Christopher Bell finishes off dominant Truck win at Atlanta
By PAUL NEWBERRY
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Christopher Bell held off Matt Crafton on a restart with two laps to go and completed a dominating win Saturday in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Bell started from the pole, took the first two 40-lap stages and passed Crafton for the lead with 16 laps remaining.
The 22-year-old stretched the margin to more than 2 seconds, but Crafton caught a break when Grant Enfinger got into Austin Cindric going through the trioval, sending Cindric into a spin. The incident brought out a yellow flag, setting up a green-white shootout to the checkered flag.
Crafton got a good jump on the outside and briefly stuck a nose in front going down the backstretch. But Bell's truck was simply too strong, allowing him to reclaim the lead and cruise to a 0.447-second victory, his third career Truck Series triumph.
"I was just trying to do everything I could to make sure I got a good restart," Bell said. "It was really fast all weekend, just a dream machine."
Crafton, a two-time series champion, did all he could to pick up his 14th career victory.
But the outside spot proved to be challenging on the restarts all day.
"I could hear (Bell) down there spinning his tires," Crafton said. "I was like, `Keep spinning, Chris.' Then we would've had a shot."
Busch, coming off a victory in the Xfinity Series race earlier in the day, failed to complete a sweep of the Atlanta doubleheader. He cut a tire on a restart, skidded into the wall and wound up 26th.
His young teammate's performance made that disappointment easier to take.
Updated March 4, 2017