By NASCAR Wire Service
After winning at Eldora last year while running a partial NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, Christopher Bell entered this season with a good amount of hype.
The 21-year-old Kyle Busch Motorsports driver started the season off slow, with a high finish of 16th (Daytona) in his first three races, but has turned his performance around with showings of fourth (Kansas), third (Dover) and eighth (Charlotte) in his last three contests.
Bell will attempt to continue his recent success in Friday’s Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway (9 p.m. ET on FS1) – located 160 miles north of Norman, Oklahoma where he grew up.
“As a race car driver all you can ask for is to be able to move around and race multiple grooves and that is something that we are able to do at Texas,” Bell said. “Not only is it a home race for me, it’s also a home race for the Tundra, since all of the production models are made at Toyota’s manufacturing facility in San Antonio, so it would be a really cool place to pick up a win.”
With only 13 races of experience in the NCWTS, Texas marks the first track Bell has ever competed on twice. He placed eighth there last season. Working in Bell’s favor is that his new crew chief Jerry Baxter guided Daniel Suárez to runner-up showings in both races at Texas last year.
“We finished second with Daniel (Suárez) in both Texas races last year, so I feel like we have a good baseline setup to unload with,” Baxter said. “Even though the Truck Series has been off for a few weeks, Christopher’s been racing a lot of other stuff and getting lots of seat time, which is good for a young driver. Coming over from the dirt stuff, the mile-and-a-half tracks that you can move around on seem to really fit his driving style, so I feel like we have a really good shot to run up front and compete for the win Friday night.”