Over the last few years, Christopher Bell has quickly become one of the top young names to watch in NASCAR. Bell has shown much promise behind his early motorsports career success, leading to his arrival to Joe Gibbs Racing. The rising star driver has now made his new boss Joe Gibbs look like a genius after his latest feat.
Joe Gibbs signs Christopher Bell to JGR
Following the 2020 season, there was some high-profile movement with some notable NASCAR drivers.
Overlooked in the shuffle was Christopher Bell, who was coming off spending his first Cup Series season with Leavine Family Racing. The 26-year-old made some headlines after signing with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), effectively replacing Erik Jones.
Bell has previous experience spending the last three years with JGR as an Xfinity Series driver, where he has 16 wins, 45 top-ten finishes, 12 pole positions in 74 career races. Before that, he put himself on the NASCAR map after capturing the 2017 Camping World Truck Series championship.
After joining JGR, Bell voiced that he believes the move brings forth some high expectations on his shoulders. (H/T NBC Sports)
“I do think we need to win, and being at Joe Gibbs Racing, (Joe Gibbs’) expectations are to have four championship-caliber teams,” he said. “At some point, if we’re not a championship-caliber team, I don’t expect to be at Joe Gibbs Racing.
“It’s definitely a high-pressure place to be, but that’s where I want to be, and I’ve got to prove to everybody that I’m the driver to be in that car.”
Bell has quickly delivered on his promise and made his new boss Joe Gibbs look brilliant.
Christopher Bell just made Joe Gibbs look like a NASCAR genius
In his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing as a Cup Series driver, Christopher Bell has quickly proved worthy of his signing.
The 26-year-old captured his first career Cup Series win at the Daytona road course on Sunday night. Bell began the race in 12th position and maneuvered his way through the event that featured many cautions.
Bell worked his way into the top-five late in the race. He avoided the few driver miscues in the final couple of laps that pushed Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Mratin Truex Jr. all out of the running for the win.
Bell continued to stay within striking distance of race leader Joey Logano. He eventually overtook him, with Logano failing to close that gap due to break issues.
Following the first win of his young NASCAR career, Bell voiced his appreciation for the opportunity to compete for Joe Gibbs Racing. (H/T PRN)
“This is definitely one of the highlights of my life. Just so incredibly thankful to be here with Joe Gibbs Racing,” Bell said. “I’ve prepared my whole life for this moment to race in the Cup Series. I’m very grateful I got the opportunity last year.”
The victory makes Bell only the 15th NASCAR driver to win his first Cup Series race on a road course.
Bright future ahead on the track
Although it’s quite early in the season, Christopher Bell has made a quick mark in the 2021 campaign.
Throughout much of the offseason, the buzz centered on Michael Jordan’s 23XI signing Bubba Wallace. However, it’s Bell that gets the shine after an overlooked last few months. His first career win has pushed him into fourth place (82 points) in the Cup standings Denny Hamlin (104 points), Joey Logano (92 points), and Kevin Harvick (83 points).
Joe Gibbs has secured one of NASCAR’s most talented young drivers to help lead Joe Gibbs Racing forward. Bell has an opportunity to make a significant mark in only his second season as a Cup Series driver.
Gibbs took a chance with signing the 26-year-old, which has quickly paid off with a win in his second race behind the wheel of the No. 20 car. It may just be a lone win, but it could help set the tone for the rest of the 2021 campaign.