Reports: Christopher Bell to Replace Erik Jones in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Car in 2021

Published 08/07/2020, 7:06 AM EDT


As per multiple reports, Joe Gibbs Racing picked Christopher Bell to drive the No. 20 car next season, soon after relieving Erik Jones of his duties.

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Toyota continues its alliance with young driver Christopher Bell. The 25-year-old currently drives the No. 95 car for Leavine Family Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

His future was thrown into sudden doubt when Bob Leavine announced that he was selling the team at the end of the season.

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This decision forced Toyota to find a place for Bell or risk losing him to another manufacturer.

Jones makes way for Bell at Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota supports three teams in NASCAR, Joe Gibbs Racing, Leavine Family Racing, and Gaunt Brothers Racing.

Earlier, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Erik Jones, who currently drives the No. 20, will not continue with them in 2021. His contract was due to expire at the end of the season and was not renewed.

This opened up a place for Christopher Bell and Joe Gibbs Racing wasted no time in bringing him on board, as per sources.

FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass tweeted about the same. He wrote, “Sources indicate no surprise for JGR No. 20 car, that it will be Christopher Bell starting next year.”

Bell has been a Toyota development driver throughout his NASCAR career. He has had full-time seasons for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series and two full-time seasons for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series.

After Leavine Family Racing declared their decision to sell, Bell’s future with Toyota was the talk of the town.

Toyota ‘very invested’ in Christopher Bell

Earlier this week, Toyota’s Racing Development President, David Wilson, said that they were very invested in Bell despite uncertainty over his future with the manufacturer.

“We are, again, very invested in Christopher. We’re not throwing in the towel, we are being very aggressive. I’ve been very candid in the past, probably overly so, to the effect that Christopher Bell is going to be in a Toyota for years and years and years to come,” Wilson said, as reported by NBC Sports.

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“That has been our intention. That remains our intention. I would say today, stay tuned. It’s very late, but we’re working on it and we should have something to share between ourselves and Joe Gibbs Racing in the very near future,” he added.

Leavine Family Racing’s decision to sell left the door open for speculations as Bell suddenly needed a new opportunity.

It was widely expected that the decision for Joe Gibbs Racing would come down to either Bell or Jones.

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SOURCE- Bob Pockrass-Twitter, NBC Sports- NASCAR

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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