Perhaps the worst-kept secret in NASCAR is finally out. On Tuesday, Leavine Family Racing announced Christopher Bell will drive the #95 Toyota Camry for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
“Since I was young, I wanted to make a career out of racing,” Bell said in a team statement. “To take this next step and race in the NASCAR Cup Series with the support of LFR, JGR and Toyota is just a dream come true. It also means a lot to me to have Rheem make the move to Cup racing with me. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without their support and I’m also excited to have the opportunity to represent Procore now.
“Having been under the JGR banner these past seasons in the Xfinity Series and with TRD for as long as I can remember, having their continued support as I transition to LFR is extremely comforting and will be a tremendous benefit to me.”
Bell currently races in the Xfinity Series with Joe Gibbs Racing. The 2017 NASCAR Truck Series champion, he leads the Xfinity points with a series-high seven victories, including the playoff opener at Richmond Raceway. Now in his second year with JGR’s Xfinity stable, his rookie year also ended with seven victories as he finished fourth in the standings. In sixty-eight Xfinity races over three years, he has fifteen wins, thirty-nine top-five finishes, forty-four top tens, and ten poles.
A dirt track racer, Bell joined the Toyota NASCAR camp in 2015 with JGR Truck affiliate Kyle Busch Motorsports. In fifty-four career Truck starts, he has seven victories and forty-one top tens.
Jason Ratcliff, who currently works as Bell’s Xfinity crew chief, will continue to do so at the Cup level; it will mark Ratcliff’s return to the top flight after working with Matt Kenseth on JGR’s #20 from 2013 to 2017. On Bell’s Cup cars will be Rheem, which has sponsored him in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Procore, an LFR sponsor.
Bell replaces Matt DiBenedetto in the #95. DiBenedetto, who is twenty-first in Cup points, will move to Wood Brothers Racing for the 2020 season to succeed the retiring Paul Menard. On Twitter, DiBenedetto gave his congratulations: