News of the sale of Leavine Family Racing, following an announcement by Joe Gibbs Racing that Erik Jones would be released from the #20 JGR Toyota team at the end of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season fueled speculation that Christopher Bell would return to the Gibbs organization in 2021 to drive the #20. JGR made that move official Monday.
“I’m so appreciative of the opportunity I have this year with LFR and I want to finish this season strong for Bob (Leavine) and everyone there,” Bell said. “At the same time, I’m extremely excited to return to Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2021. It’s an organization I’m very comfortable with and have had a lot of success with.”
After two full seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as a JGR driver in 2018, Bell moved to the Cup Series for 2020 to drive the #95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota, through a deal with Joe Gibbs Racing. In the first 22 races of his rookie Cup Series season, Bell has five top-10 finishes, including a best finish of fourth at Pocono Raceway, and is 19th in the driver points standings.
“We are excited to bring Christopher into our Cup Series program starting in 2021,” JGR owner Joe Gibbs said. “He, obviously, had tremendous success in the Xfinity Series with us, and we look forward to his return to JGR.”
Bell contested 74 races for JGR in the Xfinity Series, resulting in 16 wins, including an Xfinity Series rookie record seven in 2018.
Bell is a former NASCAR Truck Series champion. He won the 2017 title as a driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Jones has been the driver of the #20 his entire full-time Cup Series career that began in 2017. He has two wins in 133-career starts. Through the first 22 races of the 2020 season, he has five top-fives and eight top-10 finishes and is 15th in the driver points standings.