How will he get there?
Christopher Bell: “My goal was to drive race cars for a living.”
Christopher Bell has 7 NASCAR Truck Series wins and a series title that he claimed in 2017. For this year, he’s in his first year as a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver.
Bell has won the last three Xfinity Series races, in a row. He’s currently the series point leader.
He’s been with Toyota since his Keith Kunz Motorsports ride in 2013. He’s been singed to JGR since 2015 where he went on to make his 2016 NASCAR Truck run with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
However, the Toyota driver might have a bit of an issue going forward. The Toyota driver development pipeline is clogged. Specifically, the JGR side of the program.
Joe Gibbs Racing currently fields rides for 37 year old Denny Hamlin, 33 year old Kyle Busch, 26 year old Daniel Suarez and 22 year old Erik Jones.
Additionally, Martin Truex Jr drives for the satellite JGR team of Furniture Row Racing. The 38 year old Truex is in the prime of his career, claiming the 2017 series championship.
None of those drivers appear to be retiring in the near future. But, there’s a kid winning like hell on the lower step of the NASCAR ladder.
Where’s he going to go?
Are you content with running another year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series?
“Yeah, absolutely. I love racing in the Xfinity Series. It’s a great place for me to get seat time and compete with some of the best race drivers in the world,” Christopher Bell explained from the Watkins Glen International media center.
“If the opportunity comes to go Cup racing… If it was allowed, I would prefer to run full-time in the Cup Series and full-time in the Xfinity Series.”
I’m going to be excited either way. As of right now, it looks like I’m going to be running the Xfinity Series.”
What are you looking for in a NASCAR Cup Series opportunity? Would you take a mid-level ride or would you hold out for a top team?
“That’s a good question,” Christopher Bell responds.
“For me, I don’t plan on going anywhere else other than within the Toyota organization. And hopefully, in the Joe Gibbs Racing organization.”
“These guys, especially Toyota, have been with me since day one. I’m in great hands with them. I’ve always said as a kid growing up that my goal was to drive race cars for a living.”
“It didn’t matter what it was. Just drive race cars for a living. I’ve gotten to do that for several years now. I’m living my dream right now. Whatever the future brings, it brings.”
There’s rumors that someone else is courting you.
“Yeah, there’s no rumors there.”
Are there any plans to get you into a Cup car? This year or in the future? Just as a one off race.
“Nobody’s said anything of that to me. So, there hasn’t been any talk of that yet.”
“Right now, we’re right in the middle of closing out the regular season with three road courses in front of me. I’ve got my hands full right now.”
“Especially, going into road course season and trying to maintain our points lead. So, nothing’s been said to me about that.”
“I’ve always been a fan of racing as much as I can. Even when it was back on the dirt days. If I could run a sprint car and a midget on the same night I always felt like it was beneficial.”
“If the opportunity presented itself to do double-duty on a weekend, I would take it. I would be fully prepared for the Cup car to benefit me on the Xfinity side.”
Last year, Christopher Bell loaded a 410 sprint car and hit the road for Iowa. Bell went on to finish 8th in the LCQ on the final night at Knoxville Raceway.
Christopher Bell will not attend the 2018 Knoxville Nationals due to a busy race weekend at Mid-Ohio.
Are you going to Knoxville?
“My girlfriend’s not happy with me. But, unfortunately, we’re not going to get to go to Knoxville this year.”
“I’m actually doing double-duty next week at Mid-Ohio. Just to get more track time. With all the stuff going on, I won’t be able to be there this year.”
Christopher Bell will run in a Trans Am event ahead of the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. That Mid-Ohio race weekend is on the same weekend as the 2018 Knoxville Nationals in Knoxville, Iowa.