Bell voices frustration over Larson’s comments, ‘sorry text message’

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — It still isn’t over between Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson.

On Tuesday, Larson took to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to share his thoughts on the incident between the two drivers late in last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International and not hearing back from Bell after reaching out in particular.

“I reached out and tried, but I guess he’s not willing to talk to me, which is kind of whatever,” Larson said on Tuesday evening. “I think any adult in the field would at least have a conversation with you, but he doesn’t care to. So, we’ll move on from it and if he wants to get me back, that’s fine. Whatever. I’m not going to worry about it. If it makes him sleep better at night to ignore me and want to crash me or whatever, so be it.”

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After Saturday’s practice for Sunday’s Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (1 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Bell reacted to Larson’s comments earlier in the week.

“On-track incident, whatever. Him crying to the media because I didn’t reply to his sorry text message … come on,” Bell said in the Indy garage area. “… The on-track incident, no, it did not cross the line. Him going to the media complaining I didn’t respond, yes, that crossed the line.

“How many times have I called, first off, or sent a text message and not gotten a reply? Probably more times than I got a reply,” Bell added. “I didn’t think it was a big deal at all.”

Although Bell is over the tangle that sent him spinning after contact with Larson for second place, Larson’s words were more damaging.

“Never have I ever sent a text message at midnight and complained that the guy didn’t message me back,” Bell said. “First off, I will always try to make an effort to talk to him face-to-face, or if I can’t talk to him face-to-face, call them and more than likely leave a voicemail. If I really want to talk about it and I feel like it needs to be discussed, I’d tell them to call me back or whatever. But I didn’t really think that needed to be discussed or talked about. He sent me a text message, albeit at midnight, I read it, was moved on from the on-track incident, then him running his mouth is a little uncalled for. It is what it is.”

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While Bell was confident the incident wasn’t his fault on Sunday after the race, it didn’t stop him from looking back at data to make sure it re-enforced his perspective.

“I went back and looked at it on SMT, which is real data, and I was a car-length-and-a-half above the normal bottom line,” Bell explained. “That was compared to my normal bottom line and his normal bottom line. He hit me and spun me out and I left him a lane-and-a-half to not do that.”

Bell also indicated that he did not consider texting back a response when he read Larson’s text.

“I didn’t think it was necessary,” Bell said. “I was asleep. I didn’t even see it until the next day. It’s very frustrating to hear that Larson has called me and I’m not answering the phone. That’s so far from the truth. If he really wanted to talk about it, I’ll be glad to talk about it.”

Larson noted that if Bell wanted to retaliate down the road, he wouldn’t lose sleep over it. According to Bell, he doesn’t feel like it’s going to alter how the two drivers have competed against each other on asphalt and dirt tracks across the country for over 10 years.

“We always race each other extremely hard, so I don’t know if it’s really going to change anything,” Bell said. “He’s just another guy. Just another competitor out there.”