NASCAR race recap: Christopher Bell wins USA TODAY 301 New Hampshire after rain delay (2024)

LOUDON, N.H. — Christopher Bell outlasted the rain, darkness, repeated cautions and the rest of the field to win the 2024 USA TODAY 301 NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Bell, who also won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, stood victorious in a race that lasted more than six hours after a rain delay that lasted 134 minutes and 14 cautions.

It marked Bell’s second win in five career starts at New Hampshire. He is now second in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with eight races remaining in the regular season.

Bell also won the first stage of the race after overtaking polesitter Chase Elliott on lap 43. Denny Hamlin then found the lead to end Stage 2, but heavy rain entered the track during the last stage and the field was equalized.

Drivers were forced onto wet tires for the last 80 or so laps that saw several spin-outs and wrecks due to tricky conditions.

Chase Briscoe finished second, Josh Berry came home third, Kyle Larson was fourth and Chris Buescher fifth.

More:Details and driver profiles for the USA TODAY 301 NASCAR race

Results: USA TODAY 301 NASCAR Cup Series race

Here are the top 10 finishers Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (starting position in parentheses):

  1. Christopher Bell (4), No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota
  2. Chase Briscoe (23), No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford
  3. Josh Berry (10), No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford
  4. Kyle Larson (19), No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet
  5. Chris Buescher (15), No. 17 RFK Racing, Ford
  6. Tyler Reddick (12), No. 45 23XI Racing, Toyota
  7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (13), No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet
  8. John Hunter Nemechek (28), No. 42 Legacy Motor Club, Toyota
  9. Martin Truex Jr. (7), No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota
  10. Ross Chastain (8), No. 1 Trackhouse Racing, Chevrolet

Bubba Wallace involved in multi-car wreck

Another lap, another caution flag.

Noah Gragson lost control of his No. 10 Ford and collected the cars of both Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace to produce a 10th caution flag at the 2024 USA TODAY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Wallace was forced to retire.

It has been a tumultuous race filled with collisions, spin-outs and weather delays. Christopher Bell leads the pack from Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson.

USA TODAY 301 race restarts in New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — We are back underway in Loudon. Tyler Reddick leads the pack at the 2024 USA TODAY 301 race with less than 80 laps remaining at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The race had been delayed for two hours and 14 minutes due to inclement weather. Crews worked to clear the track of standing water and teams switched cars to wet-weather ties, which are relatively new to NASCAR.

Moments before the race restarted, two-time NASCAR Series champion Kyle Busch, who was already having a rough day after multiple incidents, slammed into the outside wall under caution coming out of Turn 3. Busch had enough, climbing out of his Chevrolet and getting into the NASCAR safety truck as another truck towed his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing car off the track.

NASCAR trying to get New Hampshire race going again

LOUDON, N.H. — After a significant amount of rainfall at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, team crews and NASCAR staff are trying to get "The Magic Mile" back in racing shape to complete the USA TODAY 301.

Teams do have wet-weather tires available, and race officials have told teams to prepare the cars to use them. However, there is still a significant amount of water on the track. Puddles and spray could be an issue if the red flag gets lifted because the cars do not have windshield wipers.

Tyler Reddick would stand to be the race-winner as the leader after 219 laps if the race does not restart.

Race red-flagged due to weather

LOUDON, N.H. — The 2024 USA TODAY 301 was paused due to significant rain in the area on lap 220 of 301.

Tyler Reddick and his team are looking quite prudent, as the No. 45 23XI Racing team decided not to pit following Stage 2 in favor of track position with heavy rain creeping in on the area. He leads the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin is in an interesting spot, as he is a co-owner – along with Michael Jordan – of the No. 45 Toyota piloted by Reddick, but he could also be in position for the win should the race resume from Loudon, New Hampshire.

If NASCAR officials call the race early, Reddick would be the winner with the USA TODAY 301 becoming official once Stage 2 ended.

