Special contributor Bob Priddy:
Christopher Bell, one of NASCAR’s young guns, has won his first Cup race, passing former NASCAR champion Joey Logano with just over a lap to go to claim the trophy in the series’ first points race on the Daytona road course.
He joins last week’s Daytona 500 winner, Michael McDowell, in claiming a first career Cup victory in the first two races of the season, a circumstance that last occurred in 1950.
The race featured eight leaders, eight cautions, a rain shower on part of the course that did not stop the race, and numerous off-course excursions and bumps and bangs on the tight corners of the infield road course part of the famous track.
Bell ran down Logano on the chicane just before the start/finish line and passed him to take the white flag, signaling one laps to go. He extended his lead to win by 2.1 seconds. Denny Hamlin was third, followed by Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski. McDowell finished eighth.
Last year’s NASCAR champion, Chase Elliott led 45 of the 70 laps as he tried to win his sixth straight road race but spun into the infield with six laps to go and finished 21st.
NASCAR remains in Florida next week, running at Miami Speedway.