AVON, Ind. – Reigning Chili Bowl champion Christopher Bell has joined Swindell SpeedLab to compete in the DIRTcar Nationals at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park.
“It makes it nice that we’ll get to practice Tuesday,” said team co-owner Kevin Swindell. “We’ll need to adapt some things to what he wants to feel. Hopefully by night two we’re figured out, can do some fine-tuning and get out of there with one of those gators. With the Outlaw guys no matter where you go they’ve been there 10 times more than you have. The beginning of the year is where you can strike while guys adapt because of crew chief and driver changes. If you’re the first guy that hits on something you’ve got to get out there and take advantage.”
The event runs Wednesday through Sunday at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioning the opening two nights before the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series hosts a tripleheader this weekend.
Bell made a trio of starts for the team last summer during Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek. He set quick time during qualifying and ended 11th in the A Main at Path Valley Speedway Park in Spring Run, Pa., before rallying from 18th to 13th at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa. Bell was in a podium position at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., before a flat tire in the closing laps relegated him to a 17th-place finish.
“By the end of it we started to figure each other out,” Swindell said. “Grandview was going really well until we blew the tire out. I feel like he’s not one of those people you have to be perfect for; you just have to get him close.”
Bell finished third during a World of Outlaws feature at Volusia Speedway Park in 2017.
“I feel like we can win a couple of races this week if things go well enough,” Swindell said. “We come into this year with a little unknown with everyone putting the bars in (the chassis) and you never know if the tires will be the same. If stuff is the same as last year, I feel good about what we had at Charlotte to end the season and that carries over well to Volusia. If we can get qualified well hopefully the rest of it will handle itself.”