Friday's Toyota Tundra 250 will mark the end of five weeks off for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but Christopher Bell is one driver who hasn't let the break in the action slow him down. Bell stayed busy racing on dirt as well as preparing for his upcoming NASCAR XFINITY Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 27.
Bell spent his first "off weekend" racing ASCS Sprint Cars in Tony Stewart's Texas Sprint Car Nationals at the dirt track at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7 and 8. Participating in the event, which was held the same weekend as NASCAR's top two series were racing at the pavement track around the corner, also allowed the 22-year-old to hang around the No. 18 XFINITY Series team and get a feel for the team he will be working with for his series debut. He traveled with and shadowed the team again for the XFINITY Series stop at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 29.
The Oklahoma native returned to the state of Texas the following weekend to race in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series events at Gator Motorplex in Willis on April 13 and Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas April 14 and 15. Bell qualified inside the top five both nights and earned a respectable fourth-place finish in the final event of the weekend.
Bell's next stop came on April 21 at the NRA Sprint Invaders event at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio. The talented wheelman maneuvered his way from the 14th starting position up to third in 10 laps, took the lead on lap 18 and then cruised to victory in the 25-lap feature. The following night he finished sixth in the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio.
Last week Bell cleaned the dust of his racing shoes and returned to the pavement participating in the open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He kicked off the day turning his first laps in an XFINITY Series Camry from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. and then headed over to the Truck Series garage for the 3 - 8 p.m. session.
Bell proved that he's a serious racer the last five weeks traveling the country with his helmet and firesuit in hand looking for a seat to keep his skills sharp during the break. Friday night he gets behind the wheel of the same Tundra, KBM-38, that he dominated the first mile-and-a-half race of the Truck Series season at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway looking to earn another victory and prove that he's a serious contender for the championship again this year.