Cindric, Bell talk youth factor heading into Homestead

By Isabel Gonzalez
November 16, 2017

MIAMI—The age gap between the four drivers competing in the 2017 Camping World Truck Series Championship this Friday is a big one. The two youngest drivers are about half the age of the two oldest.

Christopher Bell and Austin Cindric, 22 and 19 respectively, are the youngest competitors eligible for the championship this year. The two youngsters are competing against two veterans. Matt Crafton, 41, is a two-time champion and Johnny Sauter, 39, will enter this weekend as the defending champion.

As in any sport, age can be seen as an important factor to consider when it comes to a driver’s performance. Being young can be both a positive and a negative, as shown by comments that both Bell and Cindric made during Thursday’s media day. The two drivers are entering this weekend with similar mentalities.

This season was Cindric’s first full season so he decided to approach the championship race in a humble manner.

“From experience level, I think (age) is a disadvantage. Obviously I would’ve wished to have raced here many times but I don’t have that luxury,” he said, but then began to mention the positives of the position he is in. “We’re the underdog in this scenario and I love it.”

Cindric explained that he feels that the underdog position allows him to race as hard as he can without feeling the pressure of high expectations from others regarding his performance, which allows him to give it his all and remain focused without many outside distractions.

“I think that’s an advantage for us,” he said. “To be able to say that we tried (for) a championship is a pretty cool thing to do. You just have to take it and run with it.”

Bell, who is about to finish his second full-time season in the Truck Series, was asked about what kind of mark he thinks he’s leaving in the series. To this question, the driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports car admitted that he doesn’t know what mark he has left because he hasn’t been in the series long enough.

However, he added that he has accomplished the main goals he set for himself when he decided to get into the truck series, which was winning races and becoming consistent.

Whatever happens this weekend, Bell said he is already happy about his accomplishments in 2017.

“To win a championship would be great, but if I don’t win a championship tomorrow it’s not something that I’m going to lose sleep over,” he said.

Both drivers seemed to be taking the opportunity to win a championship title as just an added bonus to an already beneficial season.

This year, Cindric recorded seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes, while Bell has 14 top-five results and 20 top-10 finishes. Cindric has one win while Bell has five.

Cindric’s last comment focused on how much he values the experience of competing this weekend because it’s an opportunity to grow and learn as a driver.

“In any sport to be able to be my age and compete against someone with the experience that Johnny and Matt have is a pretty neat opportunity,” he said. “I’ve learned plenty of lessons from these two guys, and to be able to have a shot to try to beat them is a pretty cool deal.”

Bob Leverone/Getty Images for NASCAR
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway


Which driver will finish higher at Homestead-Miami Speedway?
No. 4 Christopher Bell
No. 19 Austin Cindric