Bell realistic about Cup opportunities

Image by Kinrade/LAT

Bell realistic about Cup opportunities


Bell realistic about Cup opportunities


Christopher Bell would like to jump into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series sooner rather than later. Feeling as though he is in the prime of his racing career, Bell is ready to get in a Cup car and start trying it out.

But, Bell understands there is currently no room for him at the Cup level with Joe Gibbs Racing and of course, where is the money? That’s why Bell again said the expectation is for him to remain at JGR in the Xfinity Series next season.

And he would be content with that.

“I love racing in the Xfinity Series and it’s a great place for me to get seat time, and compete with some of the best drivers in the world,” Bell said. “If the opportunity comes to go Cup Series racing, if it was allowed, I’d prefer to run both full-time Cup and Xfinity Series. I’m going to be excited either way, and as of right now, it looks like I am going to be running the Xfinity Series.

“I am super excited about that. I have a great crew chief [Jason Ratcliff] and a great team here at Joe Gibbs Racing. The No. 20 group does a great job.”

Bell is the current point leader in the Xfinity Series with a series-leading four wins and 24 playoff points. He will go for his fourth consecutive win Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen.

At 23 years old, Bell has quickly and successfully risen through the NASCAR ranks. Looking at the future and taking the next step to the Cup Series is natural, and getting in a Cup car is undoubtedly something Bell would love to take a crack at doing. Added seat time during a weekend is something Bell loves, but even doing so for a race or two to get his feet wet has not been discussed.

What Bell does know is that he plans on staying in the Gibbs and Toyota pipeline, regardless of whether a different opportunity might arise to get him in a Cup ride. However, Bell says there are “no rumors there” that others are trying to court him.

“For me, I don’t plan on going anywhere else other than within the Toyota organization and hopefully in the Joe Gibbs Racing organization,” Bell said. “These guys, especially Toyota, have been with me since day one and 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, so I’m living my dream right now, and whatever the future brings, it brings. But I definitely am going to stay with the Toyota organization.”