By: Ashley McCubbin
While the focus has been put on Christopher Bell transitioning to Joe Gibbs Racing this year, the only way it works is if the right driver-crew chief combination is there to allow for success.
The decision of pairing the past NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion with Adam Stevens so far has turned out well. They already reached victory lane at the Daytona International Speedway road course, along with three additional top-10’s in the first eight events.
From Steven’s perspective, he has been impressed by not only Bell’s natural ability and talent behind the wheel, but the work he puts behind the scenes in preparation skills.
“Just seeing what he did behind the wheel at the Daytona road course after the majority of the field had a leg up on him from The Clash race and keep his composure and get the most out of the car at the end of the race just speaks to the talent and ability to drive a racecar that he has,” Stevens told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “So being able to tap into that, and trying to advance that and help him progress his career has been a fun challenge.”
No doubt Stevens is up for the challenge, having been a successful crew chief himself in the past. He entered the year with 28 victories to his credit, including a championship with Kyle Busch. In fact, he and the Rowdy scored a top-five points finish in four of their five seasons together.
However, it has not been easy this time around with the cards dealt in a lack of practice.
“You don’t have to a lot of opportunities to change things at the track without practice,” he explained. ‘You’re just moving the balance around under pit stops; you’re not making wholesale changes and trying to find the feel that he is looking for.
“It’s definitely been a learning process and there’s definitely a learning curve for him and I, but we’ve enjoyed it and we feel we’re making gains – and hopefully we can show what he can do in the near future.”