Saved by the Bell
Tires a Premium at Premium Motorsports
By Ben White
Christopher Bell, tire specialist for Premium Motorsports and driver Derrike Cope, found his way into NASCAR after completing his service in the military in 2014. Joining a Cup series team was the second item on his personal wish list after his return to civilian life.
“I watched races when I was younger and have always loved the sport so I just got into it,” Bell said. “The first race I saw was on television and I was about 8 years old, somewhere in there. I was a Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan when I was growing up.”
Bell graduated from NASCAR Technical Institute in July of 2015. While studying there, he volunteered with Jennifer Jo Cobb’s Camping World Truck Series team in 2014.
“Jennifer was driving trucks and I worked with her for about a year,” Bell said. “Then they hired me when I graduated. I was there for a few months toward the end of the season in 2015. I also worked with Derrike Cope for about half the year in 2016 when he had an Xfinity Series team.”
Bell also worked with B.J. McLeod’s Xfinity Series team and GO FAS Racing before moving to Premium Motorsports in June of this year.
He loves working with tires in part because of his quiet nature.
“I like to be by myself because that’s just my personality,” Bell said. “Working with tires lets me do that. It’s fairly easy to do. You just have to listen to the crew chief and do what he wants done.”
After Bell receives tires from Goodyear, he checks spring rates, puts tires in sets, added proper air pressures and checks tread depths on each one. It’s a redundant process but necessary for all 36 race weekends.
“During the race, you can feel the pressure but it can also be that way during practice sessions as well,” Bell said. “You have to make sure your individual sets are set at the right tire pressures.”
“There’s hardly any stress with this team like there is with other teams. Plus I love the travel (to all 36 races). I’m single and don’t have children so there isn’t anything really holding me back from doing that.”