"More to come" from Road America runner-up Bell after bad run

Christopher Bell believes there is "more to come" from his Joe Gibbs Racing team in the run-up to the NASCAR Cup series playoffs, after finishing second at Road America.

The 26-year-old scored his maiden Cup win on the Daytona road course earlier this year, but had endured a disappointing run of form with just five further top-10 finishes in the following 17 points-paying races prior to Road America.

Bell had a gradual rise up the order in Sunday's race, earning a penalty for driving through too many pit boxes while pitting under caution between Stages 1 and 2.

But by lap 59 of 62, he had worked his way up to second and in the final laps was running lap times on par with race winner Chase Elliott, although was too far behind to make an impression on the Hendrick Motorsports driver and finished 5.7s adrift.

Bell’s second-place finish was his first top-five since he took fourth at Richmond back in April.

“It’s been a trying last two months, but we feel like we’re getting back on track,” he said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t be running up front every week.

“Last week at Pocono we had a car capable of finishing in the top-five [but] it didn’t happen.

“Nashville we were okay [but] aside from that, I don’t know, we just haven’t been very fast.

“The last couple weeks, I’ve been really proud of the progress we’ve made and I'm excited for the future. I know there’s more to come.”

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Sirius XM

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Sirius XM

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

JGR team-mate Denny Hamlin continues to lead the points standings after his fifth place finish at Road America, but is yet to win a race this season. Fellow JGR drivers Kyle Busch, who finished third, and Martin Truex Jr (ninth) are also in playoff contention with two and three wins respectively.

All four road course races so far this season have been won by either Joe Gibbs Racing (one) or Hendrick (three) drivers, which gives Bell confidence for the remainder of the season.

“I wouldn’t have expected my first win to come at a road course, that’s for sure,” Bell said.

“Last year in the Cup Series, the road course races were probably my best races speed-wise.

“I feel like we have been bringing really good Camrys to the road courses and it’s definitely a good package for JGR right now.”

shares
comments

Related video

NASCAR Road America: Elliott returns to form with win

Previous article

NASCAR Road America: Elliott returns to form with win

Next article

Is it now or never for Kevin Harvick's 2021 NASCAR Cup season at Atlanta?

Is it now or never for Kevin Harvick's 2021 NASCAR Cup season at Atlanta?
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020