One year ago Christopher Bell came within 10 laps of winning the Winchester 400. His black No. 51B was the dominant car all day long, but late in the race he found himself chasing his teammate Erik Jones. He made the pass for the lead, but pounded the turn four wall and ended his day a few laps shy of the win.
Now Bell is headed back to Winchester and he’s seeking redemption.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory what I could have done differently,” Bell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I just have to learn not to make that mistake there again this year because we had probably a dominant car last year and should have won the race.”
Bell, a qualifying member of the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase for the Championship, hasn’t run many Super Late Model races this year. You can count his starts on one hand. His last Super Late Model start came in August at Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway, so it might be just a couple laps before Bell finds his comfort area again.
“Supers are definitely way different than the Trucks just because they’re a lot lighter than the Trucks,” he explained. “The steering is a lot different and they have totally different tires, so they drive totally different. But they’re a lot of fun to drive, especially at a place like Winchester which is kind of an attack-style race track. It’s get what you can get all the time. I’m excited to go there.
“It’s a really fun race, but a really long race so you know there’s times when you’re going to be in the back,” said Bell. “You know you aren’t going to lead all the laps. It’s a really trying race on you mentally and physically, so there’s a lot of elements that go into it. It’s a unique event, especially for Super Late Models, but it’s a fun one.”
Even though there might be a short adjustment period for Bell, he says Winchester is his favorite pavement track and this is his favorite race. Now he just needs to get the trophy, a Winchester rifle, and he’ll really love the place.
“It would be really special because on the Late Model deal I’ve been somewhat successful. I’ve won the Rattler but I’ve never won the 400 or a Snowball. I came close and got it done at the Derby, but it didn’t work out in tech. It would mean a lot to win a big one, especially at my favorite track.”
Christopher Bell’s fans can watch him run Sunday’s Winchester 400 live on Speed51 TV on by purchasing the pay-per-view broadcast here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman