Christopher Bell feels ‘dumb and stupid’ over Chase Briscoe gaffe; no harm or faul

Everyone had fun with the mistake except Bell, who feels embarrassed by it

Christopher Bell immediately sent a text message on Friday to apologize to Chase Briscoe but the problem is that the latter had no cell service and didn’t understand for awhile exactly what happened.

Briscoe was racing a Sprint Car on Friday night and there is infamously very little cell service in the Loudon, New Hampshire area and had no idea that Bell had slipped up and broke the news that they would be teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing next season.

“It was funny. Christopher texted me and he said, ‘I messed up so bad,’” Briscoe said on Saturday during his scheduled media breakout sessions. “I was like, ‘What happened, what do you mean?’ He goes, ‘Go look at Twitter.’”

Briscoe literally couldn’t.

“I couldn’t receive any texts, so I couldn’t get anything to load,” Briscoe added. “And literally the last text I got was Christopher saying, ‘I messed up, go look at Twitter.’ I got to the race track and I had no signal, so I didn’t know what had happened for probably three or four hours while I was over there. A couple of people had signal and told me what had happened. I didn’t even get to see the video until I got back at 12:30 or 1:00 in the morning.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it was funny and weird knowing something was out there but had no way to see what it was or what happened. People were coming up to me at the track and I had no idea what they were talking about at first. It was definitely an odd night.”

Briscoe and Bell are both in the weird position of dancing around the subject still because Gibbs hasn’t formally made the announcement. But really, the news had kind of circulated around the garage the week before and it was no surprise when Bell said it.

In fact, the news is so concrete that Bell was so comfortable talking about it in the first place.

Nevertheless, Briscoe, with his shared open wheel dirt backgrounds with Bell, is looking forward to increased collaboration in Huntersville, North Carolina next season and beyond.

“I feel like Christopher has always believed in me and we’ve never really been in the same opportunities at the same time, so it will be fun,” Briscoe said. “It will be nice to get to work with Christopher a lot.”

And more than anything, Briscoe is just relieved that such a prominent opportunity opened up so quickly from finding out that his multiyear agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing would no longer be valid next season.

Not only did he find a new ride so quickly, it was one of the most coveted in the sport once Martin Truex Jr. decided he would retire from full-time competition at the end of the season as well.

“It’s just a weird year: on the track, off the track,” Briscoe said. “There is a lot of stuff going on in my life from the twins coming. There has been a lot of change after this year, and it’s been an odd year. I think one that I look back on and appreciate and I feel like I’ve learned a lot this year on how to handle stuff on and off the race track. Even going through this whole process and doing it all on my own kind of feels like when I first moved down to Charlotte and trying to grind and find something. It’s been fun to go back to that.”

For his part, Bell said on Saturday before practice that he still feels really embarrassed by it all, even if the entire industry has had a lot of fun with it.

“Uhh, no. I’m glad everyone’s laughing about it but I’m not laughing,” Bell said on the PRN Radio practice session broadcast. “I felt so incredibly dumb and stupid.”

Bell did joke enough to say that he is looking for drivers to ‘stage a fight’ to divert attention over his gaffe and that Joe Gibbs Racing ‘went easy on me’ over ‘what was easily the biggest public relations mistake of my career .. no, my whole life.’

Meanwhile, Kyle Larson was really proud of this priceless artifact of a tweet.

“I was really proud of it,” Larson said. “I was typing it so fast and couldn’t wait to get it out there. I texted Bell and Briscoe before I even sent that tweet that I was fucking dying laughing because it was hilarious. That is the greatest way to announce somebody coming to a team.”

What did the serially not online Elliott think?

“Yeah, I heard about that,” Elliott said. “It was funny … the boss actually sent me a message about another – I’m not sure who sent it to him or whatever, but there were all kinds of stuff. He sent me this screenshot that I was leaving and going somewhere else and was going to own a team.. there’s been all kinds of stuff, evidently, going on that I didn’t know what I was doing this week.

“I guess I’m headed to go drive for JGR now, too (laughs). I don’t think so.. if I am, I didn’t know about it. But I felt bad for Bell.. such an honest mistake, you could tell. It was such a genuine – like he just slipped up, you know? Excited for Briscoe, though. I think that will be a really good opportunity for him. I hate that Bell was the one to break the news. I’m sure he got into trouble for that, but it’s all good (laughs). It was going to come out eventually.”

Larson actually believes this got the announcement way more attention that a press release or media event will ultimately generate.

“This is the greatest way to announce somebody coming to a team,” Larson added. “I’m sure their PR department was planning this really extravagant, very professional thing but they got way more clicks for this than when they finally do announce it.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: