Christopher Bell in victory lane after his first World of Outlaws sprint car victory on May 7, 2014 at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway. (SPEED SPORT Archives photo)

From The Archives: Bell Gets First WoO Victory

Christopher Bell has been in the news this week after a torrid drive to a second-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of The Americas.

Bell’s efforts caught the eye of many and ruffled a few feathers along the way. With seven career Cup Series victories and having qualified for the Championship 4 the past two seasons, Bell is among the top drivers in the Cup Series. Still, the 29-year-old Oklahoma native burst upon the scene more than 10 years ago. One of his biggest victories came in upset fashion at Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois.

The following excerpt was published in the June 2014 issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine:

Christopher Bell continues to take the open-wheel racing world by storm. The 19-year-old racer earned his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory on May 7, 2014 at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway, where he also won a POWRi Midget Series race two weeks earlier.

Bell drove the Fox Brothers No. 53 to a dominant victory on the quarter-mile-oval, holding off defending WoO champion Daryn Pittman and five-time title winner Donny Schatz.

Four days later Bell won the Belleville Bash Honda USAC Dirt Midget Series race at Illinois’ Belle-Clair Speedway, driving for Keith Kunz Motorsports.

“I have learned that this place takes a lot of finesse. It’s really easy to over-drive, especially when the cushion gets up on the fence like that,” Bell said after his victory at Belle-Clair Speedway. “It’s not gonna move up there, and you have to be careful not to hit it too hard. It was a heck of a race with Kevin Thomas Jr. and we raced clean up there for the lead. My car was great again, and obviously, the package for all three of us (Kunz cars) is strong.”

Bell won a World of Outlaws feature, a MOWA sprint car feature, four ASCS sprint car features, 11 POWRi midget races and seven USAC national midget main events during the 2014 campaign.

Bell made his NASCAR debut in the Craftsman Truck Series the following year and won the series title in 2017. Two seasons in the Xfinity Series followed, with Bell making his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2020, with his first series victory following in 2021.