Christopher Bell Reflects on Coy Gibbs, NASCAR Championship 4 at Phoenix

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

This was a great season for Christopher Bell, winning races and even making a NASCAR Championship 4 appearance. Bell just completed his third season in the Cup Series and finished the highest he ever has before. However, his P3 finish in the standings meant little in the wake of Coy Gibbs’ death.

After the race and fanfare were over, Christopher Bell talked to the media about Coy and the emotions of the day.

“You wake up first thing this morning and super excited and thrilled with life, where you’re at, the opportunity given to ya,” he said, via Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports. “To receive news like that a couple of hours before you get in the car makes it extremely tough. You know it just really kinda puts it in perspective that what we’re doing here is not the big picture, for sure.

“Just thinking of Joe. I can’t imagine what Joe’s going through and the entire Gibbs family, so that’s the important piece.”

Of course, Bell also talked about the race and how things went down on the track. You could tell when he got out of the car, he wanted more. However, given the way he made it into the Championship 4, there’s not much to hang his head about. Joey Logano won this race with the best car and team on Sunday.

“It was earlier in the race about halfway, lost a chunk of track position there for sure. Just driving hard and slipped and definitely hindered our race for the time being, but it seemed like we put ourselves in position later in the race to at least have a shot at it.”

Christopher Bell Didn’t Have Another Win in Him

When he talked about his journey to the championship in Phoenix, Christopher Bell said it was all going perfectly, until it wasn’t. The first round was great for the No. 20 team. In fact, they didn’t sweat at all. They went in, got top-5 finishes, picked up a good chunk of points, and made it to the Round of 12. That’s when they started to sweat.

The first race at Texas that round chewed up tires and spit them out all day. Bell was just the first victim. He was behind the ball from the start. When the Cup Series went to the Charlotte Roval, he had to win the race. However, Bell is not known for his road course prowess. Thanks to a late caution, he won the race in a walk-off.

Things didn’t get much better, though. Christopher Bell was once again behind the field in the Round of 8. While Ross Chastain was busy doing his best pinball impression on the wall at Martinsville, Bell was driving his way into the Championship 4 with another walk-off win.

In Phoenix, the magic just wasn’t there. Next season, I’m sure we’ll see a very competitive No. 20 team from Joe Gibbs Racing.