Christopher Bell Would Like To Start Back Where He Left Off

Christopher Bell

Friday’s Toyota Tundra 250 will mark the end of five weeks off for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but Christopher Bell is one driver who hasn’t let the break in the action slow him down. Bell stayed busy racing on dirt as well as preparing for his upcoming NASCAR XFINITY Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 27.

Bell spent his first “off weekend” racing ASCS Sprint Cars in Tony Stewart’s Texas Sprint Car Nationals at the dirt track at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7 and 8. Participating in the event, which was held the same weekend as NASCAR’s top two series were racing at the pavement track around the corner, also allowed the 22-year-old to hang around the No. 18 XFINITY Series team and get a feel for the team he will be working with for his series debut. He traveled with and shadowed the team again for the XFINITY Series stop at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 29.

The Oklahoma native returned to the state of Texas the following weekend to race in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series events at Gator Motorplex in Willis on April 13 and Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas April 14 and 15. Bell qualified inside the top five both nights and earned a respectable fourth-place finish in the final event of the weekend.

Bell’s next stop came on April 21 at the NRA Sprint Invaders event at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio. The talented wheelman maneuvered his way from the 14th starting position up to third in 10 laps, took the lead on lap 18 and then cruised to victory in the 25-lap feature. The following night he finished sixth in the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio.

Last week Bell cleaned the dust of his racing shoes and returned to the pavement participating in the open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He kicked off the day turning his first laps in an XFINITY Series Camry from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and then headed over to the Truck Series garage for the 3 – 8 p.m. session.

Bell proved that he’s a serious racer the last five weeks traveling the country with his helmet and firesuit in hand looking for a seat to keep his skills sharp during the break. Friday night he gets behind the wheel of the same Tundra, KBM-38, that he dominated the first mile-and-a-half race of the Truck Series season at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway looking to earn another victory and prove that he’s a serious contender for the championship again this year.

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 NCWTS SiriusXM Tundra:

You finished fourth at Kansas last year. Are you looking forward to going back this year?

“Looking back at last year Kansas was one of my favorite races, so I’m excited to go back there and compete for a win. After being so fast earlier this year at Atlanta, I can’t wait to get to Kansas and race another mile-and-a-half track. Kyle Busch Motorsports has been strong at Kansas – William (Byron) won this race last year and I had a really good run as well. Kansas always provides extremely intense restarts because there is a lot of area that you can use going into Turns 1 and 2. The restarts are tough there, so I’m going to have to be on top of my game for every restart to try and minimize mistakes and maximize opportunities. With the race being the Toyota Tundra 250 there is definitely more incentive for us to get our SiriusXM Tundra to victory lane and make sure a Toyota wins.”

Was it beneficial to participate in the open test at Charlotte last week?

“Going to Charlotte last week for the open test was a good way to shake off the rust since we haven’t raced at a mile-and-a-half track since Atlanta. It was good for the guys to get back to the race track and good for me to get back in the seat of my Tundra. We were able to learn some things that we will be apply to the Charlotte race next week, but also things that we can use for Kansas as well.”

What have you been doing to keep busy during the break in action on the Truck Series schedule?

“I’ve been doing a lot of sprint car racing and trying to stay busy. I feel like staying in the seat of something is really important. I’ve still been racing and I’ve also been keeping up with the NASCAR side of things too and making sure I keep the mindset of pavement racing while I’m dirt racing. I went and shadowed Joe Gibbs Racing’s XFINITY Series teams at both Texas and Richmond, so although I haven’t raced on pavement, I have been to the track a couple times. I also got the chance to make my first laps in an XFINITY car at the open test at Charlotte at get some extra laps on a mile-and-a-half track.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 4 NCWTS SiriusXM Tundra:

After a long break in the action are you ready to get back to racing?

“Kansas is our style of race track — it’s fast but you still have to handle really well, have a good aero package and good engines. Those types of tracks are where we really seem to excel. This stretch of races coming up in May and June are all at tracks that we have been really successful at in the past and the break in the action since Martinsville has allowed us to get a fleet of quality trucks built up. We’re looking forward to getting this next stretch of races off to a strong start at Kansas on Friday.”

