Christopher Bell Strong Arms his Way to a Third Place at COTA

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 27: Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Echopark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on March 27, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

After Sunday Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell can probably skip ‘arm day’ this coming week.

The driver of the No. 20 Toyota started seventh in the NASCAR Cup race at the Circuit of the Americas but while running fifth on lap 37 began to drop back through the field. He pitted under green shortly after with power steering issues.

The crew tried to fix it but were unable to on pit road. Bell would be one of the few cars to go a lap down on the day but stayed focused. He found himself seventh as the race went to an overtime finish.

On a wild last lap, he avoided issues and crossed under the checkered flag in third.

“It was a hard-fought day that’s for sure,” Bell said. “Losing power steering wasn’t ideal. I picked up an issue early on in the race and I knew something wasn’t right and eventually lost power steering a couple laps later. That wasn’t good, but this 20 group did amazing getting us back out there.

“I was always able to pick off a couple spots and that’s ultimately how we got our finish.”

Bell had a front row seat for all the wildness that unfolded on the final lap with Ross Chastain winning his first Cup race and Alex Bowman finishing second. Bell felt if he could have been closer to the front, he could have had a shot for the win.

“I knew if I was like third or second, maybe, but being fourth, I didn’t think there was any chance.”