The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio this week for Wednesday's night's Fifth Annual Eldora Dirt Derby. Christopher Bell, who won the event in 2015, will be looking to add to his series-leading three wins in the race which will be aired on the Fox Business Network.
The 22-year-old driver, who cut his racing teeth on dirt tracks around the country, has seen his NASCAR stock on the rise in 2017. Bell enters Wednesday night's event second in the Truck Series championship standings, 28 points behind reigning champion Johnny Sauter, but leads the circuit in wins (three), poles (three), playoff points (19), laps led (492), driver rating (118.6) and fastest laps run (209). The Oklahoma native has also made two starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series bringing home a fourth-place finish in his debut at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May and most recently earning the pole and leading a race-high 152 laps at Iowa Speedway in Newton before being relegated to a 16th-place finish after getting caught up in an accident while leading with 80 laps to go.
While his NASCAR stock is on the rise, Bell continues to keep his racing portfolio diversified by competing in dirt races around the country when his schedules allows him to do so. The talented wheelman got a jump start on the competition at Eldora this past weekend running three shows with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at the half-mile clay oval. He was victorious in the Knight Before the Kings Royal Friday night. Saturday night an engine problem in his heat left him with a 20th starting position for the prestigious Kings Royal feature, but he managed to wheel his car all the way to a runner-up finish despite the fact the 40-lap event proceeded caution free from green to checkered.
Bell's win at Eldora Friday night was his third time he's cashed in driving a Sprint Car in 2017. He also won the Lou Blaney Memorial All-Star Circuit of Champions event at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway on July 8 and the NRA Sprint Invaders feature at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio on April 21. He also has five Midget victories on dirt in 2017, starting off with the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway in January. He then swept both features at the Fourth Annual POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Turnpike Challenge at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla., in March and won consecutive USAC Midget National events at Macon (Ill.) Speedway and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway on July 1 and 2.
Eldora Speedway is Bell's "favorite racetrack in the whole world" and the track where he put himself on the NASCAR map. In just his third career Truck Series start he led 106 of 154 laps to earn his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory. Last year, Bell managed a runner-up finish behind fellow dirt standout and current NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series star Kyle Larson. With his NASCAR stock on the rise, the talented wheeleman hopes to earn Truck Series victory number four of 2017, gain valuable playoff points and continue on his quest to winning his first NASCAR championship.