Christopher Bell earns Xfinity Series ride with Joe Gibbs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Joe Gibbs Racing has hired Christopher Bell to drive full-time in the Xfinity Series next season.

Bell currently drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series and is racing for this season’s championship. The 22-year-old leads the point standings headed into Saturday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Bell opened the year by winning the Chili Bowl. Once he got into trucks, he won five races.

Bell has been a fixture in the Toyota Racing Development program since his USAC championship in 2013.

Team owner Joe Gibbs said Friday that Bell has proven himself at every level, has shown great maturity and is ready for the opportunity in the Xfinity Series.

The team did not reveal the car number or sponsor for the Toyota that Bell will drive next season. He’s presumably replacing Matt Tifft, who is moving to Richard Childress Racing next season.

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