First Career Win

Christopher Bell celebrates in Victory Lane after winning on the road course at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. (John Raoux / Associated Press)

26 year old Christopher David Bell from Norman, Oklahoma checked off his first NASCAR Cup Series career win Sunday at Daytona International Speedway (Road Course).

DAYTONA, USA – February 21, 2021 

NASCAR Cup Series traveled to World Center of Racing as the 40-car field challenged Daytona International Road Course’s for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.

Sunday’s race will be the first of seven road course venues in 2021 modified schedule.  Chase Elliott, who is starting on the pole Sunday, won checkers the 2020 inaugural event.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 – Stage 1 recap:

One lap in and we’re already under caution for debris.  The Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell is the first driver — but not the only one — to overshoot Turn 1.

 Kyle Busch seems to have sustained some damage to his front right tire as well.  Both require costly attention to their respectful pit service.

The second caution arrives with five laps remaining in the stage; Brad Keselowski’s car appeared to lock up, resulting in a flat tire. Matt DiBenedetto suffered considerable damage to his car as well.

Christopher Bell is first, coming out of the restart but Elliott reclaims the lead with just three laps remaining in the Stage.

Chase Elliott confidently wins Stage 1

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253Results – Stage 1

1. Elliott

2. Logano

3. Hamlin

4. Keselowski

5. KuBusch

6. Larson

7. Truex

8. ADillon

9. Harvick

10. Buescher

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 – Stage 2 recap:

Elliott, Logano and Hamlin hold the top three positions heading into the restart

Keselowski, 11th, misses the backstretch chicane and had to make a stop. He lost three positions and is now 14th.

Under the fourth caution as Ross Chastain’s car hit the wall coming out of Turn 6. He was 20th at the time the yellow flag waved; Chastain’s day was over.

Lap 13 of 18 in the second stage; most of the field, meanwhile, pits under caution.

Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson take the top three positions in the restart.

Bubba Wallace as well as Martin Truex Jr. locked each car’s in two separate incidents forcing Wallace to pits while Truex Jr. lost multiple positions in the front straight chicane.  While Elliott hit his lines and climbed back to seventh.  Not enough real-estate left in Stage 2 for Elliott to overcome.

Three laps left in Stage 2, Kurt Busch , Martin Truex Jr., battle Hamlin for Stage 2 win. 

Hamlin prevails, wins the marbles, collecting Stage 2 points.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253Results – Stage 2

1. Denny Hamlin

2. KuBusch

3. Logano

4. Bell

5. Truex

6. Elliott

7. Byron

8. Custer

9. Allmendinger

10. KyBusch

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 – Final recap:

Entering into the Final Stage restart, Daniel Suarez, Matt DiBenedetto and Kurt Busch take positions 1-3, respectively. Elliott is at sixth; Hamlin and Bell are fourth and fifth.

Kurt Busch takes over the lead position in Lap 38 only to forfeit the point as Kurt Bush overdrives Turn 3, spinning through the grass resulting in a 25 position deficit.

Elliott benefits and retakes the lead heading into Turn 1.  Elliott comfortably guards in the lead with 23 laps remaining.

Elliott and C.Bell decided to pit with 18 laps remaining and both exiting pit service retaining their respectful positions.

The sixth caution flag of the day was brought out for the weather. NASCAR has left the option of rain tires to be utilized if needed.

Fourteen laps remain. Elliott, Bell and a majority of the field pitted for rain tires. Logano rolled the dice and stayed out.

Logano, Briscoe and Kurt Busch are in the top three heading into the restart, followed by Chris Buescher and Corey LaJoie in fourth and fifth.

Caution No. 7.  Highlights Elliott’s bump in Turn 21 spinning the 2020 Cup Champ in the grass.  Elliott miraculous save, surprisingly advanced him a position.

Aggressive driving with 5 to go resulted with Hamlin tagging Elliott, spinning Elliott  in the grass, once again.  Unfortunately, Elliott would lose too many positions to contend for “Back to Back” Daytona road course victories.

Logano has over a two-second lead on Bell with Kurt Busch, Hamlin and Keselowski in positions 1-5, respectively, 3 to go.

White Flag, Bell powers past Logano on the front stretch chicane for the lead and the checkers.

26 year old Christopher David Bell from Norman, Oklahoma checked off his first NASCAR Cup Series career win at Sunday’s 2021 O’Reily Auto Parts 253 (Daytona RC)

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 – Final Results:

1.Christopher Bell
2.Joey Logano
3.Denny Hamlin
4.Kurt Busch
5.Brad Keselowski
6.Kevin Harvick
7.AJ Allmendinger
8.Michael McDowell
9.Ryan Preece
10.Alex Bowman
11.Chris Buescher
12.Martin Truex Jr.
13.Cole Custer
14.Erik Jones
15.Ryan Blaney
16.Daniel Suarez
17.Aric Almirola
18.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19.Ty Dillon
20.Ryan Newman
21.Chase Elliott
22.Anthony Alfredo
23.James Davison
24.Justin Haley
25.Cody Ware
26.Bubba Wallace
27.Garrett Smithley
28.Scott Heckert
29.Timmy Hill
30.Kyle Larson
31.Corey LaJoie
32.Chase Briscoe
33.William Byron
34.Austin Dillon
35.Kyle Busch
36.Josh Bilicki
37.Matt DiBenedetto
38.Tyler Reddick
39.Ross Chastain
40.Quin Houff

NASCAR Cup Series completes a three-week Sunshine State Swing setting anchors at the Miami-Homestead Speedway whom will host the Dixie Vodka 400, February 28th, 3:30 p.m. E.T.   FOX  /  SXM NASCAR 90

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