“I simply need to be an element within the races,” he informed NBC Sports activities.
The 26-year-old strikes to Joe Gibbs Racing for his second season in Cup, persevering with a climb by way of Toyota Racing Improvement’s system.
Bell, who gained 15 Xfinity races from 2018-19 for JGR, wasn’t a lot of a think about his rookie Cup season final 12 months with an underfunded Leavine Household Racing staff that left the sport after the season. His finest end third at Texas within the playoffs. It was considered one of solely seven top-10 finishes he had.
“I don’t know what number of occasions my mother or dad referred to as me and could be like ‘How did your race go as a result of we by no means noticed you,’ Bell mentioned.
Maybe no weekend was as disappointing for him final 12 months than the Dover doubleheader. He gained two of his 4 Xfinity begins there however was not a think about both Cup race, ending twenty second and twenty seventh.
“Dover was a race I used to be so excited for,” Bell mentioned. “I’ve clearly run nice there within the Xfinity vehicles. I’ve been an element each time I’ve been there. That was a race I had excessive expectations for and I (didn’t) crack the highest 20 one time each days there. Dover is one which I’m actually excited to get again to and redeem myself and run properly there.”
Bell might be among the many storylines to observe amongst all the motive force strikes this season. His arrival at JGR was made after the staff selected to not hold 24-year-old Erik Jones, who gained two races for the group and made the playoffs twice in three years. Jones is now with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Whereas Bell was aligned with JGR at Leavine Household Racing, now he’ll work out of the store and have two-time Cup champion Adam Stevens as his crew chief. That raises expectations for the 2017 Truck Collection champion.
“Greatest darkhorse I feel is the man with essentially the most stress, Christopher Bell,” former Cup champion Kurt Busch informed NBC Sports activities. “He’s received a major journey, an A+ staff. He’s received tons of expertise. It’s his time to shine.”
To take action, Bell is aware of he’ll need to take his classes from final season and apply them this 12 months.
One of many greatest changes was going from the Xfinity composite physique, which took extra punishment from the wall or different vehicles, to the metal our bodies of Cup automotive.
“I knew stepping into it was going to be an enormous change,” Bell mentioned. “It was so eye-opening how fragile metal our bodies are. You’ve received to actually deal with them and deal with your gear and the long-distance races.”
That wasn’t the one adjustment for Bell.
“It was an enormous deal going to Vans and studying find out how to distance race and the gap elevated in Xfinity after which it received even longer within the Cup Collection,” he mentioned. “That’s been a change each time, shifting up a collection and it’s taken a bit bit to be taught.
“I wouldn’t commerce my rookie 12 months for the world. and I feel that simply every part I discovered in my rookie 12 months will assist me in my sophomore 12 months.”