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NASCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE


July 11, 2017


Christopher Bell

Chase Briscoe


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by two dirt aces in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing, and Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Weíll start with you Christopher, youíre fresh off your win at Kentucky, your third victory of the season. How does it feel heading into the Eldora as the only returning series regular that has visited victory lane at the half mile dirt track?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: It's great. Eldora is my favorite racetrack in the whole world. Grew up running a lot of laps there. I think over my dirt career here, I've run more laps at Eldora than I have anywhere in the world. To go back to Eldora riding the momentum from our Kentucky win in the Truck Series is going to be exciting.
I think I've got as good a shot as anybody to win the race and it's one of my favorite races of the year, so I'm really looking forward to it.

THE MODERATOR: Chase had early success during his rookie campaign two runner-up finishes, two top 10s in the first ten races. Chase, you're a third generation dirt racer from the neighboring state of Indiana. Take us through how it feels to return to your roots as you prepare to make your NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Eldora.
CHASE BRISCOE: Itís awesome. This is the one track I've been looking forward to more than any. Itís going to be nice to finally get to Eldora, Iíve been going there ever since I was little. Never got to actually race there. My dad never wanted to take me there because it was dangerous in a sprint car and we only had one motor growing up. So it was tough.
But never thought my first laps were going to be in a pickup truck, but definitely excited. Eldora for a dirt guy is Daytona and Indianapolis. Definitely going to be an honor to run there finally.

Q. Christopher, obviously you've won here before and you have a dirt racing background. I talked to Johnny Sauter earlier, with the point standings as it is, do you see this as a track you can rebound with your dirt experience?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Yes and no. The thing is about the points is that we really have two different point standings. You have the championship or the playoff standings and then you have the regular season standings. So while Johnny Sauter is leading the regular season standings, I believe I'm leading the playoff standings. So our team has -- after we won a race, our team is focused on the playoff standings more so than the regular season.
And I feel like we've been doing an excellent job of capitalizing on the playoff points by winning as many races as we can, as well as trying to win stages.
But whenever we go for stage points, we're very mindful to not put ourselves in a position where we lose overall race points.
So, as far as the regular season standings goes, I feel like this is a very good place for me to catch up on Johnny because Johnny is not a dirt guy. And I am.
So hopefully we can close the gap a little bit and then add to our championship standings as well.

Q. Chase, this is your first time at Eldora. In a race truck, it's a lot different than like a modified. So give us your dirt background and the excitement of going to Eldora.
CHASE BRISCOE: Yeah, my whole dirt background has been 410 non-winged sprint cars and a couple midget races here and there. But just having dirt experience in anything is certainly going to help I think just because you know what the track is doing, you can tell just by reading it and you just know that feel that you need on dirt as far as side bite and forward bite goes.
And just having sprint car background, obviously the truck's going to be a lot slower than the sprint car and that always helps when you feel like you're in slowing motion. It's going to be a great race. Obviously, Bell is going to be one to beat. Ricoís going to be good. But Bobby Pierce and guys like Chris Wyndham who is a really good USAC sprint car driver and I think there's going to be a couple guys that surprise you.
I think normally at Eldora you see guys rise to the top but also seems like the normal truck guys pick it up pretty soon.

Q. Chase, you guys both have dirt backgrounds. I'm curious if you think there should be maybe one more dirt race maybe during the playoffs just so you can have all tracks a part of this deal. If so, and you do feel that way, which tracks would you want to see added first?
CHASE BRISCOE: I'd be all for it. I think obviously for me and Christopher, both, I think we don't have near as much pavement experience as most of the guys. It's nice to go to a racetrack where we have an advantage. If we could do that in the playoffs. I certainly think it would be awesome. But there's a lot of tracks I think that could host it. Obviously Knoxville would be one, I think, just from a seating standpoint and the track size standpoint would be good. And I think you could even go all the way to Charlotte Motor Speedway with it being out there real close.
So there's tons of dirt tracks out there. You can throw Lawrenceburg into the mix, as well. That would be really good. But I'd be all for having it in the playoffs, that's for sure.
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Well, so I'd say let's just go ahead and switch Homestead and Eldora. Let's race for a championship at Eldora. And we can add another dirt track to fill Eldora's place at the beginning of the year.

Q. Christopher, running this week, what kind of advantage do you think you're going to have knowing the dirt [indiscernible]?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: You were cutting out, did you say the Kings Royal this week, the advantage I'm going to have because I'm running the Kings Royal? I'm going to assume that's what you asked.
So, yeah, the Kings Royal, I've been able to do that the last couple of years before the truck race, and it's been a huge advantage for me, because like Chase mentioned before, sprint cars are so fast. And the trucks at Eldora are relatively slow.
So quick time this weekend in the sprint cars is going to be in the 12-second bracket and when we go back in the truck it's going to be in the 20-second bracket. So clicking around there in a sprint car, getting laps in a sprint car, it won't really help as far as track conditions because the conditions will be totally different.
But the speed will be so relative whenever we go back to the truck series, I'll be able to hit my marks a little bit more precise because I'll be used to going so much faster.

Q. Chase, you mentioned that your dad didn't want you racing on Eldora because it was so dangerous. What makes Eldora different from other dirt tracks?
CHASE BRISCOE: Yeah, Eldora, in general, it's so fast. And it seems like it's a self-cleaning racetrack where when guys do start flipping it seems like you can't get out of their way. Like I said, it's so fast it's hard to slow down.
And that was one of the things my dad really didn't want me going and doing. If we had a different motor situation we certainly would have did it but with our situation we were never running for points in USAC or anything so we just kind of stayed away from it.

Q. Christopher, because you've been in this race several times, can you just talk about the atmosphere of this race and the energy, the electricity in the air that you might not see at every racetrack on the schedule?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: Yeah, Eldora is a unique place it's one of the places where you go to the track is down in a hole the fans are all up around the racetrack, as well as the grandstands on the front straightaway the fans will fill the hills with lawn chairs. It's an awesome place because you can feel the energy and excitement.
Thankfully, I've been able to go to Eldora for different events here like the four crown. Chase actually spotted me for my Silver Crown win for the Four Crown a couple years ago. But the Four Crown, the Kings Royal, the truck race has a special feel to it. So many people there camping it's just an awesome place, and it's great to be able to race in front of such a great crowd, large crowd, anytime there's more people it adds excitement for the race.

Q. Just listening to the teleconference, it's very interesting and very obvious, both of you are loving this idea of Eldora and maybe some of the veterans in the series are kind of a little bit more weary and have to kind of prepare for it. How aware are you two of the fact that this is kind right up your alley?
CHRISTOPHER BELL: I think we both are, both of us know this is a very good opportunity, especially for Chase because he hasn't won a race and he's not locked in the playoffs. This is kind of or not kind of, it's a good opportunity for him to get a win. For me it's a good opportunity for me to add my fourth win of the season. It's my favorite racetrack of the world, so I'm excited to go back.
CHASE BRISCOE: And just what I was saying earlier, for me this being my second year really on pavement, everywhere I go is kind of a disadvantage I feel like because I don't know what the track's doing or how it's changing, where when we go to the dirt track I can see what the track's doing. I know what the feeling's going to be when the track's going away where a lot of these guys that grew up around pavement they don't know that.
For us obviously we're the highest guy right now without a win but we really do want to win and secure our way in. We feel like this is a really good place for it to happen.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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