May 26, 2024: NASCAR races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (HHP/Chris Owens)
Christopher Bell won for the second time in 2024.(HHP/Chris Owens)

Coca-Cola 600 Called After 249 Laps; Bell Wins

CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR declared Christopher Bell the winner of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after rain halted the event after 249 laps. He led a race-high 90 laps and was out in front when NASCAR called a caution on lap 246 for rain. A lightning delay was called at approximately 9:33 p.m. ET.

NASCAR made an attempt to dry the track and seemingly made significant progress before the race got called at 11:30 p.m.

“Due to inclement weather, high humidity and the likelihood of resuming action after 1 a.m. with the track-drying process, the race has been declared official,” NASCAR said in a statement. “Christopher Bell is the winner of the 65th Coca-Cola 600.”

Knowing precipitation was on its way, Bell fended off Brad Keselowski on a lap 236 restart in what would ultimately be the race-sealing move. 

Bell won for the eighth time in 158 Cup Series starts. He posted his first win and third top 10 on the Charlotte oval, in addition to his victory on the ROVAL in 2022. It’s also his first crown jewel victory.

“It feels so good. To win or to lose, but just to have a great race to go off of, and a race that we led laps,” Bell said following his win. “We were able to pass cars. We lost the lead at times, and we were able to drive back to the lead and had great pit stops. It was amazing to have a good race, and hopefully, this is something we can build on and get back to being more consistent.”

Keselowski finished second, following up his victory at Darlington Raceway two weeks ago. William Byron finished third after leading 49 laps, Tyler Reddick finished fourth and Denny Hamlin finished fifth. Polesitter Ty Gibbs finished sixth after leading 75 laps, Chase Elliott finished seventh, Ross Chastain took eighth, Alex Bowman finished ninth and Josh Berry rounded out the top 10. 

After starting from the rear, Justin Allgaier finished 13th driving the No. 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports. Kyle Larson stayed in Indianapolis to compete in the Indianapolis 500 after a four-hour delay and arrived at CMS just as the race got red-flagged. He would’ve replaced Allgaier had the race continued. 

There were 21 lead changes among 10 drivers, while seven cautions littered the race. Three cars retired, including 2023 Coca-Cola 600 winner and series champion Ryan Blaney. He hit the wall on lap 148 and got stuck on pit road because of the damage.