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In 2023, many Joe Gibbs Racing headlines have stemmed from the comments of Denny Hamlin on his podcast and Martin Truex Jr. over the team radio. Christopher Bell and Ty Gibbs relatively flew under the radar. 

That’s changed with the No. 20 car locked into the Championship 4 for the second time in as many seasons, vying for the organization’s first title since 2019. After Bell locked himself in at Homestead, the team owner was understandably jubilant in his post-race comments. He raved about the 28-year-old from Oklahoma and his future with the team in his remarks, which could interestingly have an effect on his grandson in the future.  

Christopher Bell’s success early at Joe Gibbs Racing

Christopher Bell ran his first full-time Cup Series season in 2020. A year later, he joined JGR. Now, just two races from completing his third season with the organization, the driver has shown a flair for the dramatic and, more importantly, has consistently displayed that he’s one of the best in the field each Sunday.  

Late in 2022, Bell sent a message to the rest of his competitors when he won in exciting walk-off fashion, not once, but twice, first at the Charlotte Roval and then three races later at Martinsville. He finished third in the final points standings. 

This year, the driver carried that momentum to start the season, recording five top-5 finishes in the first eight races, including a win on the Bristol Dirt, which qualified him for the playoffs for a third consecutive year. 

Unlike last year’s post-season dramatics, Bell advanced on points in the first two rounds before clinching his spot in the final round with his win at Homestead.

Joe Gibbs talks about future with Christopher Bell 

Joe Gibbs has watched Christopher Bell’s meteoric rise over the last few years. He knows that the pilot of the No. 20 is the future of his organization, especially with an aging Hamlin and Truex, the latter who debated retirement the last two seasons. 

Gibbs admitted as much in his post-race remarks at Homestead.

“That’s two years in a row for him,” Gibbs told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Claire B. Lang. “It’s only his third and fourth years of racing. I think we can put a saddle on him and ride him for about 20 years.”

The veteran reporter asked the longtime owner and Super Bowl-winning coach what he saw in the driver: pure talent?

“Honestly, Rheem loves him, and so does Stanley,” he said of two key JGR business partners. “If you want to pick the All-American boy, that’s probably one that you would probably pick.” 

Ty Gibbs pushed by teammate’s success

Ty Gibbs is destined for Rookie of the Year honors in 2023. The recently-turned 21-year-old has had an impressive first full-time season in the No. 54 car, including 10 top-10 results, with four inside the top 5. 

But you know he heard his grandfather’s remarks. And the 2022 Xfinity Series champion will use those words as motivation. He’s already got the talent. He’s already got the equipment. Now, he knows who will be his top competitor at the company for years to come. 

For the owner, that’s a competition he hopes stays healthy for a long time because it will likely result in more championships. 

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