Christopher Bell won his first-ever NASCAR Cup race at the Daytona road course. The man was chasing Joey Logano for the race lead at the time, with two laps to go. Soon, it became a game of cat and mouse between the Joe Gibbs and the Penske cars. While all this was going on, Denny Hamlin was hanging back in third place and waiting for a Busch Clash repeat.
However, Bell began to make serious inroads on the #22 car after exiting Turn 3. By the exit of the second loop, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was right on Logano’s tail. Then, things went wrong for the latter as he hit a damp patch on the track and nearly lost control.
On the bright side for Logano, Christopher Bell could not capitalize on this and had to settle for second for now. As it turned out, the JGR driver also hit a wet patch and understeered a little. Upon exiting the Bus Stop sequence, they were literally bumper-to-bumper, before Bell went around the outside.
The two were side-by-side when heading into the final chance sequence, and Bell managed to slip ahead. This was a little easier for him because Logano’s brakes were fading already. From there, the #20 driver had to switch from attack to defence, as the final lap began.
Speaking about it, he said, “That last lap was pretty surreal. All race long, I felt like I was trying to do my best job of not screwing up. Hit my marks, not overdrive into the corners. When I got by the #22 car by the white flag, I knew that I was faster than him.”
Logano’s brakes were red hot, and he was clearly struggling to get the car stopped. However, Bell was not out of the woods just yet, as he ran wide and allowed Logano to creep in closer. In the end, it was too little, too late for the Penske man, as Christopher Bell seized a maiden win.