Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch may be teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, but there is certain to be an intense competition between the two drivers next year.
Both Bell and Busch want to be the first driver to get a victory in the new Toyota Supra, which will make its debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next year.
Busch already has a number of milestones to his credit. In 2007, his victory at Bristol Motor Speedway was the first in NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, which has since given way to the current race car. A year later, in his first season with JGR, Busch won at Atlanta to give Toyota its first win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Busch can boast a series-record 92 Xfinity victories to Bell’s two, but Bell will have an advantage in sheer numbers next year, given rules limiting full-time Cup drivers to seven starts in the junior series. Busch’s first Xfinity start of 2018 came in the third event of the year, at Las Vegas.
In all probability, Bell will have opportunities to take a checkered flag in the Supra before Busch runs his first race in 2019. And that suits Bell just fine.
“It’s just really cool,” Bell said on Thursday at the announcement of the Supra’s debut. “You don’t have an opportunity to become a first-time winner very often, and I remember when Jason Leffler won the first race—I think it was at IRP—for the Camry (in the Xfinity Series).
“And then, obviously, Kyle won the first Cup race at Atlanta, so it would be pretty, pretty special if I could be the first driver to win in a Supra.”
Bell will get his first chance on Feb. 16, 2019, at Daytona International Speedway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!