By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
CONCORD, N.C. – After he had the dominant car at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Christopher Bell’s Alsco 300 came to an abrupt end on lap 88.
Bell’s No. 20 Rheem Toyota Supra slammed the outside wall in turn two while running second just laps from the end of the second stage. He limped his Joe Gibbs Racing machine around the track in an attempt to stay on the lead lap. The right front tire shredded the fender before Bell made it to pit road.
A half a lap after Bell bounced off the wall, his JGR teammate Brandon Jones also bounced off of the wall. The team blamed debris on track for flat Goodyear tires that led to the contact with the wall.
“I felt like my balance was really good,” Bell explained. “My car was running good there. I had no warning of blowing a right front. I was actually a little bit loose that entire run. I guess we ran something over. I pile drove the fence and then rolling down the back straightaway I saw my teammate do it there too. Bummer, but we had a really fast Rheem Supra today.”
When Bell’s team attempted to make repairs, they found that the right front had burst into flames from melted rubber on the hot brakes. The damage was too great, and the winner of the first stage was out of the race on lap 90. Bell will finish 31st.
Bell bounced off the wall on the first lap of the race. However, that damage was minimal. Bell’s team repaired the damage between the first and second pages. In total, he led 33 laps at the 1.5-mile track.
This marks his first DNF since ISM Raceway where the Norman, OK native also crashed out of the race. The 31st-place finish is the worst finish for Bell so far this season.