Christopher Bell Sets Date for Next Xfinity Series Race

Christopher Bell

Getty Christopher Bell celebrates a win at Dover International Speedway in 2019.

A 17-time Xfinity Series winner is about to pull double-duty at Daytona International Speedway. Christopher Bell, the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the Wawa 250 on Friday, Aug. 27, and will pursue his second win of the season.

NASCAR issued the official entry lists for the race weekend on Monday, Aug. 23, confirming that multiple drivers will take on a different series than the one in which they normally compete. Bell will be among this group as he climbs into the No. 54 JGR Toyota Supra for only the second time in 2021.

Bell previously suited up for the Ambetter Vaccinated 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17. He turned in a dominant performance while battling the Xfinity Series’ biggest stars, winning all three stages and leading 151 of the 200 laps. This outing also marked the third time in three starts that Bell reached Victory Lane at New Hampshire.

The No. 54 Toyota Has Continued to Contend for Wins

Ty Gibbs

GettyTy Gibbs completes a pit stop at Michigan International Speedway.

Bell’s win in the No. 54 was far from the only time that the stock car reached Victory Lane. Multiple other drivers have also done so during the 2021 season, resulting in a combined nine wins.

Kyle Busch leads the list of drivers to find success in the No. 54. He started five races in the Xfinity Series in 2021, winning every single one. His trips to Victory Lane took place at Circuit of the Americas, Texas Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Road America, and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Ty Gibbs, the grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs, is the second-most successful driver out of the group. He has started 12 races during the 2021 season, winning three times and finishing top five a total of eight times. He won his first-ever Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway’s road course, following it up with wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International.

Martin Truex Jr. also suited up for a race in the No. 54 Toyota Supra, but he did not reach Victory Lane. He still contended for the win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, starting 18th overall and finishing second behind Justin Allgaier after leading 103 laps.

A Former Championship Contender Will Also Return

Chase Briscoe

GettyChase Briscoe races for BJ McLeod at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will not be the only Cup Series youngster going back to Xfinity at Daytona International Speedway. The current Rookie of the Year favorite will join him while suiting up for a different team.

Chase Briscoe, the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, will make his second Xfinity Series start of 2021 after winning nine times in 2020. He will partner with BJ McLeod Motorsports and will drive the No. 99 at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Briscoe previously suited up for the team for the Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, starting second and racing his way to a sixth-place finish while Gibbs reached Victory Lane.

Briscoe will use this extra start to prep for the biggest race of his Cup Series season. He currently sits 22nd in the standings — well below the playoff cut line — and will be unable to make up enough points in the final race to overtake Tyler Reddick. However, he can lock up a spot in the playoffs by winning, something that Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron did in 2020.

While Briscoe dealt with his share of struggles early in the season, he has performed far better in recent weeks. He posted a sixth-place finish at Road America on July 4, took ninth at Watkins Glen International, and lined up in second place for the final restart at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Though he finished 26th overall after being forced through the grass on Turn 1 and spinning Denny Hamlin later in the lap.

Briscoe had another opportunity to turn in his best performance of the season in the most recent race, which took place at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 22. He lined up inside the top five on the final restart and fought for position after the green flag waved. However, Kurt Busch checked up in front of Briscoe, resulting in a collision and damage to the No. 14 Ford. The rookie ultimately finished 11th after dealing with handling issues caused by the sudden impact.

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