The Rattler 250 is one of the most prestigious Super Late Model races in America. The season opener for the Southern Super Series on March 15 at South Alabama Speedway will have a field full of Super Late Model racing’s best, many of which have raced there on numerous occasions.
And then there will be a driver who is still working to make a name for himself in pavement racing, and he hopes to make his first Rattler start that day. But that isn’t anything new for Christopher Bell. Just about every time he climbs into the cockpit of his no. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota it’s for the first time at that particular race track.
Bell, a 20-year-old from Norman, Oklahoma, comes from a dirt racing background, which offers very little practice time for each race. He explained that his dirt background helps him adapt to pavement tracks quickly.
“I feel like that’s one of my strong suits coming from the dirt background where we race 100 times a year at 60 different race tracks,” Bell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m kind of accustomed to going to a new place every night. Thankfully for the pavement deal you get a lot more practice than you do on dirt.”
That’s a big reason as to why Bell never seems to be nervous when heading to a new race track. He also leans on his team to give him as much information as possible ahead of each race. The little bit that he knows about South Alabama Speedway has come from them.
“They said it’s kind of like New Smyrna, but more of a paperclip,” Bell said. “It has shorter straightaways than New Smyrna. I really don’t know what to expect. I just have to get down there and feel it out for myself.”
Bell is also leaning on his team to help learn his competition. He’s raced and won in Super Late Model competition, but he’s never run a Southern Super Series race before.
“I’m still new to the Super Late Model scene so it’s still very different, but from what the KBM guys have told is that the SSS is one of the strongest SLM groups in the country,” said Bell. “It’s going to be fun racing with those guys for the first time and seeing how I stack up.”
Even though he has zero experience at this race track, and against the field of drivers in the SSS, Bell is still confident he can head down there and get a strong finish. After scoring a big win in the 100-lap finale of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), he feels he has momentum on his side.
“It definitely helped build confidence and confidence is everything for a racecar driver,” he said. “The more confidence you have the harder you are to beat, so it’s nice to pick up a win early in the year.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com Photo