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First-Timers Continue To Rule At 2014 Chili Bowl

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, January 17 2014

The checkered flag waved on a first-time preliminary winner for the third consecutive evening during the Chili Bowl Nationals Thursday, as Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell posted a flag-to-flag/25-lap victory in the John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night A-Feature.

Bell’s win on the clay, quarter-mile Tulsa Expo Center track marked the second of the week for an Oklahoman during the 28th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire. Jonathan Beason topped Tuesday night’s opening qualifying program.

Asked about the degree of difficulty of his wire-to-wire win, Bell said, “I don’t know if that was easy or not, but Keith (Kunz) definitely had me dialed-in and the car drove itself around there. It was avoiding the lapped cars and not getting involved in anything stupid.”

A native of Norman, Okla., Bell acknowledged the win was “something special” for himself and his fans. “The Chili Bowl is THE race to me,” Bell said. “If there was one race I could run, it would be here, especially with it being in my home state. I guess this is one of the few times I get to race in Oklahoma, which is around my home crowd; it really is something special to me.”

In a race that took under five minutes to complete, Bell hit slower traffic by the ninth lap with a 1.506- second advantage over Damion Gardner. Able to slip the Keith Kunz No. 67k through the backmarkers, Bell’s Toyota-powered entry raced into a roadblock with 11 laps remaining and Garner closing the gap.

“There was one time I passed the first lapped car and then he (Damion) moved to the bottom because he had been running the top and then he started keeping up with me,” Bell said. “I kept seeing his nose down there and I was like, ‘Aw crap, Damion is down there’.^”

As the non-stop run continued, Kevin Swindell clawed his way through the field. Racing from a C-Feature after a flat tire forced the No. 39 to the pits during his Heat Race, Swindell broke the top-10 on Lap 8. Steadily picking his way through the field, Swindell snagged fifth from Andrew Deal on Lap 15.

Entering the final four laps, the pair continued to weave through traffic with the race for the final transfer into Saturday’s A-Feature shaping up between Michael Pickens and Swindell. Throwing slide jobs on Lap 21 through Turns 3 and 4, Swindell nearly slid through the cushion, allowing the New Zealander to drive back under for third.

“I wasn’t totally comfortable with the car and settled for third and happy to be locked-in _ and then all of a sudden Kevin comes up inside of me,” Pickens said of the exchange. “I had to get going and was lucky we had another 10-percent left and was able to shake him off.”

On Pickens again with three to go, Swindell remained fourth as the pair closed on Gardner. Bell managed to cross 2.850-seconds ahead of Gardner. Pickens held the final step on the podium, sending Swindell into a B-Feature on Saturday with a fourth-place finish after a B-Feature win gridded the No. 39 in 17th. Pennsylvania’s Steve Buckwalter completed the top-five.

Ninth starting Danny Stratton crossed sixth with Andrew Felker, Tracy Hines, Andrew Deal and 19th starter Kevin Ramey completing the top-10. Seventy drivers drew-in while four Chili Bowl Rookies started the A-Feature, with Dominic Scelzi crossing 14th followed by Chad Boespflug in 15th. Heath Duinkerken was 19th with James Eden 23rd.

Racing will resume with Friday’s Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night. Races begin at 6 p.m. (CST) with Hot Laps at 5. For additional information on the Chili Bowl, log onto http://www.chilibowl.com.

Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night Results

Heat Race _ 8 Laps, Top 40 in Passing Points advance to Qualifiers

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 63NZ-Michael Pickens [1]; 2. 8L-Harli White [4]; 3. 82H-Mike Hess [3]; 4. 23-Jimmy Light [7]; 5. 91B-Kevin Bayer [6]; 6. 7J-Shawn Jackson [5]; 7. 27C-Kip Hughes [2]; 8. 7S-Kory Schudy [8].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 47-Damion Gardner [3]; 2. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd [7]; 3. 43-Dakoda Armstrong [1]; 4. 37-Brady Short [6]; 5. 27R-Kyle O’Gara [8]; 6. 87C-Coby Hughes [2]; 7. 11XC-Steve Newman [4]; 8. (DNF) 4M-Andee Beierle [5].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 97-Christopher Bell [8]; 2. 2B-Bill Balog [2]; 3. 21H-Ty Hulsey [3]; 4. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild [4]; 5. 4A-Aaron Pierce [7]; 6. 8CK-David Garbo Jr. [5]; 7. (DNF) 39-Kevin Swindell [1]; 8. (DNF) 35T-Tyler Robbins [6].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 56L-Danny Stratton [1]; 2. 7M-Kevin Ramey [5]; 3. 25J-Matt Juhl [6]; 4. 2S-Stratton Briggs [2]; 5. (DNF) 6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [3]; 6. (DNF) 0G-Glenn Styres [4]; 7. (DNF) 31J-Jimmy Elledge [8]; 8. (DNF) 7N-D.J. Netto [7].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 11A-Andrew Felker [2]; 2. 25B-Steve Buckwalter [4]; 3. 81-Heath Duinkerken [3]; 4. 35S-Matt Sherrell [7]; 5. 77K-Kevin Olson [6]; 6. 33D-Lee Dakus [1]; 7. D6-Dakota Gains [5]; 8. 20B-Carey Becker [8].

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 17S-Dominic Scelzi [2]; 2. 68M-Tyler Edwards [7]; 3. 57B-Chad Boespflug [3]; 4. 6A-David Gough [8]; 5. 69-A.J. Fike [6]; 6. 31E-Evan Sewell [4]; 7. 21D-Justin Dickerson [1]; DNS 73-Jason McDougal.

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 15D-Andrew Deal [1]; 2. 7L-Layne Himebaugh [2]; 3. 19P-Patrick Stasa [4]; 4. 62-Taylor Simas [6]; 5. 75X-Landon Simon [5]; 6. 14D-David McIntosh [8]; 7. 7D-Michelle Decker [7]; 8. (DNF) 40-Andy Huston [3].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 11-Chase Stockon [3]; 2. 5E-James Edens [6]; 3. 56X-Mark Chisholm [1]; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [4]; 5. 33-Davey Ray [7]; 6. 85-Matt Johnson [2]; 7. 11C-Chett Gehrke [5].

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 24-Tracy Hines [1]; 2. 93-Dustin Morgan [2]; 3. 05J-Jason Johnson [3]; 4. 3T-Tim Barber [4]; 5. 17-Michael Koontz [7]; 6. 11H-Garett Hood [6]; 7. 10C-Dalton Camfield [5].

C-Features _ 12 Laps, Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell [13]; 2. 75X-Landon Simon [3]; 3. 77K-Kevin Olson [1]; 4. 35T-Tyler Robbins [14]; 5. 0G-Glenn Styres [6]; 6. 2S-Stratton Briggs [2]; 7. 40-Andy Huston [15]; 8. 87C-Coby Hughes [7]; 9. 10C-Dalton Camfield [10]; 10. 7S-Kory Schudy [11]; 11. 27C-Kip Hughes [12]; 12. (DNF) 8CK-David Garbo Jr. [5]; 13. (DNF) 7D-Michelle Decker [8]; 14. (DNF) D6-Dakota Gains [9]; 15. (DNF) 11H-Garett Hood[4].

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [3]; 2. 7J-Shawn Jackson [4]; 3. 69-A.J. Fike [1]; 4. 11C-Chett Gehrke [9]; 5. 14D-David McIntosh [2]; 6. 7N-D.J. Netto [12]; 7. 31E-Evan Sewell [6]; 8. 85-Matt Johnson [7]; 9. 21D-Justin Dickerson [13]; 10. 20B-Carey Becker [11]; 11. 31J-Jimmy Elledge [5]; 12. 33D-Lee Dakus [8]; 13. 4M-Andee Beierle [14]; 14. (DNF) 11XC-Steve Newman [10]; 15. (DNF) 73-Jason McDougal [15].

