PHOENIX – Given the dramatic way Christopher Bell has advanced to the Championship 4, it might seem strange that the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota thinks of himself as completely under the radar.
In a win-or-bust situation at the Charlotte Roval on Oct. 9, Bell took advantage of a late caution, won the race and catapulted into the Round of 8.
After suffering two flat tires at Texas Motor Speedway and finishing 11th at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Bell once again needed a victory to keep his championship hopes alive. He took control of the Round of 8 elimination race shortly after the halfway point and triumphed once again.
Bell comes to Phoenix with crew chief Adam Stevens on his pit box. Stevens is the only active crew chief in the Cup Series garage with more than one championship, having won titles with Kyle Busch in 2015 and 2019.
But Bell thinks Stevens may be overlooked this season-because of his driver.
“I think that maybe has a lot to do with my role,” Bell said. “Nobody really realizes I drive race cars for a living, for the most part. I embrace that role. I guess I don’t do anything else to advocate for myself or anything like that. Any time it seems like people are teamed up with me, they’re off the radar.”
Bell says he doesn’t mind the perceived anonymity.
“It’s just kind of the way it’s unfolded over my… I don’t really know how long,” he said. “That’s fine by me. Maybe I’ll be the least famous Cup champion one day.”