NXS: Christopher Bell wins Playoff Opener at Richmond Featured

Rex Christensen
September 22, 2018

Sports Group surrounds the second race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Round of 16, with more than 15 hours of trackside coverage this week from Richmond Raceway, in Richmond, Va. Harvick edged hometown favorite Denny Hamlin for the top spot.

By HANK KURZ Jr.

. Although he's never won a national series championship, he's finished second in Xfinity points four times and ended no worse than sixth in each of the past seven seasons.

Harvick turned a lap at 121.880 miles per hour on Friday to edge hometown favorite Denny Hamlin, whose best lap came at 121.847 miles per hour in qualifying for the second race of NASCAR's 10-race playoffs. After several years as the last opportunity for drivers to qualify for the 10-race playoffs, Saturday night's race marks the first time Richmond is part of the playoffs.

"We didn't really fall off".

" And Kelley have meant so much to me, and my career these last few years, nearly a rejuvenation of life", Sadler said. "But I don't know, we didn't have the vehicle at the end, restarting on the outside's kind of tough, just didn't have what we needed right there at the end, but I'm glad we got to lead a lot of laps and we ran real good for all the people that came to watch us".

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Despite not prepping for qualifying, Harvick said he expected to run well.

That energy may have gotten the better of him when he spoke with NBCSN after the race. On a night when series points leader Justin Allgaier crashed with about 25 laps to go, winding up 32nd, Bell also took the points lead with six playoff races to go. Erik Jones and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.

"I feel like if there's any racetrack that I have an advantage at, it's this one", he said. "I wish we could come here honestly and have a mediocre race and continue to move on, but I don't mind this either". And as he noted in that same interview, he's probably going to run at least one more Xfinity race next year.

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