NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender Christopher Bell told reporters Friday that he has indeed signed with Joe Gibbs Racing for another season – carrying him through the 2020 season. Which NASCAR series Bell will be racing in, however, remains unclear.
“No not right now, it’s a little bit too early,’’ Bell answered when asked whether he will remain in the Xfinity Series or move up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level.
While Bell didn’t disclose any details, he conceded it was comforting to know his immediate future is settled. Where he will race, however, remains an unknown – perhaps even to Bell himself. The JGR team has four cars in the Cup series so which seat Bell may take should he move up to the Cup level is a source of rumor and debate in the garage.
“It’s really good that I have a job,’’ Bell said. “Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing is where I want to be at. I’m thankful that I got another year.”
“As far as the JGR Cup guys, I really don’t have very much interaction with them,’’ Bell added, cautioning against anyone making assumptions on a Cup ride.
“There’s really not anything awkward because you look at the results and all four of their drivers are doing exactly what they need to do. I don’t feel like any of their drivers feel like they’re on the hot seat at all. Obviously, me looking in, there’s not really a hole for me yet. I don’t know where I’m going to be.’’
Bell is currently ranked second in the 2019 Xfinity Series championship with a series high four victories in the No. 20 JGR Toyota. He won seven races and finished fourth in the championship in his 2018 rookie season.
There is an excellent chance that Leavine Family Racing will start up a second race team in 2020. Remember that LFR has an alliance with JGR. Doing basic math in public, it would only make a certain amount of sense that if LFR adds a second team to their organization, and with the alliance that they now have with JGR, there may be an arrangement agreed upon between these two race teams.
Remember Furniture Row Racing and that alliance with JGR that lead to Martin Truex, Jr. winning the Cup championship in 2017? JGR and Toyota has a very hot commodity in Christopher Bell with no seat to put him in. LFR wants to add a second team and needs support and a driver for that team!
Voila, it’s the agreement made in heaven.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!