By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The North Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway marks the fifth race of the season for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but for T.J. Bell it will just be his third start of the year. After failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Bell and his No. 45 Niece Motorsports team have improved in the weeks since.
In Friday’s race, Bell will pilot the No. 45 Black Rifle Coffee Co. Chevrolet Silverado.
Niece Motorsports was founded in 2016 by United States Marine Corps veteran Al Niece. After finishing 23rd in their debut race, Niece Motorsports has steadily improved, with Bell finishing 17th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, to a team-best 15th place finish at Kansas Speedway by Austin Wayne Self.
Bell has 101 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts with one top five and 13 Top 10s. His one top five came at Auto Club Speedway in 2009. Bell also has 69 NASCAR Xfinity Series and 11 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts.
Bell also has 41 ARCA Racing Series starts where he has 10 top fives and 20 Top 10s.
In five Truck Series starts at Charlotte, Bell has a best finish of ninth in 2007. He also has one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start, five Xfinity Series starts, and one ARCA Racing Series start at the 1.5-mile track.
Bell was confident that Niece Motorsports is making progress,
“I can’t wait to get back on track this week in Charlotte. We were here a few weeks ago testing, and I really feel like this team made a lot of progress and learned a lot during the test. Plus, it never hurts to get some extra seat time. I think this team has shown consistent improvement so far this season, and I look forward to building on that again this week.”
Bell and the No. 45 team will now look to improve their truck moving forward into Friday’s race.