Keselowski makes contact with Truex

LOUDON, N.H. — Martin Truex Jr. got tipped from behind by Brad Keselowski early in stage 3 after a slow pit stop dropped him from among the leaders to mid pack. The contact caused damage to his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Truex previously had a problem with his right rear tire on a pit stop and went from second to 26th position.

Meanwhile, Tyler Reddick leads from Denny Hamlin with less than 90 laps to go. Reddick did not pit after Stage 2, so fuel would be a concern if cautions and incoming storms do not shorten the race.

Slow stop burns Truex as storms inch closer

LOUDON, N.H. — Martin Truex Jr., at one point the race leader and second-place finisher in Stage 2, dropped to 26th on the restart after a slow pit stop while changing the right rear tire.

Others also chose to change tires during the break while some drivers elected to stay out, hoping the storms reach the track before their tires and/or fuel performance go under. With two stages complete, the race would be official if storms end the race early.

Tyler Reddick was the big winner, starting in front at the Stage 3 restart in front of Michael McDowell.

Meanwhile, Joey Logano experienced a lockup on the first lap of the Stage 3 restart and suffered damage to his car. Chase Elliott also took damage on the accident.

Denny Hamlin eyeing history at New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — Denny Hamlin could be on the way to his fourth win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver started 14th and took advantage of the chaos caused by a flurry of cautions to win the second stage of the 2024 USA TODAY 301 race in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Martin Truex Jr. (second) is right on Hamlin's tail, followed by Joey Logano (third), Christopher Bell (fourth), Ryan Blaney (fifth), Todd Gilliland (sixth), Kyle Larson (seventh), Josh Berry (eighth), Chase Elliott (ninth) and Ross Chastain (10th).

A fourth win at New Hampshire would tie Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton for most wins at New Hampshire all time. It would also be Hamlin's fourth victory of the season, which would lead the series.

Cautions piling up in New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — A pair of cautions in a matter of a few laps threw a wrench into the 2024 USA TODAY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

First, a Daniel Hemric spin on lap 142 caused a flurry of activity in the pit lane. Just a few laps later, Kyle Busch hit the wall and brought out yet another caution flag late in the race's second stage.

Meanwhile, Alex Bowman suffered an engine problem during the caution laps for the Hemric incident and was forced to take his car to the garage.

Denny Hamlin led from Joey Logano with both Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell close behind.

Martin Truex Jr. passes Bell on lap 138; weather looming

LOUDON, N.H. — Martin Truex Jr. overtook Christopher Bell on lap 138 of the 2024 USA TODAY 301 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Truex started seventh and got the move done a few laps after both he and Bell made green-flag pit stops for fresh tires.

Truex was behind only Todd Gilliland, who has yet to pit, at the time of the move.

Meanwhile, thunderstorms are looming west of the track and the region remains under a tornado watch.

Bell, Logano big winners after Stage 1; Elliott scuffles

LOUDON, N.H. — Christopher Bell held his position for the final 27 laps of the first stage to maintain his lead of the 2024 USA TODAY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Joey Logano, a New England native, edged polesitter Chase Elliott on the final lap of Stage 1 to finish second in the stage. Elliott might be looking to around to see what exactly went wrong after leading the first 42 laps of the race.

The others to receive points after Stage 1 were Ryan Blaney (fourth), Josh Berry (fifth), Martin Truex Jr. (sixth), Denny Hamlin (seventh), Ross Chastain (eighth, Tyer Reddick (ninth) and Alex Bowman (10th).

Christopher Bell takes lead on lap 43

LOUDON, N.H. — Could Christopher Bell do it two days in a row?

The winner of Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Bell made a move on the inside of Chase Elliott to take the lead on the 43rd lap of the 2024 USA TODAY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Bell, who started fourth Sunday, methodically trimmed Elliott's lead over the previous 10 laps. Elliott led by more than three seconds at one point. Still, Elliott remains about a second behind Bell with a little more than 20 laps to go in the first stage. — Richard Morin, USA TODAY Sports

Chase Elliott jumps out to lead on first lap

LOUDON, N.H. — Polesitter Chase Elliott went three lanes deep as the green flag dropped and made a statement run on the first lap to lead the 2024 USA TODAY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Christopher Bell was right behind in second place, followed by Ross Chastain, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.

