Dale Earnhardt Jr., left, looks at his daughter, Isla, and his wife Amy on pit row prior to an Xfinity Series NASCAR auto race at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Bell wins Xfinity race at Richmond; Earnhardt 4th

September 21, 2018 - 7:11 pm

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Christopher Bell took the lead away from Matt Tifft with 13 laps to go and won the opening race of the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs on Friday night.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth in what he said would be his only start of the season. Earnhardt retired from NASCAR's Cup Series last year and works as an analyst for NBC Sports.

Earnhardt led for much of the second half of the race, but lost the lead to Tifft on pit road with 30 laps remaining.

Bell won for the fifth time this season, including twice at Richmond Raceway. On a night when series points leader Justin Allgaier crashed with about 25 laps to go, winding up 32nd, Bell also took the points lead with six playoff races to go.

Ross Chastain rallied to finish second, followed by Daniel Hemric.

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