Bell wins Truck Series title


The Associated Press

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Kyle Busch celebrated one championship already this weekend when driver Christopher Bell captured the Truck Series championship.

It was the first career title for Bell, who turns 23 next month and was the favorite to win the title Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Bell won five races this season driving a Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and led the series in nearly every statistical category.

He wrapped up a second series driver championship for Busch, who will race for his second Cup title on Sunday. Bell finished second to Chase Briscoe, who won his first career race in the last event for Brad Keselowski Racing.

The team is closing after this race, and had a shot to end its run with a title behind Austin Cindric. But Cindric was beaten by Bell for the championship, so the team settled for the race victory with Briscoe.

Johnny Sauter finished third but fell short in his bid to win a second consecutive title. Sauter announced a contract extension earlier Friday to drive for GMS Racing, the team he won the title with last year.

Cindric finished fifth and two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton finished sixth. Only Bell, Sauter, Cindric and Crafton were racing for the title in a winner-take-all format.

Bell, meanwhile, races Saturday for the owner championship for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series finale. Bell will run full-time for Gibbs in that series in 2018.

Bell had 21 top-10 finishes this year in 23 races, and 15 top-fives.

Toyota won its 10th manufacturers championship, and fifth in a row. Toyota drivers won 12 races this season.

By Paul Wager

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