Christopher Bell entered last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway as a clear favorite.
After all, Bell had dominated the series with seven victories before the finale. But Homestead turned out to be the most frustrating race of the year for Bell, who rolled home in 11th place and finished fourth in the final standings.
Tyler Reddick, on the other hand, found a home near the wall and parlayed his ability to run the top lane into a series title.
Bell has been thinking about the final race ever since. And based on the likely assumption he’ll be one of the four qualifiers at Homestead, Bell’s approach will change when he gets there.
“We definitely took the conservative approach of ‘Do not run the wall, do not run the wall, do not run the wall,’” Bell said Friday at Richmond Raceway. “I think Cole Custer proved the last couple years that he got his car good enough to where he didn’t have to run the wall. (Kyle) Larson, I think Larson ran the year that Cole won, and his car wasn’t very good so he couldn’t run the wall.
“And so everyone was like, ‘Oh, you can run the middle, you can run the middle, you can run the middle.’ Well, Reddick proved it again last year that the wall is the fastest place to be at Homestead. I think I’m just going to go up there and run the wall.”
Bell finished 16th Friday night.