Qualifiers _ 10 Laps, Top 16 in combined Heat Race and Qualifier Points advance to A-Feature

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 63NZ-Michael Pickens [3]; 2. 97-Christopher Bell [6]; 3. 7L-Layne Himebaugh [1]; 4. 17S-Dominic Scelzi [4]; 5. 11-Chase Stockon [5]; 6. 81-Heath Duinkerken [8]; 7. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild[ 10]; 8. 62-Taylor Simas [7]; 9. 23-Jimmy Light [2]; 10. (DNF) 56X-Mark Chisholm [9].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan [1]; 2. 56L-Danny Stratton [3]; 3. 8L-Harli White [4]; 4. 57B-Chad Boespflug [8]; 5. 35S-Matt Sherrell [2]; 6. 27R-Kyle O’Gara [7]; 7. 7M-Kevin Ramey [5]; 8. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [10]; 9. 4A-Aaron Pierce [9]; 10. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd [6]. (Note:) 15H penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 15D-Andrew Deal [3]; 2. 25B-Steve Buckwalter [4]; 3. 5E-James Edens [6]; 4. 19P-Patrick Stasa [1]; 5. 3T-Tim Barber [10]; 6. 33-Davey Ray [9]; 7. 05J-Jason Johnson [8]; 8. 82H-Mike Hess [7]; 9. (DNF) 6A-David Gough [2]; 10. (DNF) 68M-Tyler Edwards [5]. (Note:) 05J penalized at the finish for hitting the cone at the restart.

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 24-Tracy Hines [3]; 2. 47-Damion Gardner [6]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker [5]; 4. 37-Brady Short [1]; 5. 2B-Bill Balog [2]; 6. 17-Michael Koontz [9]; 7. 91B-Kevin Bayer [10]; 8. 25J-Matt Juhl [4]; 9. 21H-Ty Hulsey [7]; 10. 43-Dakoda Armstrong [8].

B-Main _ 15 Laps, Top 4 advance to A-Feature

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell [13]; 2. 7M-Kevin Ramey [2]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [8]; 4. 81-Heath Duinkerken [4]; 5. 91B-Kevin Bayer [6]; 6. 27R-Kyle O’Gara [5]; 7. 75X-Landon Simon [14]; 8. 77K-Kevin Olson [15]; 9. 35T-Tyler Robbins [16]; 10. 21H-Ty Hulsey [11]; 11. 05J-Jason Johnson [7]; 12. 56X-Mark Chisholm [12]; 13. (DNF) 23-Jimmy Light [10]; 14. (DNF) 17-Michael Koontz [3]; 15. (DNF) 19P-Patrick Stasa [1].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 35S-Matt Sherrell [3]; 2. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd [6]; 3. 62-Taylor Simas [8]; 4. 37-Brady Short [1]; 5. 6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [13]; 6. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild [5]; 7. 33-Davey Ray [2]; 8. 25J-Matt Juhl [7]; 9. 43-Dakoda Armstrong [12]; 10. 4A-Aaron Pierce [11]; 11. 6A-David Gough [10]; 12. 82H-Mike Hess [9]; 13. 69-A.J. Fike [15]; 14. 7J-Shawn Jackson [14]; 15. (DNF) 2B-Bill Balog [4]; 16. (DNF) 11C-Chett Gehrke [16].

A-Feature _ 25 Laps, Top 3 lock into Saturday’s Championship Feature

A-Feature (25 Laps): 1. 97-Christopher Bell [1]; 2. 47-Damion Gardner [2]; 3. 63NZ-Michael Pickens [4]; 4. 39-Kevin Swindell [17]; 5. 25B-Steve Buckwalter [7]; 6. 56L-Danny Stratton [9]; 7. 11A-Andrew Felker [8]; 8. 24-Tracy Hines [6]; 9. 15D-Andrew Deal [5]; 10. 7M-Kevin Ramey [19]; 11. 93-Dustin Morgan [11]; 12. 8L-Harli White [10]; 13. 11-Chase Stockon [14]; 14. 17S-Dominic Scelzi [13]; 15. 57B-Chad Boespflug [12]; 16. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd [20]; 17. 35S-Matt Sherrell [18]; 18. 62-Taylor Simas [22]; 19. 81-Heath Duinkerken [23]; 20. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [21]; 21. 37-Brady Short [24]; 22. 3T-Tim Barber [16]; 23. 5E-James Edens [3]; 24. 7L-Layne Himebaugh [15].

Lap Leader: Christopher Bell (1-25)

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, January 17 2014
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