One week after Christopher Bell came up .082 seconds away from a spot in the Championship 4 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bell won his way into the Championship 4 with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
All week leading up to Homestead, Bell thought he had squandered his chance to make the Championship 4 after not winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bell was very open about how Homestead was not his favorite track. It was not a track that produced results for Bell in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series. Bell's win at Homestead was his first top 10 finish at the track since he got into the No. 20 car in the Cup Series.
On Jeff Gluck and Jordan Bianchi's podcast "The Teardown," Bell mentioned that he still isn't fond of the track even after winning Sunday. "I still hate Miami. I still hate it," he said.
Bell has started to look like a top performer when the pressure of the NASCAR playoffs roll around. In 2022, Bell won two elimination races he entered while below the cut line: at the Charlotte Roval and at Martinsville Speedway.
There are people who want to call Bell "The Closer" now. Bell wants nothing to do with it, though, as that has been Kevin Harvick's title for some of the biggest wins in his career.
It was no walk in the park for Bell and the No. 20 team. He started 13th and worked his way up to ninth at the end of Stage 1. All that progress by Bell was lost in the second stage, as the No. 20 car slipped all the way back outside of the top 20 by the end of Stage 2. The frustration set in for Bell, as he almost got lapped before the end of the stage.
Christopher Bell (P19) is told he needs to "fight hard to stay on this lead lap."
Bell, sarcastically: "OK, I'll start trying."
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) October 22, 2023
Bell entered the top 5 for the first time with 50 laps to go. He took advantage of late-race cautions that took out top contenders such as Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. Then, with 15 laps to go, Bell passed William Byron for the lead and the win.
No matter how Bell feels about Homestead-Miami, he now has a win there that will allow him to compete for his first championship at Phoenix Raceway in two weeks.
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