What time is the USA TODAY 301 NASCAR race?

The New Hampshire race started at 2 p.m. ET Sunday.

How to watch the USA TODAY 301 NASCAR race

USA Network is broadcasting the race. It is also available to stream on the NBC Sports App and fuboTV. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and PRN Radio will also have the race.

NASCAR starting lineup for race today

  1. Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet
  2. Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford
  3. William Byron, No. 24 Chevrolet
  4. Christopher Bell, No. 20 Toyota
  5. Alex Bowman, No. 48 Chevrolet
  6. Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford
  7. Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota
  8. Ross Chastain, No. 1 Chevrolet
  9. Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Ford
  10. Josh Berry, No. 4 Ford
  11. Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Chevrolet
  12. Tyler Reddick, No. 45 Toyota
  13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Chevrolet
  14. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota
  15. Chris Buescher, No. 17 Ford
  16. Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Ford
  17. Bubba Wallace, No. 23 Toyota
  18. Ty Gibbs, No. 54 Toyota
  19. Kyle Larson, No. 5 Chevrolet
  20. Carson Hocevar, No. 71 Chevrolet
  21. Noah Gragson, No. 10 Ford
  22. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet
  23. Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Ford
  24. Justin Haley, No. 51 Ford
  25. Michael McDowell, No. 34 Ford
  26. Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Chevrolet
  27. Harrison Burton, No. 21 Ford
  28. John Hunter Nemechek, No. 42 Toyota
  29. Austin Cindric, No. 2 Ford
  30. Kyle Busch, No. 8 Chevrolet
  31. Ryan Preece, No. 41 Ford
  32. Erik Jones, No. 43 Toyota
  33. Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Chevrolet
  34. Zane Smith, No. 71 Chevrolet
  35. Kaz Grala, No. 15 Ford
  36. Ty Dillon, No. 16 Chevrolet

Qualifying canceled for USA TODAY 301 NASCAR race

Where a drivers starts can have a lot to do with where they finish, and this race's starting lineup was determined by NASCAR's metric after qualifying was scrubbed due to weather on Saturday. There were benefactors,particularly Chase Elliott, who will start from the pole position, and last week's winner, Ryan Blaney, who will start alongside Elliott on the front row with William Byron, Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman rounding out the top five.

Weather update for New Hampshire NASCAR Sprint Cup race today

It's been raining all morning but finally stopped around 11:15 a.m. ET. The sky is looking cloudy with humid and hazy conditions for the race. But everything is not in the clear yet. The National Weather Service placed the area under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. ET. It said storms could move across the region this afternoon and have "the potential to produce damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes."

— Richard Morin, USA TODAY Sports

Drivers to watch at USA TODAY 301 NASCAR race

Which drivers have the best chance to claim victory at the 2024 USA TODAY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway? These are the top drivers to watch Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Martin Treux Jr. is looking to go back-to-back after winning in New Hampshire last year, while Chase Elliott will look to stand on the top step of the podium from pole position.

If it's not either of those two hoisting the trophy after 301 laps, a good bet could be Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin or Christopher Bell all have wins in 2024 as well as previous wins at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

— Richard Morin, USA TODAY Sports

NFL star Matthew Judon talks NASCAR, driving pace car

Wet weather ruined the opportunity for New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon to drive the pace car before the start of Sunday's Cup Series race, which is a shame since Judon believes he is the best driver among his Patriots teammates.

A soggy track meant Judon's pace car training had to be canceled, so the four-time Pro Bowler will instead ride shotgun inside the official Toyota Camry XSE pace car before the green light at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"I probably wouldn't ask my teammates anything about driving," Judon said before the race. "I think I'm the best driver on the team. I came into it fresh, no knowledge and I'm just happy for real. This is just a new experience."

Could Judon's driving skills lead to a future career in professional racing?

"For sure, no," Judon said. "I don't even know how to drive a stick car."

— Richard Morin, USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR race recap: Christopher Bell wins USA TODAY 301 New Hampshire after rain delay (2024)
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