By Pat DeCola
2 Minute Read
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Xfinity Series stud Christopher Bell racing full-time against Kyle Larson on Sundays in the not-too-distant future is all but a foregone conclusion.
That doesn’t mean the two dirt aficionados aren’t already quite familiar with each other.
Last month, the 23-year-old native Oklahoman (who turns 24 on Dec. 16) held off his fellow mud master and friend Larson in the 78th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway (California) for the second straight year, capturing consecutive titles and his third Turkey Night crown overall.
The pair of drivers hold a level of respect for each other perhaps unparalleled in today’s motorsports culture, where there’s an understanding that the other is going to use up his competitor’s car as much as possible without wrecking it. Beating and banging encouraged, essentially.
The friendly rivalry seems to bring the results, with each driver knowing that racing against the other might be the best way to show off their talents to the fullest extent.
“Me and Larson have a very unique relationship, that’s for sure,” Bell said Saturday night at the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series Awards at the Charlotte Convention Center. “It seems like we elevate each other so much, right? He doesn’t want to lose to me and I definitely don’t want to lose to him.
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“He’s great and I feel like I’m good, but I feel like whenever you put us together it just kind of makes us race so much harder and we make each other better.”
So, if they bring out the best in each other, would it make sense for them to, say, team up?
Larson owns the eponymous Kyle Larson Racing, and he sometimes will field a second entry in World of Outlaws competition.
“I would love to drive for Kyle. I think I was going to at Volusia Speedway Park at the beginning of ’18, it just didn’t work out. He’s got a full-time team and it’s tough for him to have a second car. Obviously he’s done it a couple times,” he said.
“It just hasn’t worked out (for us yet) but we’ll see what it looks like in the future.”