Race Weekend Central

Christopher Bell: Everybody Considers Me the Underdog

Christopher Bell considers himself as a title favorite. Everyone else? They consider himself the underdog.

“I never would have dreamed of being in position to race for a NASCAR championship,” Bell said during the Championship 4 Media Day.

But now, Bell, 21, is in Miami. He’s 15 years younger than the next youngest Championship 4 contender in the Camping World Truck Series, Timothy Peters.

While Bell never imagined he would be in this situation, the former dirt track star is in what he calls “one of the biggest races of my life.” As he attempts to use his young age to his favor, showcasing an aggressive driving style, he will attempt to bring Kyle Busch Motorsports its second straight title after Erik Jones won it all in 2015.

“It’s huge not only for me, but for Kyle Busch Motorsports, too, because they are a really prestigious Truck Series team,” Bell said. “It’s an honor and it’s really special to be a part of this. It’s a dream come true to be a part of this.”

However, Bell did not expect to be racing for the championship. He entered Phoenix Raceway four points to the good over Peters. KBM’s William Byron, who has six wins in 2016, was a mere point ahead of Bell, with two-time champion Matt Crafton three points behind.

Running in the back part of the top 10, Bell was prepared to miss the cutoff for the Championship 4. Byron was set to claim his seventh checkered flag of the year, moving onto the championship round after an uncharacteristically dominant season. But that wasn’t the case.

“It never really set in that we had a shot to win this thing until after Phoenix,” Bell explained. “With 20 laps to go at Phoenix, I was on the outside looking in. Now, I’m in the inside and in the final four. I never would have dreamed of being in position to race for a NASCAR championship. To be a part of the first Truck Series Chase is something I’m really proud about.”

Led by veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter, Bell hopes to exceed all expectations.

Throughout the year, Bell has attempted to clean up his act on the track. He admits he was wrecking too much at the start of the year, going the first three races without a top 10. But besides a wreck at Michigan International Speedway in late August, he’s finished inside of the top 10 in 13 of the last 15 contests.

“Do I consider myself the underdog?” Bell asked. “No. Does everybody else? Probably. I think we’ve got everything it takes to be successful at Homestead. Our year has definitely not been the year we wanted. We’ve only won one race, but we’re going to make it two after Friday.”

About the author

Joseph started with Fronstretch in Aug. 2014 and worked his way up to become an editor in less than a year. A native of Whitestone, New York, Joseph writes for NASCAR Pole Position magazine as a weekly contributor, along with being a former intern at Newsday and the Times Beacon Record Newspapers, each on Long Island. With a focus on NASCAR, he runs our social media pages and writes the NASCAR Mailbox column, along with other features for the site.

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