UPDATE : 12:35 PM, Sunday October 4th
A statement released by Halmar says that after consultation with NASCAR officials, Christopher Bell will NOT be eligible to compete in the NASCAR Truck Series race at Kansas.
— Stewart Friesen (@StewartFriesen) October 4, 2020
A future update on the driver of the No. 52 will be shared at a later date.
Original Story –
Thanks to a recent change in the schedule for the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, driver Stewart Friesen will be absent from the Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas.
In his place, NASCAR Cup Series driver and 2017 Truck Series champion Christopher Bell will take the wheel of the No. 52 Halmar Racing “To Beat Hunger” Toyota Tundra.
Frisen will miss Kansas specifically due to his participation at the Speed Showcase 200, a Short Track Super Series race in Pennsylvania at the Port Royal Speedway.
“Since we are not in the NGROTS playoffs this year, we tapped our friend Christopher Bell to drive the truck for us in Kansas,” Friesen said in a statement. “We are excited to see what Christopher can do with the HFR No. 52. With his experience in the Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and Cup Series when we know he will be able to deliver valuable feedback to our team as well, which will help our program continue to develop.”
Friesen will return to his No. 52 at Texas for the SpeedyCash.com 400.
Interestingly, according to the NASCAR Rulebook section 7.1e, a driver that has accumulated points in the NASCAR Cup Series is forbidden to compete in the last eight races of the Truck Series season.
According to FOX Sports’ Alan Cavanna, HFR is currently checking with NASCAR on the eligibility status of Bell.
Per the rule book, a points-earning Cup driver wouldn’t be eligible for a Truck playoff race.
We’ve asked, and HFR officials say they’re checking… https://t.co/c5gJEAbd10
— Alan Cavanna (@AlanCavanna) October 4, 2020
The Ontario native has made 72 consecutive starts in Trucks dating back to 2017, and this will be his first missed race since.
The team has seen a bit of an off season since last year – not finding victory lane and only scoring three top-5 finishes in comparison to 2019’s 12 top 5’s and two wins.
Bell has not made a Truck Series start since 2018 at Bristol. The season prior saw the Noram, Oklahoma native score five wins, and 15 top-5 finishes before claiming his first Truck Series championship.
Bell will also pilot his familiar No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Camry following his Truck Series start with HFR.