Getting Started: JRM's Jones, Bell Hit the Track in Super Late Models

Ron Lemasters | 1/19/2024

News

Georgia natives Brandon Jones and Phillip Bell will be at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga. for the Speedfest Super Late Model show this weekend.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan 19, 2024) -- What better way to get some track time before the NASCAR Xfinity Series season begins than returning to one's roots?

Georgia natives Brandon Jones and Phillip Bell will be at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga. for the Speedfest Super Late Model show this weekend, getting a start on the 2024 season. When February comes around, Jones will drive the No. 9 Menards Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, and Bell will be his crew chief.

Both driver and crew chief came up through the highly competitive Late Model ranks in the Peach State, with Bell as a mechanic and crew chief and Jones as a driver. The return to their roots will be nostalgic in some ways, but the primary purpose will be to prepare for a full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series ranks.

"Returning back to my roots in Georgia this weekend, running in the Buckle Up Speedfest race at Crisp Motorsports Park, gives me a good feeling about this year, and working with Phillip Bell has me amped up," Jones, entering his second season with JR Motorsports, said of the weekend.

"We have been hard at it this off-season already pushing and testing each other's abilities. Having Phillip alongside gives me a new dimension of experience, and I'm eager to see what we can achieve together. We are more than ready to hit the ground running and what better way to do that than to start the year off at Speedfest."

Bell, in his first season as crew chief on the No. 9 Menards Chevrolet, sees the event as the starting point for 2024.

"The main thing is to go and get some work in between me and Brandon," Bell said. "We already have done some of that, but we just want to build on it. The best way to get to know people in racing is just to get to work."

Work, in this case, means taming the fast, banked three-eighths-mile D-shaped oval and building chemistry and communication.

"The key to being fast there in Cordele is exit-focused, really rolling the center, getting pointed and low and straight up off the corner," Bell said. "That's our focus."

Coincidentally, that describes just about every track on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule this year as well.

"A lot of it is getting in there and putting yourselves in situations that you're going to be in all throughout the year," Bell said. "The sooner we get to them and see how we communicate and the correct way to communicate, the better. Everyone has a different personality. Figuring out how he ticks and getting that inflection…when he says the car is tight, does he mean it's a little bit tight or do we have to do something big?"

During a recent test, Bell talked about that process.

"It's really fun," he said. "We went and tested this past weekend. It was a great trip. We rode five hours down there, worked, and drove five hours back. There's only one way to build a great relationship and that's spending time with people. It went really well. I enjoy working with Brandon, he's a great, genuine person and I think it's going to be a great time this weekend and this coming season."

 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • March 2 05:00 PM ET
    The LiUNA!Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • March 9 04:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at PhoenixPhoenix Raceway
  • March 23 05:00 PM ET
    NASCAR Xfinity 250Circuit of the Americas
  • March 30 01:30 PM ET
    ToyotaCare 250Richmond Raceway
  • April 6 07:30 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at MartinsvilleMartinsville Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Dead On Tools 250

Martinsville Speedway | 10/28/2023
Results are not available.