Busch, Edwards and Biffle all were – or still are, in Busch’s case – contending drivers in the NASCAR Cup series for years. Bell seems well on his way given his Xfinity Series success this season.
Bell is among the more notable drivers competing in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, at Texas Motor Speedway.
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It seems like just a matter of time before Bell is running in NASCAR’s top circuit, right?
“Honestly, it’s kind of out of my hands,” Bell said. “The original plan [with Joe Gibbs Racing] was to run two years of Xfinity and that’s what we’re going to do. Hopefully I can come back next year and be just as competitive and win a couple more races, and see where the cards fall.”
For now, Bell is focused on trying to become a NASCAR champion for the second time in as many seasons. Bell won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship a season ago, and is now focused on winning the Xfinity Series as a rookie.
A win at Texas would be nice in helping him accomplish that, of course. This is a track he has had success in.
Bell won a truck race here last summer, and had a runner-up performance in the Xfinity Series race here this summer.
“I love Texas, man,” Bell said. “It’s a really fun race track and it’s my home NASCAR track. So getting to go back to Texas always feels like going home. The race track is extremely fast with the repave and new configuration.
“It’s really unique and a lot of fun.”
For Bell, it’s all about getting one of the four championship spots going into the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As Bell showed last year in the truck championship, he knows how to close the deal.
Bell will be ready to do so again if he’s in a similar position for the Xfinity Series title.
“It’s all about experience, right?” Bell said. “I’ve been lucky enough to make final four twice in truck series. I’ve been through a little bit of the pressure of Homestead, there’s a lot of pressure, so hopefully that experience of me being through it already will help me through it again this time.”
Time will tell for Bell and his No. 20 Toyota team. Regardless of how it ends, there’s no question that Bell has established himself as a rising star in the sport.
His accomplishments say it all – a truck championship last year and the most wins by a rookie in the Xfinity Series this season.
“It’s definitely exceeded my expectations, to be able to sit here with six wins is something that I’m really proud of and very thankful for,” Bell said. “We’re in a great spot right here to be able to win maybe even a couple more races and win the championship. If it doesn’t happen then I’ve got next year to try and go for it again. But we’re going to do everything in our power to try and become the champion. Once you get to Homestead, though, it’s every man for himself.”