Christopher Bell’s No. 4 SiriusXM Tundra:

KBM-38: The No. 4 SiriusXM Racing team will unload KBM-38 for Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the same Tundra that Bell captured the pole and led 99 of 130 laps with en route to victory earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. William Byron also won from the pole with the truck in the 2016 Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

KBM-38 Performance Profile:

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
3/4/17
Atlanta
Bell
1
1
130/130
99
Running
11/18/2016
Homestead
Byron
1
1
134/134
31
Running
Totals
2 Starts, 2 Wins
1.0
1.0
130

Notes of Interest:

 

Christopher Bell NCWTS Career Stats:

 

Year

Races

Win

Top 5

Top 10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

RAF

Miles

LLF

2015

7 of 23

1

2

3

0

1018

111

9.3

11.9

6

1361.7

4

2016

23 of 23

1

9

17

0

3237

197

9.2

9.5

20

4027.5

19

2017

3 of 23

1

2

3

1

480

201

3.7

4.0

3

581.7

3

3 years

33

3

13

23

1

4735

509

8.7

9.5

29

5970.9

26

 

Christopher Bell’s NCWTS Kansas Performance Profile:

 

Date

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

5/6/16

5

4

170

5

Running

 

Christopher Bell 2017 Highlights

  • 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

  • After three races, sits second the NCWTS championship standings trailing reigning champion Johnny Sauter by four points

  • Became first driver under NASCAR’s new format to sweep all three stages of a race when he led 99 of 130 laps en route to victory from the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. (3/14/17)

  • Leads full-time NCWTS drivers in Driver Rating (124.3), Average Finish (4.0) and Laps Led (201)

  • Opened the 2017 season by winning the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway (1/15/17)

  • Won the NRA Sprint Invaders feature at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio (4/21/17)

  • Swept both features at the Fourth Annual POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Turnpike Challenge at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla. (3/26/17)

Christopher Bell 2016 Highlights

  • Finished third in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase after collecting one win, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes across 23 NCWTS starts in his first full-time campaign

  • Earned his first NCWTS win of 2016, his first on pavement and the second of his career, when he led 38 of the final 42 laps at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.

  • Ranked first among NCWTS drivers in quality passes (782), third in driver rating (95.9), fastest laps run (189), average running position (9.608), fastest late in run (6.368) and green flag speed (6.421), fourth in laps in the top 15 (2,959) and fastest on restarts (8.652)

  • Finished second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings behind KBM teammate William Byron

  • Led a race-high 91 laps, including the final 44, of the 200-lap event at Salem (Ind.) Speedway en route to victory in his first-career start in the ARCA Racing Series and made it a sweep of the Indiana track leading 88 laps and bringing home the victory in the September event

  • Picked up his eighth career Late Model victory for KBM with a win in the CARS Super Late Model Tour event at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C.

  • On dirt, collected four 410 Winged Sprint Car wins and one USAC National Midget victory

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Tundra:

  • The No. 4 Tundra has collected five wins, six poles, 22 top-five and 40 top-10 finishes across 49 starts since originating in 2015

  • Ten members of this year’s No. 4 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 9 Tundra team which collected seven wins, three poles, 727 laps led, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes across 23 starts last season and captured the 2016 NCWTS Owner’s Championship

  • Erik Jones delivered KBM its first-ever NASCAR Camping World (NCWTS) Driver’s Championship behind the wheel of the No. 4 Tundra in 2015 

KBM NCWTS Program

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (57), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)

  • Has collected 57 wins, 29 poles, 135 top-five and 215 top-10 finishes across 357 starts since originating in 2010

  • Nine different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 30. Erik Jones and William Byron have collected seven victories each, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Christopher Bell has earned three trips to victory lane, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each posted one triumph

  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015

  • With Bell’s victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway KBM has at least one win at all 21 tracks on the 2017 NCWTS schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Kansas Speedway

  • KBM drivers have collected two wins, two poles, 340 laps led, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.5 across 15 starts at Kansas

  • William Byron was victorious in last year’s Toyota Tundra 250 and Kyle Busch collected the trophy from the pole in 2014. Erik Jones started from the pole and led 151 of 167 laps in 2015 but was relegated to an 11th-place finish after running out of fuel late 

The Fugle File:

 

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle begins his fourth season as a crew chief at KBM and sixth overall with the organization.  The New York native has guided his team to an Owner’s championship in all three of his seasons (2013, 2015 & 2016) atop the pit box at KBM, including a combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championship with Erik Jones in 2015. His drivers have combined for 17 wins, 10 poles and 35 top-five finishes across his 71 races calling the shots for the organization. Under his tutelage last season, William Byron collected a Truck Series’ rookie record seven wins while leading the No. 9 Tundra team to KBM’s fourth consecutive and fifth overall Owner’s championship.

Fugle’s NCWTS drivers have posted one win, one pole, one top-five and one top-10 finish resulting in an average finish of 14.5 across four starts at Kansas. William Byron collected his first of a Truck Series record-breaking seven wins as a rookie in last year’s event with Fugle calling the shots. Erik Jones captured the pole and led 151 of 167 laps in 2015, but was relegated to an 11th-place finish after running out of fuel late.

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Tundra 2017 NCWTS Box Score:

 

Date

Site

Driver

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

Driver Pts./Pos.

2/24/17

Daytona

Bell

4

8

100/100

6

Running

33/9th

3/4/17

Atlanta

Bell

1

1

130/130

99

Running

93/1st

4/1/17

Martinsville

Bell

6

3

250/250

96

Running

136/2nd

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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