Bell will be with JGR for at least another year

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 31: Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 Rheem Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway on May 31, 2019 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender Christopher Bell told reporters Friday that he has indeed signed with Joe Gibbs Racing for another season – carrying him through the 2020 season. Which NASCAR series Bell will be racing in, however, remains unclear.

“No not right now, it’s a little bit too early,’’ Bell answered when asked whether he will remain in the Xfinity Series or move up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level.

While Bell didn’t disclose any details, he conceded it was comforting to know his immediate future is settled. Where he will race, however, remains an unknown – perhaps even to Bell himself. The JGR team has four cars in the Cup series so which seat Bell may take should he move up to the Cup level is a source of rumor and debate in the garage.

“It’s really good that I have a job,’’ Bell said. “Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing is where I want to be at. I’m thankful that I got another year.”

“As far as the JGR Cup guys, I really don’t have very much interaction with them,’’ Bell added, cautioning against anyone making assumptions on a Cup ride.

“There’s really not anything awkward because you look at the results and all four of their drivers are doing exactly what they need to do. I don’t feel like any of their drivers feel like they’re on the hot seat at all. Obviously, me looking in, there’s not really a hole for me yet. I don’t know where I’m going to be.’’

Bell is currently ranked second in the 2019 Xfinity Series championship with a series high four victories in the No. 20 JGR Toyota. He won seven races and finished fourth in the championship in his 2018 rookie season.

Greg Engle