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Christopher Bell on standby for Denny Hamlin at Michigan

Christopher Bell could get his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

The 22-year-old Kyle Busch Motorsports driver is on standby for Joe Gibbs Racing veteran Denny Hamlin, who is expecting his second child with longtime girlfriend Jordan Fish any day — her due date was Aug. 10.

In Saturday’s morning’s early practice at Michigan, Bell logged 20 laps behind the wheel of the No. 11 Toyota.

Bell has had an exceptional season thus far, leading the Truck Series with four wins and eight top-five finishes through 12 races. Fellow dirt driver Kyle Larson recently vouched for Bell’s on-track ability, and floated his name out as someone he’d like to see in the open No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota.

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Regan Smith was on standby at Watkins Glen International, but wasn’t needed. The Camping World Truck Series also is racing at Michigan this weekend, making Bell available. The NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.