Christopher Bell’s new tires gamble pays off at Charlotte
Christopher Bell won Sunday’s Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway to clinch a spot in the Round of 8, and he credited a late gamble by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team for the win.
The No. 20 Toyota decided to gamble by pitting during a caution on lap 105 at the Bank of America Roval 400. Bell got new tires and was able to move into third after the restart. A red flag then came out so the track could repair some curbing. Several drivers pitted during that time, and Bell began the following restart second, next to Kevin Harvick on the front row.
The No. 20 was able to claim victory in overtime on the new tires.
“I was the first car with (new) tires. I was just trying to wait and see where I stacked up. And then I saw there were 11 cars that stayed out on old tires, and I was the first one on new tires. So I said, ‘I guess we’re going to roll the dice here and see what happens,'” Bell said after the race.
In separate comments, Bell noted just how important the new tires were.
Christopher Bell: "Honestly, whenever you get tires and the rest of the field doesn't, it's a pretty tall order for those guys to hold on. I knew what those guys were up against, it was nice to be first off pit road with fresh tires."
— PRN (@PRNlive) October 9, 2022
Bell also credited his spotter for good advice to avoid damage from a wreck late in the race around turn 1.
Bell needed a win to advance in the playoffs. His win helped push out 2021 champ Kyle Larson, who missed the cut by 2 points.