Christopher Bell didn’t think the incident between him and Kyle Larson last weekend warranted a discussion, but now admits he is frustrated by Larson’s comments about it.
“I didn’t really think that needed to be discussed or talked about,” Bell said Saturday after practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “He did send me a text message, albeit at midnight, but I read it and moved on from the on-track incident — and then him running his mouth is a little uncalled for.”
Larson spun Bell for second place in Turn 1 on lap 55 at Watkins Glen. Larson apologized in his post-race winner’s comments before later sending the text message.
AROUND GOES CHRISTOPHER BELL!
Kyle Larson locks it up entering turn 1, and gets into the No. 20!
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 8, 2021
Bell said he was sleeping when the message came through and did not see it until the next day. However, he still doesn’t believe it was a big deal he didn’t respond.
Larson went on to tell SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday night he reached out to Bell, “but I guess he’s not willing to talk to me.”
“I think any adult in the field would at least have a conversation with you, but he doesn’t care to,” Larson also said on SiriusXM. “So, we’ll move on from it, and if he wants to get me back, that’s fine. Whatever. I’m not going to worry about it. If it makes him sleep better at night to ignore me and want to crash me or whatever, so be it.”
Responded Bell, “It’s very frustrating to hear Larson has called me and I’m not answering the phone when that is so far from the truth. If he really wants to talk about it, I’ll be glad to talk about it.
“The on-track incident is 10 percent of the story.”
The two made contact turning into Turn 1, Larson getting into Bell’s right-rear. According to Bell, he was a car length above the normal bottom line. Bell also said he went back and looked at SMT data and believes the contact is squarely on Larson.
“He hit me and spun me out, and I left him a lane and a half to not do that,” said Bell.
In his comments to the media at Indianapolis, Larson said he was over what happened, and as the weeks go on, Bell will be too. Larson is also “not too worried about it” and doesn’t think he and Bell need to talk before Sunday’s race.
Larson and Bell have raced together for many years, which is why a part of Larson was surprised Bell didn’t respond. But Larson also wasn’t surprised “because he’s just Bell.”
“I have a ton of respect for him on the track; I think he’s amazing at what he does. We’re going to be racing together for a very long time – in NASCAR, dirt, whatever it is. It’s been fun.”