Christopher Bell Looks To Add Another Win To His Victory Resume

Christopher Bell

Oklahoma native Christopher Bell will make his 51st career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start Friday night in the JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth. Bell will be looking to add to his series-leading five wins in 2017 and complete a sweep of the Truck Series races at Texas this season.

In the June race at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the 22-year-old came from the 21st starting position to lead 92 of the final 98 laps and was just inches ahead of Chase Briscoe when the field was frozen after a three-truck accident ended the race under caution during the green-white-checkered finish. If Bell is able to win Friday night’s race at the track located just over 150 miles from where he grew up in Norman, Okla., he would become just the third driver to sweep the Truck Series races at TMS. Ron Hornaday Jr. was able to win both races in 2008 and Johnny Sauter accomplished the feat in 2012.

With an eighth-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last weekend in the opening race of the Round of 6, Bell maintained his spot atop the Truck Series championship standings for the ninth consecutive race. He currently leads reigning Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter by three points and with two events remaining in the Round of 6 has a 45-point cushion on the cutoff line for advancing to the championship race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

In addition to pacing the standings for the last nine races, the talented wheelman leads NASCAR’s third division in nearly every major statistical category this season, including wins (five), poles (four), top-five finishes (13), top-10 finishes (18), driver rating (117.4), average starting position (4.8), average finish (5.9), average running position (6.2), laps led (755) and fastest laps run (355).

Bell, who was an open-wheel standout before becoming a pavement prodigy, has displayed the talent necessary to have a successful career in NASCAR since coming on the scene in June of 2015. Near the end of the 2016 season he started producing more consistent results and in 2017 those results have become eye opening. His continued progress has allowed him to become dubbed as one of the sport’s rising stars. Across the first 25 starts of his Truck Series career the Toyota development driver registered two wins, 308 laps led, eight top five-finishes, 16 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 10.6. He has improved in all of those categories, producing five wins, 755 laps led, 14 top five-finishes, 22 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 6.2across his last 25 Truck Series starts.

With his graduation to the NASCAR XFINITY Series already announced for 2018, Bell will be looking to cap off his second    full-time season in the Truck Series by adding another championship banner to the five already hanging in the rafters at Kyle Busch Motorsports. They say that the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas and one of NASCAR’s rising stars is hoping to shine bright under the lights of Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. He’s hoping to put on a black cowboy hat and ride out of victory lane with a ticket to the championship race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

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

How do you feel about where you stand with two races remaining in the Round of 6?

“We didn’t have our best race of the year at Martinsville, but we were able to salvage a solid finish and maintain the points lead. Since one of the playoff contenders didn’t win at Martinsville, that means that at least two of the spots in the championship round will transfer off of points, so we are in really good shape going into the final two races of the Round of 6. We want to run better than we did at Martinsville — we want to win. I have no doubt that we will be better at Texas, because the mile-and-a-half tracks have been out strong suit all season long.”

Does winning the June race at Texas give you confidence heading into Friday night’s race?

“Winning at Texas earlier in the year was huge for us and it gives us a good baseline setup to unload with this time around. The fall race is typically a little bit cooler than the summer race, so the track will be a little bit different and we will probably have to make some minor adjustments to our setup for that. With the repave I feel like the field will be extremely tight — you saw in the June race that people were able to draft and the leader wasn’t able to get away. I expect that pack will be a lot bigger this time around.”

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle, crew chief of the No. 4 NCWTS JBL Tundra:

After winning the June race at Texas will you unload with a similar setup?

“We will definitely unload with something pretty similar to what we raced with in June. This time around the track temperatures are going to be a little bit different and all three series are running Friday, so how the rubber gets laid down is going to be a little bit different and we’ve made some minor adjustments in anticipation of those factors. Goodyear is also bringing a new left-side tire, so we will have to adapt to that as well. We are prepared and ready to go out and put the JBL Tundra in victory lane.”

Christopher Bell’s No. 4 JBL Tundra:

KBM-047: The No. 4 JBL Racing team will unload KBM-047 for Friday night’s JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is the same Tundra that Bell led a race-high 64 laps and finished second with at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in the Round of 8.

