Two boys around the age of thirteen years old met each other one day playing racing video games. They interacted through the chat feature. Little did they know at that time that not only would they stay in touch, but they would also end up competing against each other on the real track as adults.
Now nearly ten years later, Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe, long time friends and competitors, both raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overton’s 150 last Saturday at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Bell grew up in Oklahoma, and later Ohio, while Briscoe was raised in Indiana. The pair kept in touch, and now they race against each other in the truck series. “I don’t think either of us ever dreamed that we would race each other at this level,” says the 22-year-old Briscoe.
When asked how it feels to race against Briscoe, one of his best friends, Bell says, “It’s cool because we grew up racing online together. We were always buddies, so we talked with each other and stuff like that. It’s pretty cool racing against him in the truck series because he is one of my biggest competitors.”
Bell, 22, entered the series in 2015 and has won six races, including four this year. Briscoe started this year, and has finished in the top ten seven times. The two showed their skills on a perfect day for racing at the Tricky Triangle. Drivers have coined this phrase because of the difficult course that is roughly in the shape of a triangle. It was a sunny Saturday, with almost no clouds in the sky. It was a little bit over seventy degrees, with a slight breeze. After a few practice laps, the racers started the difficult sixty lap race. The crowd was going wild. It was a struggle to keep first place, but Bell overtook John Hunter Nemechek on the 54th lap, and finished 1.964 seconds ahead of Ben Rhodes. Bell’s victory gave him the points lead for the truck series. For his celebration, he did a bunch of donuts and drove around waving his checkered flag. Briscoe took ninth place, and is third in the points standing. After the race, Bell went to victory lane to take pictures and to receive his trophy. He had to do the “hat dance” which is where he takes a lot of pictures with hats from various sponsors.
Regardless of their finish, the two boys who met online with a common dream had one terrific day. They are both bound for great things.
Photographs by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images (Bell); Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images (Briscoe)