Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Christopher Bell to Sub for Harrison Burton at Bristol

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Harrison Burton will not compete in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway due to illness. As a result, 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, and KBM alumnus Christopher Bell will step into the drivers’ seat of the No. 51 Hunt Brothers Pizza Toyota Tundra.

Bell last competed in the Truck Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year. His last victory in the Truck Series came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last season. The current Joe Gibbs Racing driver earned seven victories in the Truck Series. In 53 career starts, Bell had 26 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes, and five pole positions.

“It will be great to get back in a Tundra with KBM at Bristol, but wish it was under better circumstances,” Bell said. “I hope Harrison feels better soon and I’m hoping I can get the Hunt Brothers Pizza Tundra into Victory Lane on his behalf Thursday night.”

To date, Burton has 10 career starts in the Truck Series with a best finish of third. He has three top-five and four top-10 finishes.

“I have been driving since I was four-years-old and have never missed a race,” Burton said. “I hate to let down my guys, but my doctors just don’t believe I’m ready. Having to miss this race will give me even more motivation to come back even stronger in Canada next week.”

The extra seat time will benefit Bell, who currently leads the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Points Standings. In his last trip to ‘Thunder Valley,’ the 23-year-old driver was swept up in a vicious accident just before the halfway mark. The roof of Bell’s Toyota Camry bent in the impact.

Bell has performed double duty five times. He has never visited victory lane in either series during those five weekends of double duty.

Three weeks ago, KBM driver Noah Gragson also had to step aside due to illness. Erik Jones nearly pulled off the upset with no practice, finishing second to teammate, and team owner, Kyle Busch.

Tags : , , , , ,

Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.