“You have to step it down personally with impersonators,” Johnson told an employee.
Bell has had a good laugh during this time, with the seven-time NASCAR champion joking around with a joke and acting as one of the brightest stars of the future on the way out of the game.
“I fought against them more than anyone else,” Bell said.
Next time they head down they will come to the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Reddick, Custer and Bell combined for 21 wins in 33 Xfinity Series races last season – and won one straight nine on the campaign trail in the Cup Series.
The checkered flag, the bragging rights, the glimmer of the year’s awards – and the pressure to keep high-profile jobs – all ready to go. Each expects them to finish at the top of the class.
“I wish I’d smoked them,” Bell said.
Bell, Reddick and Custer are the launchpins of an elusive field that includes Queen huff, John Hunter Niemke and Brennan Pool. This is NASCAR’s best class in the era, and the sport’s next big hope is that this youth movement will launch a new generation of future champions and fans.
NASCAR’s rookie classes have made a few stars over the past few years. Daniel Hemrick There were only two top-10 finishes last season, and Richard Childress was 25th in the standings in winning the top rookie award in an underrated category for racing. His rewards? He was dropped by the RCR and will run a part-time schedule this season in the Xfinity Series.
Where have you gone Brett Moffitt? The 27-year-old has started just seven cups since he won and none since 20. Kevin Conway, Andy Lyle and Stephen Leichotte There has been no full-time Cup ride to NASCAR among the recent underhauling winners over the past decade.
The Xfinity Series championship doesn’t guarantee too much success either. Daniel Suarez, The 2016 champion, is already in his third team. The 2015 Champion Chris Boucher One, rain-shortened cup win and 2017 champion William Byron 72 is 0 for starters.
Trevor Byrne was the last driver to win the Daytona 500 in his first start and he never won again.
The 24-year-old Reddick has won the last two Xfinity Series championships and will be driving No. 8 Chevrolet this season for Richard Childress Racing. Reddick has two Cup starts, including finishing 27th for the RCR at the Daytona 500 last season, and he finished ninth in his second race in Kansas.
“You can’t make the mistakes you can usually avoid with a good team in the Xfinity series,” said Reddick. “You can be really fast but that doesn’t mean you will run.”
The 25-year-old Bell won the 2017 Truck Series Championship and has been thriving as a developer driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR’s Cup Champion Kyle Busch and the load lineup Martin Truex Jr.., Two-time Daytona 500 winner Danny Hamlin And Eric Jones left Bell without a passenger. JGR has outgrown Bell, who grew up racing in Oklahoma, to No. 8 Toyota and Levine Family Racing.
“I’m grateful to be here to participate in this journey,” said Bell. “Hopefully we can go out there and make everyone proud.”
The 22-year-old Custer took the ride to Stewart-Hash Racing’s No. 41 Ford Suarez and won consistently. The son of Stewart-Hash Racing executive Joe Custer grew up around the racetrack. He started racing when he was 5 years old and quickly made it to the track series. He is the youngest winner in a NASCAR National Series race in New Hampshire, starting his seventh career truck at 25. He was 16 years, 7 months, 28 days.
“I’ve talked to Kevin a lot through my Xfinity staff and he is ultimately supportive and one of the most helpful people I’ve ever spoken to,” said Custer. “But even in our post-practice meeting with Clint and Eric, I ask those boys for advice and they are open to the final, so if I get advice from any of these guys, it’s going to be huge.”