Bell Of The Playoff Ball

Christopher Bell

While the other 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff drivers have their championship seasons on the line this weekend, for the second-straight week the championship standings leader and only Playoff driver with a Playoff win this season, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, can tackle Dover International Speedway without the pressures of the title chase. With his win at Richmond Raceway to kickoff this round in the postseason, he has secured his entry into the Round of 8, making this weekend another perfect opportunity to pad his Playoff point total or get the NASCAR Xfinity Series all-time Sunoco Rookie wins record.

Bell has been outstanding in his rookie Xfinity season accumulating five wins (Richmond-1, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Iowa-1 and Richmond-2), 16 top fives, 18 top 10s and four poles. His five wins tie him with Greg Biffle (2001), Kyle Busch (2004) and Carl Edwards (2005) for most wins by a Sunoco Rookie. If he wins this weekend, he would be in sole possession of the top spot in the record book for rookie wins.

Bell could also set the record for rookie top fives in a single season this weekend, as well. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver currently has 16 top-five finishes this season, which ties Greg Biffle (2001), Kyle Busch (2004), Austin Dillon (2012) and Chase Elliott (2014) for the series record.

The Oklahoma native is correspondingly on pace to become the third Sunoco Rookie in series history to win the series title, joining Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017). Bell has raised his game for the postseason, in his two Playoff starts in 2018, he has shelled out an average finish of 3.0 – the series-best.

Bell, 23, made his series track debut at Dover International Speedway in impressive fashion earlier this season, starting 34th and finishing fourth.


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