Christopher Bell Has His Mile And A Half Mojo

Christopher Bell

With two wins and three poles already in his back pocket in four races this season on mile-and-a-half venues, Christopher Bell is ready to buckle up in his No. 4 Toyota Racing Tundra Thursday night and take on the next 1.5-mile track on the schedule, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

At the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ first stop at a mile-and-a-half track in 2017, Bell collected the pole and then went on to make history when he became the first driver in one of NASCAR’s top three divisions to sweep all three stages of a race under NASCAR’s new format. He collected poles and top-five finishes at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and then came from the 21st starting position to earn the victory at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

All together in the four mile-and-a-half races this season Bell has posted an average starting position of 6.0, an average finish of 2.2 and he has been at the front of the field for 38.5 percent (230) of the 598 laps completed on 1.5-mile tracks this season.

When Bell hasn’t been on the pole, at the front of the field or in victory lane, his teammates have been there to fill the void. All together a KBM Tundra has been out front for 75 percent (449/598) of the laps completed at mile-and-a-half tracks in 2017. Owner-driver Kyle Busch earned victories at Kansas and Charlotte and Noah Gragson captured the pole at Texas, giving Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) a sweep of poles and checkered flags on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Add in William Byron’s victory from the pole in the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway and KBM has earned both the pole and the win in five straight mile-and-a-half races.

Thursday night KBM brings a four-horse stable to Kentucky for the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225, an event where last season Daniel Suarez collected the pole for the organization and William Byron brought home the victory. Bell is hoping to deliver a repeat performance of Atlanta earlier this year and score a trifecta of stage wins and continue the mile-and-a-half mojo both he and his organization have going on.

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

Are you looking forward to getting back to a mile-and-a-half track?

“We are strong everywhere we go, but we seem to be elevated from the competition just a little bit more at the mile-and-a-half tracks. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) won this race with William (Byron) last year and we won at Texas earlier this year – which was a repave – and Kentucky has been repaved again, so I feel like we should be pretty stellar on Thursday night and have a good shot to put our Toyota Tundra in victory lane.”

You won at Texas, which was a repave, will that translate over to Kentucky?

“I’d say now that they resurfaced turns one and two at Texas, they resemble Kentucky quite a bit. Turns three and four at Texas are a lot faster than they are at Kentucky. Kentucky is a slower mile-and-a-half because it’s not very banked, but it has a lot of grip because of the repave. I’m confident that we will unload with a fast Tundra for practice on Wednesday and have three practices to get it ready for qualifying and the race. Kyle (Busch) is always tough to beat when he’s in the trucks, but we did it earlier this year at Atlanta and I’m confident we can do it again this week.”

How beneficial is it having Kyle as a teammate?

“This week will be especially helpful having Kyle in one of our Tundras because we have data on the trucks for practice, so we’ll be able to compare the data from our truck to his. His feedback is so crucial, and so critical, that he’s able to help make all of our trucks a lot better.”

Christopher Bell’s No. 4 Toyota Tundra:

 

KBM-28: The No. 4 Toyota Tundra team will unload KBM-28 for Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. It is the same Tundra that Bell led 99 laps and finished fifth with in the Truck Series’ most recent event at Iowa Speedway in Newton on June 23.

KBM-28 Performance Profile:

 

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
6/23/2017
Iowa
Bell
2
5
200/200
99
running
10/1/2016
Las Vegas
Byron
10
5
146/146
0
running
11/13/2015
Phoenix
Jones
1
9
150/150
106
running
8/19/2015
Bristol
Jones
4
6
202/202
0
running
7/9/2015
Kentucky
Jones
3
2
145/145
55
running
6/19/2015
Iowa
Jones
1
1
200/200
112
running
5/29/2015
Dover
Jones
2
3
200/200
50
running
Totals
7 starts, 1 Win
3.3
4.4
422

 

Notes of Interest:

 

Christopher Bell NCWTS Career Stats:

 

Year

Age

Races

Win

T5

T10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

RAF

LLF

2015

20

7 of 23

1

2

3

0

1018

111

9.3

11.9

6

4

2016

21

23 of 23

1

9

17

0

3237

197

9.2

9.5

20

19

2017

22

9 of 9

2

6

8

3

1343

438

4.7

6.2

8

8

3 years

39

4

17

28

3

5598

746

8.2

9.2

34

31

 

Christopher Bell’s NCWTS Kentucky Performance Profile:

 

Date

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

7/7/2016

10

4

150/150

0

running

7/9/2015

16

17

144/145

0

running

 

Christopher Bell 2017 Highlights

  • Has posted two wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., and Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth), three poles, 438 laps led, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 6.2 across nine NCWTS events

  • After nine races, sits second the NCWTS championship standings trailing reigning champion Johnny Sauter by 42 points

  • Leads the NCWTS in poles (three), driver rating (116.5), playoff points (14), laps led (438) and fastest laps run (195) and is tied for the lead in wins (two) and top-10 finishes (eight)

  • 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 (3/14/17)

  • Has one pole, one top-five and one top-10 finish in two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing

  • Won consecutive USAC National Midget events at Macon (Ill.) Speedway (7/1/17) and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway (7/2/17)

  • 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) and green flag speed (6.421)

  • 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 and 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 six wins, eight poles, 26 top-five and 45 top-10 finishes across 55 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 (60), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and mostOwner’s championships (five)

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

  • Has collected 60 wins, 33 poles, 141 top-five and 227 top-10 finishes across 376 starts since originating in 2010

  • Nine different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 32. Erik Jones and William Byron each collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Christopher Bell owns four, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one triumph

  • 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 @ Kentucky Speedway

  • KBM drivers have collected three wins, 582 laps led, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.9 across 18 starts at Kentucky

  • Driver-owner Kyle Busch claimed KBM’s first two victories in Kentucky (2011 and 2014) and William Byron (2016) won last year’s race

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 18 wins, 12 poles and 39 top-five finishes across his 77 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, 167 laps led, three top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 2.0 across three starts in the Bluegrass State. William Byron led a race-high 70 laps en route to the victory in last year’s event.

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
5/12/17
Kansas
Bell
1
4
167/167
37
Running
187/2nd
5/19/17
Charlotte
Bell
1
3
134/134
2
Running
227/2nd
6/2/17
Dover
Bell
3
25
35/200
0
Accident
239/2nd
6/9/17
Texas
Bell
21
1
167/167
92
Running
298/2nd
6/17/17
Gateway
Bell
3
6
160/160
7
Running
342/2nd
6/23/17
Iowa
Bell
2
5
200/200
99
Running
391/2nd

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

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