Evidently, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is slowly becoming a season full of first-time winners. After Michael McDowell took his first win at the Daytona 500, Christopher Bell became the next one. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished ahead of Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, with the latter taking the championship lead.
Speaking after the race, he said, “This is definitely one of the highlights of my life so far. Just so thankful to be here at Joe Gibbs Racing. I’ve prepared my whole life for this moment to race in the Cup Series.
“Last year was a huge learning curve for me and I’ve very grateful that I got the opportunity to run in Cup. It definitely prepared me to move to Joe Gibbs Racing.”
He also said, “It’s the happiest moment I’ve had in a very long time. 2020 was one of the hardest seasons I had in my career. I won a race at the Chili Bowl in my prelim night and that was it for the rest of the year. That’s obviously against the Cup guys and on the dirt side too. 2020 was a really really low point for me.
“Just to come back in ’21 and be able to win in the Cup Series this early on a road course is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
The driver also admitted that he thought that Joey Logano was too far ahead. He also got the impression that the yellow flag periods were detrimental. Despite this, the team kept his spirits and confidence up. It was only when Logano made a mistake at Turn 6 that Bell was in a striking position. In the end, he was able to clinch the win and make a firm statement of his championship intentions.