Kyle Busch: Xfinity phenom Christopher Bell shouldn’t rush
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Xfinity rookie Christopher Bell has zoomed to the top of the series standings and already has an eye on moving up if the opportunity presents itself.
Not so fast, says Cup points leader Kyle Busch, who said he would keep Bell right where he is for the time being if he were the owner of the team. Bell drives the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
“It’s not that he’s not ready or that he doesn’t feel like he’s ready,” Busch said Saturday prior to Cup qualifying at Watkins Glen. “I think that’s very good of him to have those aspirations or to be that ambitious, but you also got to be patient in this game.
“We’ve seen it too many times from drivers that try to out-accelerate the natural given path of what they’re supposed to do, or what is kind of projected for them, and they may not be here much longer,” Busch added. “Or they’re at a team that then they don’t excel with and they have to move on from that team and they excel in a different situation because they moved in too fast.”
Busch pointed to Joey Logano as an example.
Logano became the youngest winner in Xfinity Series history by winning his first major NASCAR series race in 2008 in only his third start. He also became the youngest driver to win a Cup race, accomplished at 19 years and 35 days. But Logano, who replaced Tony Stewart at JGR and won rookie of the year honors in 2009, saw his career begin to trend downward in 2011 and two years later he left for Penske Racing. He has since morphed into the star everybody expected when he was dubbed “sliced bread,” as in the greatest thing since.
“There’s more time for more experiences to be gained in sharing another year or two in previous divisions,” Busch said.
Bell, who entered Saturday on a three-race winning streak, qualified 11th for the Xfinity Zippo 200 in his first laps at Watkins Glen International and finished ninth.