By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Christopher Bell finished second in Sunday’s Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America. The road of getting his first top-five since Richmond wasn’t easy, it had to be earned.
Whether it’s being penalized for driving through too many pit boxes or going wide, Bell certainly had a compelling afternoon. But Stage 3 was when the Daytona Road Course winner really shined. As Chase Elliott was in a league of his own, Bell had to settle for “best of the rest.”
Considering the season he’s had lately, a third top-five is better than having another dud race. Even with the solid result, Bell knew the penalty buried his chances of maybe contending with Elliott.
“I think it was close, closer than anyone else was to the 9. That was good,” said Bell. “At the end of the race everyone was telling me that I was matching if not a little better lap times, so never had track position to start up there with him and see what we had against the whole run.
“I’m sure he was saving a little bit to make sure if there was a restart there or something, but that was a lot of fun. The SiriusXM Camry was really good, and I knew that we would have a really good week this weekend.”
Bell knew that his No. 20 SiriusXM Toyota Camry was going to be really strong once the 62-lap event commenced.
“This place has been really good to me in the past. I knew that we would be pretty fast coming in here,” said the 13th place starter. “In practice and qualifying, I felt like I under drove the car a little bit, but through practice and the race I knew we would be pretty good.”
Atlanta Motor Speedway is the next site of the Cup tour but it hasn’t been Bell’s best track. At the same time, he hopes the momentum will carry onto next Sunday.
“We are building on a little bit of momentum here coming off of Nashville – that was a good race – Pocono 2 was a really good race and then here,” Bell commented. “Maybe we can continue to build on that and be good at Atlanta.”