Bell to replace Jones at Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR Cup Series

Christopher Bell will move over to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, replacing the departing Erik Jones at the team

Bell to replace Jones at Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR Cup Series

Bell, who drove for JGR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (winning 16 races), has spent his rookie Cup Series campaign with the Gibbs-affiliated Leavine Family Racing, placing third overall in 2019.

JGR announced last week that Erik Jones, who has spent his entire Cup career with a Gibbs or Gibbs-affiliated team, will be out of a ride after 2020, which opened the door for Bell to return to the organisation.

Bell has one top-five and five top-10 finishes in 22 Cup starts this season, placing as high as fourth at Pocono.

"I'm so appreciative of the opportunity I have this year with LFR and I want to finish this season strong for Bob (Leavine) and everyone there," said Bell.

"At the same time, I'm extremely excited to return to Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2021. It's an organisation I'm very comfortable with and have had a lot of success with."

Bell, a native of Norman, Oklahoma, also won the 2017 NASCAR Truck Series championship with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

"We are excited to bring Christopher into our Cup Series program starting in 2021," said Joe Gibbs, owner of JGR.

"He obviously had tremendous success in the Xfinity Series with us and we look forward to his return to JGR."

Jones has yet to secure a ride for the 2021 season.

The LFR team that Bell will depart at the end of the season will be sold, with Spire Motorsports confirming on Tuesday that it will take control of the team's assets - including its charter - at the end of the year.

"This year has been challenging for not only our race team, but our industry, our country and the entire world," said team owner Bob Leavine.

"The pandemic has impacted our economy and unfortunately that's just not something we are able to overcome in order to continue racing beyond this season."

Spire Motorsports was established in 2018 and is co-owned by longtime NASCAR industry executives Jeff Dickerson and Thaddeus "T.J." Puchyr.

In just the team's first season, Spire Motorsports earned an upset victory last July when Justin Haley won the rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

"These are no doubt trying times, but I have never been prouder to be part of this sport. NASCAR has managed several difficult situations this spring and into the summer," Dickerson said.

"We believe in the ownership model that NASCAR has built and where this sport is going now more than ever."

shares
comments
NASCAR Michigan: Harvick doubles up after beating Hamlin in second race
Previous article

NASCAR Michigan: Harvick doubles up after beating Hamlin in second race

Next article

The drivers rivalling Johnson for a NASCAR playoff spot

The drivers rivalling Johnson for a NASCAR playoff spot
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021