Bell cruised to victory at Phoenix in the Cup race, bringing home the win for Toyota and putting an end to Chevrolet’s winning streak.

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Bell cruises to Phoenix Cup win for Toyota, ends Chevy streak

Bell, a formidable contender who had made it to the Championship 4 last season with hopes of seizing the series title at Phoenix, faced an early setback when he experienced a blown brake rotor in the recent race, effectively ruling him out of contention right from the beginning.

Nevertheless, displaying remarkable resilience, Bell orchestrated a stunning comeback on Sunday. Not only did he clinch victory in Stage 2 after an impressive rally, but he also demonstrated his skill by charging from the 20th position to snatch the lead after the final pit stop.

His dominance was evident as he comfortably maintained his position, crossing the finish line 5.465 seconds ahead of Chris Buescher, securing his first win of the 2024 season.

This triumph halted Chevrolet’s three-race winning streak at the start of the season and marked a significant victory for Toyota, a manufacturer that had previously struggled at the track with only 15 laps led in the last four races. Bell’s exceptional performance saw him lead for a total of 50 laps during the event.

Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell (Credits: Getty Images)

At a crucial juncture in the race, Bell made a strategic decision to pit on lap 218 out of 312, capitalizing on the final caution period.

While the top nine contenders opted to stay out, Bell, armed with fresh tires and ample fuel, seized the opportunity to reclaim the lead. He maintained his position for the rest of the race, leading for the final 41 laps and clinching a well-deserved victory.

Bell’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, Ty Gibbs, secured third place, followed by Brad Keselowski in fourth and Ryan Blaney in fifth. The top 10 was rounded out by Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr., Michael McDowell, Chase Briscoe, and Tyler Reddick.

Reflecting on his win, Bell credited the collective effort of his team, commending the outstanding performance of his No. 20 car. He expressed confidence in their ability to replicate such performances throughout the season, hoping that this victory would mark the beginning of many more to come.

The race witnessed several dramatic moments, including Derek Kraus’s early spin, which involved Austin Dillon and Austin Cindric, ultimately prematurely ending Cindric’s race.

In Stage 2, Bell showcased his dominance by overtaking Reddick and clinching the stage win, his first of the 2024 season. The final stage saw intense battles, with Hamlin initially leading before a series of incidents shuffled the standings. Despite challenges, Bell’s strategic pit stops and impressive driving ultimately secured his victory.

As the race drew to a close, Bell’s lead remained unchallenged, with Buescher settling for second place more than six seconds behind. Bell’s triumph marked a remarkable comeback, highlighting his status as a formidable contender in the 2024 NASCAR season.

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