Race Weekend Central

Christopher Bell, Cole Custer Top XFINITY Practices at ISM

The NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars rose to the occasion on Friday (March 9) to pace the two practice sessions in advance of Saturday’s DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway.

XFINITY Series rookie Christopher Bell was fastest in the first session, while series sophomore Cole Custer was fastest in the second.

Bell, who has won the pole for the last two XFINITY Series races, knocked off Kyle Busch late in the first session with a 26.892-second lap (133.869 mph). Busch led a majority of the session but had to settle for second with a lap that was just .328 seconds off of the fastest lap.

Defending race winner Justin Allgaier finished third, and the Fords of Brad Keselowski and Cole Custer rounded out the top five in the first session.

32 of the 40 cars entered turned a lap in first practice, Keselowski turned the most laps of the session with 31 laps, while Morgan Shepherd turned the least at one. JD Motorsports driver Vinnie Miller was slowest in the session, running a 123.014 mph lap.

Elliott Sadler lost an engine during the first session, which resulted in NASCAR displaying the yellow flag.


Custer was fastest during the final practice session. Custer turned a 27.393-second lap about midway through the session to knock off fellow Ford Keselowski, who finished the session third. Late in the session, Busch turned his first long run of the afternoon and put the No. 18 NOS Energy Toyota Camry in second.

Daniel Hemric was fastest most of the first part of the session with a 27.567-second lap, and that would still be good enough for fourth. Allgaier rounded out the top five in the session, .174 seconds behind leader Custer.

All 40 drivers turned a lap in the session. Mike Harmon was slowest during the session, running a 122.079 mph lap.


About the author


His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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