Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Christopher Bell Disqualified at Chicagoland

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent

Following the Camping World 300 Christopher Bell became the first NASCAR Xfinity Series driver disqualified since 2005.

Bell had finished third at Chicagoland Speedway in his No. 20 Rheem Toyota Supra. He was stripped of his third-place points, stage points, and winnings. Bell is now credited with a 38th-place finish and just one point earned.

In 2005, Johnny Sauter was disqualified from the Spring race at Texas Motor Speedway for an illegal carburetor. No illegal parts were found on Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing machine.

The JGR Toyota Supra failed the height measurements post-race. Both the left front and right front were “extremely low” while the right rear was “a little high.” All of the top-five finishers, and a random finisher, were checked post-race.

The managing director of the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Wayne Auton explained what happened with Bell’s Supra.

“We took the 20 car to impound for finishing third in today’s race. We rolled it up to the inspection station, our guys checked the air pressures. We did our procedure, filled it up with gas. One crew member raised the hood and then they unhooked the shocks.

“They have the opportunity to reach on the front end of the car and ‘bounce’ the car. The 20 car had those opportunities and when they said they were ready to go up on the height sticks. When we put the sticks on the car failed both fronts and the right rear. The height sticks are gospel.”

Prior to rolling the car onto the ramp, the Jason Ratcliff-led team filled the car with fuel, checked tire pressures, and disconnected the shocks in accordance with NASCAR procedure. The team, like others, ‘bounced’ the car until satisfied and then proceeded to the height sticks.

“In the NASCAR Xfinity Series we have a height rule, pre-race and post-race,” Auton detailed. “All of the cars passed before they went onto the racetrack today. In post-race we always take our top-five, plus our random car, to our impound area as soon as the race is over. With our officials, we roll them back to our height station.

“One thing we do in the NASCAR Xfinity Series is that we disconnect the shocks as we do pre-race. That way we’re comparing apples to apples to the pre-race numbers that we see with the post-race. The post-race is opened up, about 1-inch and ¾ and to start the race it’s about 3/8s of an inch.”

Like Ross Chastain and Niece Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series two weeks ago, Bell’s JGR team will have the option to appeal the disqualification.

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.