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Christopher Bell claims 7th NASCAR Cup Series win, victorious at Shriners Children’s 500

© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

During a sunny day in the Desert, Joe Gibbs Racing team driver Christopher Bell achieved the first of many feats in his young NASCAR career.

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Bell, 29, won the Shriners Children’s 500 at Phoenix Raceway, his seventh NASCAR Cup Series victory.

In the #20 Toyota Camry, Bell took advantage of Denny Hamlin spinning out for the final caution on lap 214 and Martin Truex Jr. running out of fuel. There were three cautions 20 laps apart.

Hamlin and Tyler Reddick were competing for the lead before Hamlin’s blunder helped Truex overtake both from third. Multiple drivers pitted during this instance, including Bell.

After that third caution, it was free-flowing racing until the checkered flag was waving in the air when Bell passed each car on the road to the victory. He did have a slow pit stop in the second stage but recollected some ground as the race progressed.

Truex had to head towards pit road with 41 laps remaining, giving Bell the lead until he crossed the finish line about six seconds in front of Chris Buescher who finished second. Fellow JGR teammate of Bell’s Ty Gibbs grabbed third, Brad Keselowski was fourth and the reigning Cup Series champion in Phoenix Ryan Blaney concluded in fifth.

Overall, Joe Gibbs Racing had a dominant day, to say the least. Four of their drivers led 231 of the 312 laps in the Shriners Children’s 500. Hamlin led 69 laps, the most by any racer who competed. Gibbs had 57, Truex had 55 and Bell had 50.

With Bell’s win, this was the first race in 2024 that a Toyota car won. So far in the Cup Series, Chevrolet drivers have been victorious, with William Byron (Daytona 500), Daniel Suárez (Ambetter Health 400) and Kyle Larson (Pennzoil 400) crowned champions of their respective races.

The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Food City 500 in Bristol, Tennessee on March 17.

NASCAR Cup Series leader Kyle Larson riding high into Phoenix

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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