By winning the first race in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Christopher Bell and the No. 4 Toyota Racing team have already punched their ticket to the Round of 6 that begins Oct. 28 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. With nothing to lose in Saturday's Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, the team will be able to concentrate solely on winning stages and the race and adding more chips to their stack of 47 playoff bonus chips that they'll bring with them to the next round.
Bell will be sporting primary sponsor DC Solar - a clean energy company that specializes in mobile solar products - once again this year on his No. 4 Tundra at Las Vegas. In last year's event, Bell started 16th but was able to bring the DC Solar Tundra home to a sixth-place finish. The California-based company was also his primary sponsor for his win in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway in January.
The 22-year-old became just the second Oklahoma native to bring home the Golden Driller in the 31 years that the prestigious event has been held in his home state. The win was so special to Bell that he bought the winning car from Keith Kunz Motorsports and has it on display in the dining room of his current residence in North Carolina. A video of Bell and his friends transporting the vehicle from his garage into his dining room was posted on his Facebook page in May and has over 440,000 views to date.
The Chili Bowl victory in January was the start of what has been an extremely successful year for Bell. The talented wheelman has collected five wins and three poles across 17 starts in his second full-time season in the Truck Series and won the first-ever regular season points championship in the Truck Series. He also leads the series in nearly every other statistical category, including laps led (666), top-five finishes (11), top-10 finishes (15), average starting position (4.5), average finish (6.2) and fastest laps run (332).
In addition to his Truck Series accomplishments, Bell has been successful in a variety of forms of racing in 2017. He made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut in May and across four starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this season has earned one pole, 152 laps led, one top-five and two top-10 finishes. The Toyota Racing driver won his lone ARCA Racing Series start at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., earlier this month and on dirt has combined to win 10 races between Midgets (seven) and Sprint Cars (three).
Bell is hoping to continue his 2017 winning spree Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With his ticket to the Round of 6 already punched, via his win last week at New Hampshire, he's playing with house money this week and can go all in to win.