Christopher Bell Opens Up on the Kyle Larson Challenge as the NASCAR Stars Will Face-off at Chili Bowl

Published 01/15/2021, 8:30 AM EST
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Christopher Bell, driver of the #95 Procore Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


The build-up to the 2021 Chili Bowl final clash looks to be gathering some heat now. With Christopher Bell winning his event on Thursday, he ensured his entry to the grand feature race on Saturday, where Kyle Larson is already through.

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The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had also won the Invitational Race of Champions previously, putting down his credentials for the dirt track racing competition. But in Kyle Larson, he faces a tough competitor to lift the trophy.

Bell spoke about the race in itself and assured that the spectacle on Saturday will definitely entice viewers. The on-track racing between the two accomplished NASCAR drivers only serves as a bonus.

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Bell is a 3-time champion, while Kyle Larson is the reigning steady

Speaking after the event, Bell said, “This is always an amazing race. One thing’s for sure, Larson will be up there, hopefully, I’m up there. There’s going to be a handful of others, so we’re all in for a treat on Saturday night.”

Bell sealed his qualification to Saturday’s main race after winning his designated heat and qualifier. He then beat Michael Kofoid, winning the A-main and joining Larson, in what should be a tasty encounter between the two.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald’s Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Earlier in the Invitational Race of Champions race, Bell had edged the Hendrick Motorsports No.5 to win it. His racecraft on dirt tracks definitely ranks above many other rival drivers, and one would expect him to fiercely fight as one of the strongest contenders.

Larson and Bell could continue in the 2021 Cup Series as well

Both drivers look like title contenders for the 2021 Chili Bowl event, which will conclude on Saturday night. With Larson also showing some form in his qualification race and many other drivers eyeing some success, the feature race just might bring the best out of these Cup Series racers.

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Additionally, the Cup campaign gets underway in just about a month’s time. Larson with Hendrick Motorsports and Bell with Joe Gibbs Racing could rekindle that competitive streak once they get to Daytona.

Thus, it will be fascinating to see how these two drivers approach their respective campaigns in the top stock car racing division. For the moment, however, it will be an exciting prospect between Larson and Bell when they take to the track on Saturday night.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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