April 21, 2016 (Concord, NC) – Christopher Bell will make his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start this weekend at Salem Speedway. Bell, a former USAC National Midget Champion, will debut with Venturini Motorsports driving the No.66 JBL Toyota Camry in Sunday’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200.
“Salem with its high banking is such a fun place to run,” said Bell. “Up until a couple weeks ago when we tested, I never saw the track before – but it’s a lot like Winchester (Speedway) with the high banking and speed. The test was my first time in the ARCA car so I spent most of the day feeling it out. We have a fast Toyota! If everything comes together and goes as planned on Sunday we’ll be in contention.”
Tom Hessert (No.25 Renton Coil Spring Toyota) and Dalton Sargeant (No.55 Toyota Racing Development Toyota) will join Bell at Salem Speedway completing VMS’s three-car effort.
Bell, who also drives full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), splashed onto the NASCAR scene in 2015 winning his first career NCWTS race – the Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway.
During a break from the truck series last weekend, Bell captured the checked flag competing in the CARS Super Late Model Tour event at Orange County Speedway. It was Bell’s eighth late model victory driving for KBM. The 21-year-old Norman, Oklahoma native is scheduled to compete with VMS in five races during the ’16 ARCA season with Jeff McClure serving as crew chief. In addition to his upcoming Salem start, Bell will race at New Jersey Motorsports Park (5/28), Pocono Raceway (7/29), Chicagoland Speedway (9/15) and Salem Speedway for a second time when the series returns September 10.
Christopher Bell, Your Next American Idol!?
Bell, who is sponsored by JBL, has been busy off the track, starring in a series of trending social media spots promoting JBL’s “Guess the Song” #JBLxToyota contest.
Trading his helmet for a microphone and a pair of JBL Audio’s wireless headphones, Bell featured in a karaoke setting – channels his inner rock-star persona while showing off his lighter side in this well-produced and often funny sponsorship activation campaign.
“I’m definitely not the next American Idol,” says Bell (laughing). “It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done – but also fun. It took me 2-days of singing before I ever got comfortable. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback and fans can expect more videos soon.”
Watch Christopher Bell sing “Heart and Soul” for JBL:
ARCA 200 Weekend Schedule
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 will spread out over two days, Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24. Practice for the race will include two sessions Saturday afternoon from 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM and final practice from 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM, with Menards Pole qualifying presented by Ansell at 3:30 PM. The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 will begin at 2:15 PM. All time listed are Eastern Standard Time.
All on-track activities Saturday and Sunday will be featured in live audio, live timing and scoring, and live chat at arcaracing.com. The race will be aired, (tape-delayed) on the American Sports Network.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, John Wes Townley, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.