Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Friday that Christopher Bell will compete in NASCAR XFINITY Series full-time in 2018.
The 22-year-old is currently running full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) and remains in contention for this season’s championship. He currently leads the point standings entering this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway with five race wins and seven stage wins providing him a Series high 47 points.
“Christopher has proven himself at every level of racing and we are excited to have him run fulltime in our XFINITY Series program starting in 2018,” said Joe Gibbs, ownerof Joe Gibbs Racing. “He has shown great maturity both on and off the track and we think he is ready for this opportunity. We look forward to watching his continued progress in the sport.”
Bell started 2017 on fire by winning one of NASCAR’s marquee events, the Chili Bowl, and followed it up by dominating and winning in the Camping World Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Oklahoma native also picked up wins in his Toyota Tundra at Texas, Kentucky, Pocono, and New Hampshire.
“All of us at Toyota and TRD are proud to see Christopher continue through the ranks as he now takes on the NASCAR XFINITY Series fulltime with JGR for 2018,” said David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development). “Christopher has been a part of the TRD driver development program for many years dating back to his USAC championship in 2013 and he’s certainly been an integral part of our continued success to bring young drivers through the ranks of motorsports. Christopher has been successful in every form of racing and we’re confident that he’ll add his name to the list of drivers to put a Camry in victory lane.”
Before racing on pavement, Bell was crowned the United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Champion in 2013 and accumulated 26 feature wins on dirt in 2014, including the Turkey Night Grand Prix Midget race. He also enjoyed success in SuperLate Models, winning prestigious races at New Smyrna Speedway, South Alabama Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park.
“I can’t express how excited I am about the opportunity to drive fulltime for Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series,” said Bell. “This has been a tremendous year for me and obviously I remain focused on finishing the Truck Series season strong and hopefully bringing a Championship to Kyle, Samantha and everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports. I don’t think I could ask for a better place to take the next step in my racing career. I’m already comfortable with everyone at JGR and I think the experience I have with them this year should help me at the start of 2018.”
Joe Gibbs Racing will announce additional details for its 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series program, including sponsors, car number and crew chief assignments at a later date.