Christopher Bell Wants to Build Strong Partnership With New Crew Chief Who Won Titles With Kyle Busch

Published 12/18/2020, 5:32 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)


In just his maiden year as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver, Christopher Bell found himself dealing with some of the challenges of the sport. As the season was approaching its end, Leavine Family Racing announced its closure, leaving Bell without a ride for 2021.

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However, that did not last long as top NASCAR outfit Joe Gibbs Racing roped him in to drive the No. 20 car next season. Such was the confidence the team showed in him that Erik Jones had to vacate the seat for Bell.

In another big boost for the 26-year-old, he is set to team up with two-time championship-winning Crew Chief in Adam Stevens.

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Stevens led star driver Kyle Busch to both his NASCAR Cup Series titles and moves to the No. 20 car with Bell after a long-standing association with the No. 18 team.

MARTINSVILLE, VA – OCTOBER 10: Kyle Busch(R), driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, stands in the garage area with his crew chief, Adam Stevens, during testing for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on October 10, 2017 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Bell knows how important it is to start his relationship with Stevens on a positive note. His off-season, so far, has been more about building a foundation with the experienced crew chief.

Christopher Bell excited to learn from new crew chief

I haven’t been racing at all, haven’t been in a car since Phoenix. I’ve been focusing hard on getting to just be around the new #20 group. I spent a lot of time with Adam, just trying to build that relationship with him. Get more comfortable around each other,” Bell expressed recently.

Speaking further about how their conversations have been so far, Bell said it has started well, but admitted it would get better once they begin racing.

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 on March 07, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It’s been good so far. I’d say we still have our little ways to go, and that always gets sped up once you start racing. Then you’re riding in the thick of things and you’re dealing with each other more on a business level,” Bell added.

Bell focused on building strong relationships

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The No. 20 team is not rushing through the off-season just yet. Bell said he does not even have a car yet to start driving but is happy to use this time to build strong relationships.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 08: Erik Jones, driver of the #20 DEWALT Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

This part of the off-season is pretty slow for us. Not a lot going on, just hanging out and being around each other. I feel like I’ve put in a lot of effort to be around Adam more and hopefully, we can start off good on the same page when we start racing,” Bell concluded.

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Bell certainly makes a big jump next season, which will keep him in the spotlight. With the expertise of Stevens, a lot can be expected from Bell and his team, who already have some star teammates beside them at JGR.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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