Gibbs made the comments on October 13 while talking to Larry McReynolds and Danielle Trotta on SiriusXM. He faced questions about Bell saying that the No. 20 has been a “revolving door” of drivers. Coach responded by confirming that Bell will be a key member of the team for the foreseeable future.
“I think what we thought of Christopher, Danielle, came up earlier this year,” Gibbs said. “We signed him to a long-term deal early this year before a lot of the success, to be truthful. We think he is a young guy that is going to be a star.
“We actually had sponsorship meetings where the people that sponsor that race car said, ‘A big part of what we are doing here is because of Christopher.’ If you want a poster child for someone that knows how to treat sponsors, it’s Christopher, honestly, and it means a lot to us.”
Bell Has Major Goals for the Cup Series
The driver of the No. 20 Toyota delivered a Game 7 moment at the Charlotte Roval. He came from well below the cutline and used fresh tires to make his way through the chaos of Turn 1 to put himself in position for the win.
Bell delivered while facing immense pressure, and he moved on to the Round of Eight while others were eliminated. Now he will try to secure another win, one that would put him in the championship four for the first time in his career and would prove his doubters wrong.
“I think a lot of people had written me off as a driver, written the 20 car off,” Bell told media members after his win at the Roval. “‘Christopher is going to get fired.’ I got that all the time, that I’m getting replaced. ‘The 20 car is the revolving door, he’s going to be out of here.’ Maybe I’ll get to stick around a little bit longer now.
“With that being said, I don’t think we’re done. A two-win season is not our end goal. I think that we’re certainly capable of more. I want to be a household name in the Cup Series. Hopefully, this is just the start.”
Winning at both New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the Charlotte Roval helped Bell pursue his goal of becoming a household name. If he makes it to the championship four, he will move another step closer. If not, he will have more time in the No. 20 after signing this contract extension.
Gibbs Also Addressed Some Other Lineups
With Bell’s contract questions out of the way, there were some other topics for Gibbs to address. McReynolds specifically asked if there would be a timeline for news about Ty Gibbs potentially moving up to the Cup Series, as well as the drivers that will take over the Xfinity Series entries.
“I would say right after we finish the season,” Gibbs said about any announcements. “And we’ve got a lot going on over there on the Xfinity side too. We’ve been so fortunate to have really great teams. We know Brandon [Jones] is going to be leaving. We’ve got a lot of things lined up over there.”
As Gibbs explained, the timeline is due to everything else that is going on. He has two Cup Series drivers and two Xfinity Series drivers still in the hunt for championships, so the team remains focused on making as many moves as possible to pursue spots in the championship four.
Once the season comes to an end, Gibbs will provide some important answers. Coach will reveal the driver that will replace Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota Camry TRD. JGR will also detail the number of Xfinity Series entries the team will field and the drivers that will control them.