NASCAR: Christopher Bell Quietly Advances to Round of 12, Leads Playoff Standings After Kansas

by Jonathan Howard

With all of the excitement around that Bubba Wallace and Denny Hamlin 1-2 finish at Kansas, Christopher Bell quietly advanced in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Oh, and he’s leading the field currently going into the last race of the Round of 16. +58 points from the cut-off and no playoff race winners so far, Bell and his No. 20 team are sitting pretty.

As the only driver that has advanced to the next round at this point, Christopher Bell might be driving with nothing to lose, so to speak, at Bristol. This Sunday at Kansas Speedway was a big one for Bell. He was able to win Stage 1 and finished second in Stage 2. Really racking up those playoff points and taking the lead over the field.

Christopher Bell on P3 Finish, Bristol

He went on to finish P3 and while he was a little disappointed with not winning, he knows it was a big deal to advance. He’s a real championship contender.

“It’s bittersweet right now, whenever we look at it tomorrow, it’ll probably be a great day,” he explained after the race to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass. “So, just… I wanna win, I want to win really bad. Our equipment was capable of winning, Bubba did a great job he was fast all day long and ultimately won the race. But very happy with our points position.”

“Bristol is one of those half wildcard events and it’s one of my favorite race tracks, too,” Bell said about next week’s race. “I’m thankful I get to go there, race hard and not have to worry about stuff outside of our control and see what happens. Yeah, I love that race track.”

So, with a lead in the points standings, Christopher Bell plans to race hard at Bristol. Bell hasn’t had great success at Bristol, but he doesn’t need a great race, either. He’s already advanced. Whatever comes next week is just extra for now.

When the Round of 12 begins, it’s a different game. For now, Bell is going to enjoy his time on the top. He leads William Byron and Denny Hamlin right now. Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney make up the rest of the top 5 heading into Bristol.