Bell looking to make history Sunday in Homestead as JGR enters this weekend on Cloud 9 as a whole

It must have been a celebratory week at the Joe Gibbs Racing complex after a successful weekend of racing at the Daytona Road Course that saw not only Joe Gibbs’ grandson Ty Gibbs, son of Coy Gibbs, get his first NASCAR national series victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – becoming just the sixth driver to win in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, joining Dale Earnhardt (1982, Daytona), Joe Ruttman (1982, Dover), Ricky Rudd (1983, Dover), Terry Labonte (1985, Charlotte) and Kurt Busch (2006, Texas) – but also NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell collected his first-career victory in the Cup Series event on Sunday. And to boot, Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin claimed the NASCAR Cup Series points lead by 12 points over Team Penske’s Joey Logano in second place.

This weekend, the Joe Gibbs Racing camp will be looking to keep the winning ways going. Denny Hamlin is the defending NASCAR Cup Series Homestead-Miami Speedway winner, taking the checkered flag last season from the pole after leading a race-high 137 laps. It was his third victory at the South Florida track (2009, 2013, 2020), tying Greg Biffle (2004, 2005, 2006) and Tony Stewart (1999, 2000, 2011) for the series-most. It also gave Joe Gibbs Racing the series lead in wins by an organization at the 1.5-mile facility with eight victories – Tony Stewart (1999, 2000), Bobby Labonte (2003), Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013, 2020) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019).

Hamlin’s teammates Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017) are also winners at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series and are looking for their first win of the 2021 season. Busch finished sixth in last season’s Homestead-Miami Speedway race and Martin Truex Jr. finished 12th.

Christopher Bell, who captured his first-career Cup Series win last weekend at the Daytona Road Course, is looking to become just the fourth driver in series history to follow-up his first career win with another victory, a feat not accomplished in the series since 1964. If Bell were to win this weekend, he would join Billy Wade (1964), NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett (1959) and Dick Linder (1950) as the only four drivers in series history to accomplish the feat and Bell would be the first to do it in the Modern Era (1972-Present). Wade holds the series record for the most consecutive wins following a driver’s first series career win with four consecutive victories. He grabbed his first Cup victory on July 10, 1964 at Old Bridge Stadium. Ned Jarrett won his first race at Myrtle Beach on August 1, 1959 and Dick Linder won his first race at Dayton on August 20, 1950.

Series

Date

Track

Drivers

Finish

Season

Race No.

Cup

Friday, July 10, 1964

Old Bridge Stadium

Billy Wade

1

1964

37

Cup

Sunday, July 12, 1964

Bridgehampton

Billy Wade

1

1964

38

Cup

Wednesday, July 15, 1964

Islip

Billy Wade

1

1964

39

Cup

Sunday, July 19, 1964

Watkins Glen

Billy Wade

1

1964

40

Series

Date

Track

Drivers

Finish

Season

Race No.

Cup

Saturday, August 1, 1959

Myrtle Beach

Ned Jarrett

1

1959

29

Cup

Sunday, August 2, 1959

Southern States

Ned Jarrett

1

1959

30

Series

Date

Track

Drivers

Finish

Season

Race No.

Cup

Sunday, August 20, 1950

Dayton

Dick Linder

1

1950

11

Cup

Sunday, August 27, 1950

Hamburg

Dick Linder

1

1950

12

Bell made his series track debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season; he started 38th and raced his way up to an eighth-place finish.

His confidence is high too. 

“Winning always helps your confidence. Confidence helps you to be a better race car driver,” Bell told me on Thursday. 

He said that he felt good about this early portion of the schedule anyways. He felt like they should be in contention for a good run on the Daytona road course. He singled out Homestead last year as a positive for him and that although th results aren’t as strong for him in the past in Vegas, that he always looks forward to racing there too. 

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