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Christopher Bell was in NASCAR‘s Championship 4 race at Phoenix but wasn’t the favorite. No one on the NBC broadcast picked the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to win. 

Unfortunately, those predictions were proved right when the No. 20 experienced a brake failure in Stage 2, and his day ended early. Moments after the incident, the fiancee of another Cup Series competitor took to X (formerly Twitter) and made a surprising remark by suggesting it was “karma.” 

Christopher Bell exits early and hears about it from unlikely source

Christopher Bell didn’t have a strong qualifying effort and started 13th in the final race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. When the green flag waved, the 28-year-old made his way forward and landed inside the top 10 by the end of the first stage. In the second stage, the JGR pilot expressed concern that he was beginning to experience brake issues. 

On Lap 110, those concerns became a full-blown problem when his right front rotor exploded, sending the No. 20 into the Turn 3 wall. The damage was terminal. 

Bell’s race and, more significantly, his hopes of winning a championship were over. It was an unfortunate turn of events for the driver who saw his title hopes end late in last year’s championship race on a slow pit stop. 

Minutes after this year’s misfortune, Daniel Suarez’s fiancee, Julia Piquet, offered her thoughts on Bell’s situation on X.

“Karma…” she wrote. 

She later changed her settings to private, preventing the tweet from public viewing.

Bell and Suarez have a recent history

While that single-word post from Piquet, the daughter of three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet, seemed out of the blue to some, it wasn’t. There’s a recent history between Suarez and Bell.

It started last month on the Charlotte Roval when Bell ran into the back of the No. 99 with 15 laps to go and sent him for a spin while they raced for 11th. Several days later, the JGR driver acknowledged that he had talked with Suarez.

“I reached out to him and told him that it wasn’t intentional, but, we, I’m sure he’s going to be coming after me, which is not ideal going into the next four races,” Bell told NBC Sports. “It’s a mistake, and I’ll have to keep that in the back of my head moving forward.”

The following week at Las Vegas, the Trackhouse Racing driver said his focus wasn’t on Bell, but he hadn’t forgotten about what happened.

“I didn’t come to Las Vegas thinking that I’m going to go after Christopher Bell,” Suarez said. “That’s not me. I’m going to do my thing, put my effort into the 99. I can tell you for sure, I won’t make his life easy. If I have the opportunity at one point to make his life very difficult, I will, just because I felt like what he did was not acceptable.”

Pair have a history dating back to 2022

Interestingly, the Roval incident wasn’t the first run-in between the pair. During the Darlington playoff race last season, Bell also got into the Trackhouse car and forced him into the wall.

“What happened in Darlington, that was a mistake,” Suarez said. “He went too deep. He put me in the wall. That was a mistake, but that was still a racing thing.”

The Charlotte Roval incident wasn’t a mistake or a racing thing in Suarez’s eyes. He vowed to make it hard on Bell. Whether that actually happened in the final four races remains unclear. But his fiancee’s remarks would seem to indicate that the driver was clearly still not happy about it.

Could this be a budding rivalry in 2024? Time will tell.

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