Tha Sports Junkies 101

Christopher Bell Brings Home First Truck Series Championship



Friday night saw the season finale for the Camping World Truck series come down to the wire in Miami. After holding a commanding lead over his championship competitors all night, Christopher Bell was able to clinch the 2017 series championship by finishing 2nd to Chase Briscoe.

Christopher Bell won Kyle Busch Motorsports their second Driver’s Championship and the Owner’s Championship. For 2018, Bell will move to the Xfinity Series full time for Joe Gibbs Racing. He won the Xfinity race at Kansas earlier this season for JGR, with a controversial pass on Erik Jones.

The 19-year old from Norman, Oklahoma had to overcome a poor qualifying effort to be in championship contention. After starting the race in 13th, Bell had to work his way through his 3 title competitors. These were Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, and Austin Cindric. With this in mind, Bell still took the lead on lap 34 and held on to win Stage 1.

Early Race Rundown

After pit stops, polesitter Chase Briscoe was back out front for the start of Stage 2. Briscoe led early in Stage 2, but lost the lead quickly to Ben Rhodes. Rhodes, who was eliminated from the Playoffs after Phoenix, was looking for his 2nd career win. He was also looking to finish the season in the top-5 in points. Rhodes had arguably the fastest truck in Homestead, as he was able to build a large lead over Briscoe and the Championship 4. Ben Rhodes won Stage 2 in dominating fashion.

At only 134 laps in distance, this race had the potential to get unpredictable and caution-filled, like last week’s Truck race in Phoenix. However, there were only 2 cautions all night, both Stage breaks. As a result, this race was characterized by long green flag runs and little opportunity for pit crews to work on their trucks.

As the polesitter, Briscoe had the prime pit stall, which his crew utilized to gain the lead on both Stage-ending yellows. Briscoe would restart the final stage as the leader, but once again lost the top spot to Rhodes. Briscoe took the lead for the final time on lap 96. For much of this final run, Christopher Bell was stalking both Rhodes and Briscoe for the race lead.

Late Race Recap

With only 5 laps remaining, 2nd-place running Ben Rhodes ran out of fuel. As a result, Rhodes was forced to pit road. He would go on to finish a disappointing 19th, after leading 43 laps. Chase Briscoe held on to win his first career race over Christopher Bell by nearly 3 seconds. By finishing 2nd, Bell won the championship. Other title contenders Johnny Sauter, Austin Cindric, and Matt Crafton finished 3rd, 5th, and 6th, respectively.

Chase Briscoe’s win had added significance, as his team, Brad Keselowski Racing, will shut down over the offseason. In their last season, BKR saw both of their drivers win a race, make the Playoffs, and finish 3rd in the championship.