Christopher Bell Wins Rain-Delayed NASCAR Race in New Hampshire

Christopher Bell triumphs in a rain-delayed NASCAR race in New Hampshire, leading from lap 242 and securing his third win of the season.

Christopher Bell won NASCAR’s Marathon Cup Series race in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Bell won the weather-delayed race ahead of Chase Briscoe and Josh Berry, who were all riding on rain tyres. Due to NASCAR’s desire to resume the race as soon as possible after the rain delay of two hours, the last lap of the race was conducted on rain tyres.

Entire 301 laps of racing were planned, and Bell led the entire distance after taking the lead on lap 242. Two flags flew for spins in the final ten planned laps, but he held the lead for the remaining 64 laps.

After Brad Keselowski spun with fewer than three laps remaining, the race took almost six hours to finish, involving 305 laps. His spin followed the race’s penultimate yellow when, in the chase for second place behind Bell, Michael McDowell eliminated Ryan Blaney with nine circuits remaining.

NASCAR’s Rain Tyre Strategy Creates Confusion

NASCAR's Rain Tyre Strategy Creates Confusion
NASCAR’s Rain Tyre

Bell’s automobile was excellent even before it started to rain. After starting second, he led a race-high 149 laps, with no other driver leading more than 53. Bell has now won three times this season, including the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 and a victory in Phoenix in the spring.

It was the second time this season that rain tyres were used for a portion of a Cup Series race. This spring, NASCAR stopped the Richmond race so that teams could change to slick tyres after the race began with teams using rain tyres.

Additionally, NASCAR handled wet tyres in a heavy-handed manner similar to Richmond. Teams were only allowed to switch sets of rain tyres when NASCAR gave permission, and they were not authorized to switch to slick tyres even if they thought the track was sufficiently dry.

The race came to an unclear conclusion due to NASCAR’s tyre policies. Some teams sought to switch to new rain tyres when Ross Chastain raised the first caution following the red flag. NASCAR made them put back on their old set of wet tyres after they completed their pit stops.

The track dried up and chewed up the treaded tyres, so NASCAR then let teams swap out rain tyres twice before the race was over. The pit stops, however, were non-competitive, so drivers returned to the track in the same spot they had been in when the caution flag flew.

If the race had been stopped at lap 219, Tyler Reddick would have won for the second time this year. When he failed to pit at the end of the second stage, Reddick took the lead after he did so on lap 156. Before it started to rain, a flurry of cautions to open the third stage helped keep Reddick leading.

That rush of caution was a precursor to things to come. Six cautions were issued for events that occurred in the last 70 laps of the race, which was resumed on a soggy track. There were fourteen cautions in all. Since 2002, that is the most at a race in New Hampshire.

Rough Day for Kyle Busch

During the first lap of the race, Kyle Busch who had started thirty-first was immediately passed. From then on nothing much improved. Busch’s day ended immediately after the red flag, although he was technically engaged in two cautions and participated in three spins or crashes.

On lap 155, Busch made contact with Noah Gragson and then struck the wall, resulting in the first collision. Busch spun out on lap 217 on the backstretch, just before the rain stopped the race.

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