The 25-year-old from Oklahoma is a longtime development driver for Toyota, a former Truck Series champion and twice almost won the Xfinity Series championship driving for Gibbs.
The decision by Gibbs blindsided Jones, who thought talks on a contract extension had been progressing.
"I'm so appreciative of the opportunity I have this year with LFR and I want to finish this season strong for Bob (Leavine) and everyone there", Bell said in a release from JGR.
Bell will be the fifth driver competing in the No. 20 Cup vehicle for Gibbs, following Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and Jones. It came at the expense of Jones. "I don't think any of us, myself, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, none of us expected the whole LFR deal to go down like it did, so I think that put everybody in a little bit of a box". Bell's move to JGR comes four days after Erik Jones, who is now in his third season driving the No. 20 Toyota, announced that he will not be returning to the organization for next season.
That closed a whirlwind week in which Jones appeared to be the last to learn his job was in jeopardy. He advanced to a successful full-time Xfinity Series career the following year, notching 15 wins and 38 top-five finishes in there driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 and 2019.
"These are no doubt trying times, but I have never been prouder to be part of this sport", Dickerson said. JGR revealed recently that Erik Jones, who has actually invested his whole Cup profession with a Gibbs or Gibbs- associated group, will run out a trip after 2020.
The purchase of the No. 95 from Bob Leavine gives Spire a second guaranteed spot in Cup Series races, the Leavine race shop and all inventory owned by that organization. Both Furniture Row and Leavine were partners with Gibbs, and the organizations both chose to fold when operating costs became too burdensome.
"Honestly, it was very bittersweet whenever I found the news", Bell said Tuesday morning in a video conference.