Bell Joining Impressive Company with KBM Success
When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs arrive, a young, successful and talented Kyle Busch Motorsports driver seems to emerge as the championship favorite consistently.
Erik Jones captured the title in 2015 after winning three times and earning 20 top-10s in 23 races. While this performance came under the previous format, strength in the final events of the year propelled the rookie to his first career championship.
Last year, William Byron set the series on fire with six wins and entered the final seven races as the title favorite. He finished inside the top-10 in every Playoffs race but one when he blew an engine while leading late at Phoenix, which cost him the opportunity to compete in the Championship 4.
Now Christopher Bell is following in both competitor’s footsteps, dominating the series and putting himself in position to be the one to beat for the title.
He scored his fifth victory of 2017 in Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and secured his spot in the second round of the post-season.
The 22-year-old also now holds 47 playoff points, which will tremendously aid his championship efforts.
Now strong runs or a victory at Martinsville, Texas, or Phoenix will place him among the four title contenders for the second consecutive season.
While Bell came home third last year, he is the clear driver to beat this time around.
However, the elimination format changes the game. Jones used a similar performance to what Bell has accomplished this season to capture the championship, but the current rules makes it more difficult for Bell, like Byron, demonstrated last season.
If playoff points had been in play for Byron, he likely would have cruised to the finale but having no advantage after a dominant season going into the second round hurt his title chances.
Now Bell will have the ability to rely on his bonus points if needed to be among the four contenders.
After the success of Jones and Byron behind the wheel for KBM, they have gone on to become two of the sport’s most promising young talents.
Next season, Jones will compete for Joe Gibbs Racing while Byron drives for Hendrick Motorsports.
Now Bell would like to have his on-track record lead to similar opportunities.
He has shown potential to be a factor each time he’s driven for JGR in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and could use a full-time ride with the organization next season to further showcase his talent like both Jones and Byron have been able to do for their respective teams.
Bell’s focus moving forward will be on the championship as after a dominant day at New Hampshire, it is his to lose in the final six races.
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