NASCAR race results at Martinsville: Bell wins, last four sets

Christopher Bell (20) celebrates at Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Martinsville Speedway, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Martinsville, Va. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Christopher Bell (20) celebrates at Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Martinsville Speedway, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Martinsville, Va. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


Christopher Bell has done it again.

The driver of the No. 20 car, who had a huge points deficit heading into the weekend, was able to move up six places in the final 30 laps after a late restart to claim a monumental victory at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. afternoon to advance to championship 4 of the NASCAR Cup Series.

It was his second straight win of the 2022 playoffs: Bell won a trip to Victory Lane on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course – a place no one expected Bell be – to qualify for the knockout stages earlier this month.

“I think I’ve been praying for the offseason for two of the last four weeks, and now I’m ready to race again,” Bell told reporters at the media center on Sunday, a smile punctuating every sentence. “The Round of 16 was extremely discouraging because I felt like the Round of 16 was going to be really good for us. And that would have led to an eventual championship run.

“But then when we came out of Texas with a DNF (didn’t finish) and Talladega sucked and so depressed – but the team behind me, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, always performed at their most high level. And I feel like every time I get in the car and put my helmet on, I try to do the best I can to not let anything bother me.

He then added: “(My team) gave me a great race car today, the fastest race car today. And just like on the Charlotte road course where we needed to win, it worked for us.

Bell raced in the Top 10 for most of the first two stages and found himself first after a warning on lap 319. Denny Hamlin had dominated until then, but a pit road crash (of a few road crashes pits for Hamlin on Sunday) pushed Hamlin back in the field quite a bit for this particular restart.

Martinsville’s 0.526 mile course didn’t allow for a ton of passing opportunities. And Bell took advantage of it, using that aforementioned lead to his advantage for most of Stage 3.

That said, on the final caution of the race, Bell had to make vital moves to get back up the pack. And he could.

With around 34 laps to go, he made a pit road trip to get some new tyres. This put the #20 car in sixth position. Bell then got up for the moment and finally made a final pass through Chase Briscoe – who, too, needed a win to progress – with five laps to go.

Once Bell got that final lead, he didn’t give it back.

Here’s who else left Martinsville to stay in the hunt for the Cup championship.

Christopher Bell (20) poses with the trophy at Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Martinsville Speedway, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Martinsville, Va. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Chuck Burton PA

Meet your NASCAR Championship 4 drivers

Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford: Logano had locked down his trip to Championship 4 a few weeks ago when he took the checkered flag at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The #22 car finished ninth on Sunday, spending much of its day just racing in the Top 10.

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet: The #9 car didn’t need a perfect result on Sunday, but still came close to having the perfect race. Elliott ran first or second virtually all day – lingering behind Hamlin when he had his reign of dominance in Stage 2 and hanging behind Bell under the green in Stage 3. Late-race mayhem saw him seen finishing in eighth place at Martinsville.

Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Chevrolet: In a move straight out of a racing video game, Chastain broke the wall on the final half-lap and passed Denny Hamlin on the line to earn fourth and final place in the final four. He and Hamlin fought a points duel in the final laps, but Chastain’s late-running flurry pass was the final salvo. Chastain’s move will be talked about for a long time: Knowing that he had to move up a few places on the last lap, he decided to make contact with the wall, take his hands off the steering wheel and press the accelerator to the ground, he said. he later stated. He jumped at least five places on the final lap to finish fifth – and clinch a Championship 4 spot – because of that move.

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota.

Sunday’s Cup race featured eight lead changes in total, six cautions for 53 laps and five different leaders.

After the post-race inspection was completed, NASCAR found a problem, a NASCAR official said: The No. 6 car, driven by fourth-place finisher Brad Keselowski, did not meet minimum weight requirements. The car was disqualified due to the violation.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article included an incomplete list of final Sunday Cup race results. These results have since been deleted.

This story was originally published October 30, 2022 5:51 p.m.

Alex Zietlow writes about NASCAR, Charlotte FC and how the sport intersects with life in the Charlotte area for The Observer, where he has been a reporter since August 2022. Zietlow’s work has also been honored by NC Press Associations and SC. such as APSE, which awarded him top 10 in the Beat Writing and Short Feature categories in its 2021 writing competition. He previously wrote for The Herald at Rock Hill from 2019-22.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *