Christopher Bell begins his second full-time season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) on Friday night piloting the No. 4 JBL Tundra in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The open-wheel dirt standout turned pavement prodigy enters the 2017 season having recorded one win in each of his first two seasons as a competitor in the Truck Series. He put his name on the NASCAR map with a victory on the dirt at famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio in just his third series start in July of 2015 and earned his first win on pavement last June at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.
Bell overcame a disappointing start to the 2016 season by posting top-10 finishes in 14 of the final 16 events. His victory at Gateway last June earned him a spot in the Inaugural Truck Series Chase and his consistent finishes throughout the elimination-style playoff format landed him a spot in the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The Oklahoma native posted an eighth-place finish in the series finale, which earned him a third-place finish in the championship standings.
With 30 career Truck Series starts already under his belt, Bell is hoping to parlay his experience into more wins in 2017. To help him achieve that goal, the talented youngster will be paired with crew chief, Ryan "Rudy" Fugle this year. Fugle is no stranger to victory lane or the head table at the Truck Series banquet in Miami, as he has guided his team to an Owner's championship in all three of his seasons (2013, 2015 & 2016) as a crew chief at KBM, including a combined Owner's/Driver's Championship with Erik Jones in 2015.
The New York native's drivers have combined for 16 wins, nine poles, 33 top-five and 52 top-10 finishes across his 68 races calling the shots for the organization. Under his tutelage last season, William Byron collected a Truck Series' rookie record seven wins, three poles, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes while leading the No. 9 Tundra team to KBM's fourth consecutive and fifth overall Owner's championship.
Bell started off his year on a high note with a win in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway in January. The talented youngster, who became just the second Okie to win the prestigious race in its 32-year history, is hoping to build off that momentum as he enters the 2017 Truck Season prepared to win more races.