Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Norman, Oklahoma native and young up-and-coming NASCAR star Christopher Bell will drive seven NASCAR XFINITY Series races during the 2017 season.
The 22-year-old is currently running full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He started 2017 on fire by winning one of NASCAR’s marquee events, the Chili Bowl, and followed it up by dominating and winning his second Truck Series race for 2017 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Bell will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut in JGR’s No. 18 Camry at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27. He will then pilot the No. 20 Camry for JGR for two races on June 24 at Iowa Speedway and again on September 8 at Richmond International Raceway. He will finish out his last four races back in the No. 18 Toyota Camry at Kansas Speedway on October 21, Texas Motor Speedway on November 4, Phoenix International Raceway on November 14 and the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18.
“Christopher has quickly made his mark in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and should be able to use that experience toward his debut in the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Steve deSouza, Executive Vice President of XFINITY and Development for Joe Gibbs Racing. “He has confidence and is eager to showcase his talents at Charlotte Motor Speedway and we are excited to see what he can do in the JGR Toyota’s for his seven races. “
Before racing on pavement, Bell was crowned the United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Champion in 2013 and accumulated 26 feature wins on dirt in 2014, including the Turkey Night Grand Prix Midget race. He also enjoyed success in Super Late Models, winning prestigious races at New Smyrna Speedway, South Alabama Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park.
Bell finished third in points after qualifying for the inaugural Chase in the Truck Series and advancing to the final round at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2016. Bell currently has three career Truck Series wins. In 2017 he has posted one win, one pole, 201 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.0 across the first three NCWTS events.
“As a kid growing up in Oklahoma it’s always been a dream come true to be able to race in one of the NASCAR’s top series,” stated Bell. “Over the past three years, Toyota has given me the opportunity to compete at the truck level with Kyle Busch Motorsports. Going to JGR is something I didn’t dream of as a kid because it wasn’t something I dreamed was a possibility. Now with this tremendous opportunity in front of me, it is obviously a dream come true. I couldn’t be happier than to be with the team I’m at. To be able to race seven races at JGR is something that every kid would love the opportunity to do. I’m very thankful for it and we’re going to go out here and try to make the most of it.”
Keep your eyes on this young gun! Bell is a quick study and has all the tools necessary to become a star in the MENCS, ala Kyle Larson!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!