FORT WORTH – Cole Custer took the lead from Tyler Reddick on the final lap to win the crash-strewn Xfinity O’Reilly Auto Parts 300.
There were 13 cautions, most ever for an Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway. That included a crash that damaged Christopher Bell’s title chances.
Bell, from Norman, Okla., was taken out by Austin Cindric on lap 133. It marked the second consecutive race in this playoff round that Bell did not make it to the finish.
Bell is seventh in points. He needs to win next week at Phoenix to get into the final four for the season-ending championship race.
“I’ve won six races this year,” Bell said. “I’ve got a chance to win two more. … I’ve never been a points racer, and my results show that. I’m either up front or crashing.”
Custer qualified for the championship race with his first victory of the season.
“We hadn’t won all year, but we have been so close,” Custer said. “We kept going, and this is a perfect time to do it .”
BRIEFLY: Martin Truex Jr., reigning NASCAR Monster Energy Cup champion, will start the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday from the back of the field because of an engine change. Truex had been scheduled to start from the 13th position. He had the third-fastest time in the final practice session.
— Prosper’s Chris Buescher was also sent to the back of the field for an engine change.
— David Starr, who races out of Frisco, improved by eight spots to finish 24th in the Xfinity race. Starr will do an Xfinity-Cup double for the second time this season with a start from the 40th and final spot in the AAA Texas 500. It will be the first Cup race for Obaika Racing, which was formed in July.
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