KBM-047 Performance Profile:

 

Date
Track
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
9/30/2017
Las Vegas
Bell
4
2
146/146
64
Running
9/15/2017
Chicagoland
Bell
3
3
150/150
72
Running
6/9/2017
Pocono
Busch
2
25
36/60
32
Accident

 

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

20 of 20

5

13

18

4

2816

755

4.8

5.9

18

18

3 years

50

7

24

38

4

7071

1063

7.4

8.4

44

41

 

Christopher Bell’s NCWTS Texas Performance Profile:

 

Race

Start

Finish

Laps

Status

Led

6/9/2017

21

1

167/167

Running

92

11/4/2016

9

11

147/147

Running

0

6/10/2016

9

32

0/167

Engine

0

11/6/2015

11

8

147/147

Running

0

 

Christopher Bell 2017 Highlights: 

  • Has posted five wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon), four poles, 755 laps led, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes resulting and an average finish of 5.9 across 20 races

  • Currently leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship standings by three points over Johnny Sauter and is 45 points above the cutoff line in the Round of 6 for advancing to the championship race

  • Won the NCWTS first-ever regular season title and earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, posted an average finish of 1.7 across the three races in the Round of 8 and with his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the opening race of the playoffs automatically advanced to the Round of 6.

  • Leads the NCWTS in wins (five), poles (four), top-five finishes (13), top-10 finishes (18), driver rating (117.4), average starting position (4.8), average finish (5.9), average running position (6.2), laps led (755) and fastest laps run (355)

  • Became the 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)

  • Collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (10/21/17) and overall in five starts this season for Joe Gibbs Racing has one pole, 156 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes

  • After restarting eighth with three laps to go, won the ARCA Racing Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., (9/14/17) in his lone series start this season

  • In Midgets has eight victories; opened the 2017 season by winning his preliminary night and the feature at the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway (1/15/17), 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), won consecutive USAC National Midget events at Macon (Ill.) Speedway (7/1/17) and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway (7/2/17), the USAC National Midget event at Solomon Valley in Beloit, Kansas (8/3/17) and the Mike Phillips Memorial POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget event at Southern Illinois Raceway in Marion, Ill. (9/16/17)

  • In Sprint Cars has four victories; won the NRA Sprint Invaders feature at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio (4/21/17), the Ninth Annual Lou Blaney Memorial All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway (7/8/17), the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (7/14/17) and the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio (10/7/17)

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Tundra: 

  • The No. 4 Tundra has collected nine wins, nine poles, 33 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes across 66 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 (65), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)

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

  • Has collected 65 wins, 36 poles, 157 top-five and 251 top-10 finishes across 412 starts since originating in 2010

  • Ten different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 33. Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and William Byron have each collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Noah Gragson, Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one trophy

  • 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 @ Texas Motor Speedway: 

  • KBM drivers have collected five wins, two poles, 516 laps led, 10 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.4 across 32 starts in the Lone Star state

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected two of his team’s wins (2010 & 2014), Erik Jones earned the victory in November 2015, William Byron took the checkered flag in June 2016 and Christopher Bell went to Victory Lane in June 2017

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 21 wins, 13 poles and 46 top-five finishes across his 88 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 three wins, one pole, three top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.0 across eight starts at Texas. Fugle has won with three different drivers at Texas; Erik Jones in November of 2015, William Byron in June of 2016 and Christopher Bell in this year’s June 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
7/6/17
Kentucky
Bell
2
1
150/150
54
Running
436/2nd
7/19/17
Eldora
Bell
4
9
150/150
22
Running
471/2nd
7/29/17
Pocono
Bell
3
1
60/60
7
Running
528/1st
8/12/17
Michigan
Bell
13
2
100/100
0
Running
572/1st
8/16/17
Bristol
Bell
2
7
203/203
0
Running
615/1st
9/3/17
Canadian Tire
Bell
5
26
44/64
0
Engine
634/1st
9/15/17
Chicagoland
Bell
3
3
150/150
72
Running
2040/1st
9/23/17
New Hampshire
Bell
2
1
175/175
73
Running
2100/1st
9/30/17
Las Vegas
Bell
4
2
146/146
64
Running
2152/1st
10/14/17
Talladega
Bell
1
2
95/95
9
Running
2195/1st
10/28/17
Martinsville
Bell
15
8
200/200
16
Running
3083/1st

 

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

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