CREW CHIEF: Adam Stevens
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POINTS: Third in Cup Series
WINS: Three (New Hampshire, Charlotte Roval, Martinsville II)
LAPS LED: 573
TOP 5s: 12
TOP 10s: 20
QUALIFIED FIRST: Four times (Las Vegas I, Talladega I, Kansas I, Talladega II)
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WHAT WENT RIGHT: Christopher Bell was a hero during the playoffs, scoring two must-win victories in the final races of rounds ending at the Charlotte Roval and Martinsville. The Martinsville win earned Bell a spot in the Championship 4. He finished 10th in the Phoenix finale and third among the championship contenders.
All three of Bell’s seasonal wins came in the second half of the year. He led 42 laps to win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to end a 53-race winless streak and put some fire under the team.
After Loudon, he had finishes of fourth, second, fifth, third and fourth before winning at the Charlotte Roval (leading the final two laps) to stay in the playoffs.
At Martinsville, he scored again under pressure, registering the 200th Cup win for Joe Gibbs Racing and rolling on to the Final Four.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Bell had a rough start to the season with finishes of 34th, 36th, 26th and 23rd in four of the first five races.
The team had issues adjusting to the Next Gen car, problems Bell said eventually were conquered with practice improvements.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2023: Emboldened by his strong finish, Bell anticipates a solid 2023.
The ’22 season was a major step forward as Bell boosted his numbers over 2021. He won three times (once in ’21), improved his top-five (12 over 7) and top-10 (20 over 16) finishes and led 573 laps as opposed to 100 in ’21.