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Bell predicts Truck-style Xfinity Series opener at Daytona

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Bell predicts Truck-style Xfinity Series opener at Daytona
By:
Feb 16, 2019, 3:15 PM

Toyota’s rising star Christopher Bell says today’s Xfinity Series opener will be “more like the Truck race” than the Cup Series racing seen so far at Speedweeks.

Bell, the 2017 Truck champion, says he was relieved he wasn’t a part of Friday night’s Truck opener, in which only nine drivers saw the checkered flag on the lead lap. He predicts that Saturday’s Xfinity event could be similarly chaotic, and a contrast to the single-file racing the Cup cars have produced at Daytona so far.

“I would imagine that the Xfinity race is probably going to be more like the Truck race,” said Bell. “They definitely crashed a lot, and it’s exciting for the fans, right? They weren’t riding around at all!

“I could be wrong, Talladega we rode around a lot, but we certainly didn’t do that here last year. When you look at the calibre of our drivers, we have a bunch of young guns who are talented and excited, ready to go racing, and it’s the first race of the year. I’m expecting it to be like the Truck race.”

Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing team has switched to Toyota’s new Supra body for 2019, and he believes the new styling has helped its chances at Daytona.

“It looks outstanding, and I think honestly it’s a little bit faster than what we had last year,” Bell added. “Our Camry’s superspeedway package, I felt, was a little bit down. But our Supras seem to be really fast.”

More Xfinity news:

Bell’s crew chief Jason Ratcliff says the Gibbs squad has had a great winter readying the “exciting” new body for the season ahead, and says early signs are encouraging.

“We spent all winter getting [the new bodies] done, and they’re not all finished yet,” said Ratcliff. “We still have a lot more in production but they’re coming together pretty quick and nicely. The first one we had in the windtunnel was mid-December, and the numbers looked good. The 18 team tested at Vegas, and they were happy with it.

“We didn’t get a good feel for what it would look like until a week and a half ago. Then it really came together nice, and it’s a good looking car.

“The 20 team hasn’t personally done any track testing, so yesterday was the first time we had one out on track. It went really well, we were fast off the bat. Christopher was happy with it, he looked good.”

Check out the Supras in action at Daytona...

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Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem
1/10

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem
2/10

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Joey Gase, Motorsports Business Management, Toyota Supra Eternal Fan / Fan Memories / Donate Life

Joey Gase, Motorsports Business Management, Toyota Supra Eternal Fan / Fan Memories / Donate Life
3/10

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra iK9 Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra iK9 Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper
4/10

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem and Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem and Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper
5/10

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Rheem
6/10

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper and Chase Elliott, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Aftershokz

Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper and Chase Elliott, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Aftershokz
7/10

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Matt Mills, B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Toyota Supra J.F. Electric

Matt Mills, B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Toyota Supra J.F. Electric
8/10

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper

Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Juniper
9/10

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra iK9

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra iK9
10/10

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Daytona
Drivers Christopher Bell
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Charles Bradley