Christopher Bell Aims for Phoenix Victory to Mark the Start of Something Bigger

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Christopher Bell hopes critical Phoenix win “is just the beginning”

Since his full-time debut in the Cup series in 2020, and notably after joining Joe Gibbs Racing the following year, Christopher Bell has maintained a solid presence, clinching victories in six races and securing a spot in the Championship 4 for consecutive seasons.

However, what Bell’s No. 20 Toyota team has lacked is the consistent display of leading races week in, and week out, without errors, essential for establishing themselves as consistent threats for victory.

His recent win, though, may signal a turning point.

In the latest race, Bell seized Stage 2, surmounted a pit road setback to regain the lead, and then orchestrated a remarkable climb from 20th position to claim the lead after a final pit stop on lap 218 of 312, made under what turned out to be the last caution of the race.

Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell (Credits: Motorsport)

While some teams had pitted earlier or opted to stay out, hoping for another caution, those strategies eventually faltered. Bell, having wisely taken on four fresh tires during his final stop, emerged with a commanding lead and ultimately secured victory over Chris Buescher.

This triumph underscored Bell’s team’s ability to overcome adversity and, more significantly, to excel at Phoenix, where the season’s championship is decided in November.

Bell, 29, emphasized the significance of the win, stating, “This is an important one. If you’re not good here, you’re never going to be a champion.” He expressed hope that the victory would showcase the potential of the No. 20 team.

Reflecting on the past two years and the introduction of the Next Gen era, Bell acknowledged glimpses of their potential but stressed the need to fully realize it, stating, “I feel like this is just the beginning.”

Looking ahead, Bell is determined to achieve more than just making it to the Championship 4 and winning occasional races. He aims for consistent contention for the championship and multiple races wins each year.

Moreover, Bell’s victory highlighted a significant day for Toyota teams overall at Phoenix.

Toyota drivers led the vast majority of laps in Sunday’s race, a marked improvement from previous races where Toyota struggled to secure wins and lead laps. Bell attributed this success to the hard work put into optimizing setups, particularly with the introduction of the Next Gen car.

While relishing the current victory, Bell acknowledges the competitive nature of the field and anticipates tighter competition in future races. He remains optimistic that they will remain among the favorites come November.


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

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