BRISTOL, Tenn. — Despite rumors about his future, Christopher Bell is remaining mum about his plans for next season and beyond.
Bell, who currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, is expected to be named the driver of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series beginning next year.
On Thursday morning, Matt DiBenedetto, the current driver of Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95, confirmed he wouldn’t be returning to the team, further fanning the flame of speculation about Bell’s future.
However, Bell said Thursday afternoon he has no news to report regarding his speculated move to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next season.
“I’m sure everybody is wondering about 2020, but nothing is official until it comes from me or whatever team,” Bell said. “I have no news to tell you guys right now. We’ll just have to wait for another day.
“Ultimately, like I’ve said time and time again, my future is not really in my hands, so the only thing that I can control is if I can go out there and try and win races and do as good as I can. I have to play the cards how they fall.”
Bell, the three-time and reigning winner of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, has been on the fast track to NASCAR’s top level for the last few seasons. He made his NASCAR debut in 2015 in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, winning his first race in his third series start at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway.
He claimed the Truck Series title for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2017 before moving up to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2018 for Joe Gibbs Racing. In 62 Xfinity Series starts Bell has won 13 times, including five races this season as he chases the Xfinity Series title.
With Erik Jones expected to ink a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing to remain in the No. 20 Toyota and Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin not going anywhere anytime soon, the recently announced opening at Leavine Family Racing seems like the only logical place for Bell to land next season.
While that may seem like the most logical choice, Bell continues to maintain that he does not know what car he’ll be driving next year. For now, his goal is to keep winning races as he continues to chase the Xfinity Series title.
“It’s still — all the way up in the air,” Bell said. “There’s a number of different cars that I could drive next year. I mean obviously I could still run the Xfinity Series, I could go to the Cup Series. It’s not in my hands right now. Just have to go out there and try and continue to win races and ultimately that’s the only way I’m going to better myself is if I can win races.”