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Champion Bell Drives To P1 At The Chili Bowl

| , RacinToday.com Friday, January 18 2019

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NASCAR driver Christopher Bell had a big night at the Chili Bowl on Thursday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Ashley R Dickerson)

Two-time/reigning event champion Christopher Bell survived late-race challenges from Shane Golobic and C.J. Leary en route to victory during Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night A-Feature at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire.

A resident of Norman, Okla., Bell led all but two laps of the 25-lapper around the fifth-mile Tulsa Expo Raceway to lock the iRacing No. 71w into his seventh Saturday A-Feature in as many years.

“It was a lot busier than what I wanted them to be,” said Bell, recapping the closing circuits. “Shane definitely made a race out of it and I hope the last four laps were a good show. It was a lot of fun…well, it was fun because I won, but if I hadn’t won it wouldn’t have been much fun.”

Bell, who began his racing career on the dirt tracks of Oklahoma and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, claimed the win by a miniscule 0.555-seconds. “Shane was able to sneak underneath me in (Turn) 3,” said Bell, a rising NASCAR star with Joe Gibbs Racing. “It got so slick off (Turn) 2 and then all the way really until you got to pretty much to (Turn) 4 you were just kind of sitting there waiting on it. I knew that opening up my entry like that I was very vulnerable.

“I kept hitting the bottom off (Turn) 2 on the restarts and going straight to the top, so I didn’t really want to change what I was doing. I went down there, and I don’t know if my tire was low or I got too much berm but I biked-up and it allowed him to stay with me a little bit better and pull the trigger on me.”

Californian Golobic earned his seventh ticket into the A-Feature since 2010 by out-hustling Leary. Fourth was Danny Stratton with Josh Most making the very best of restarts and attrition to pick up 17 positions and Hard Charger honors.  Advancing 12 positions, Austin Brown crossed sixth.

After nearly clearing the Turn 1 fence in his Heat Race, 2005 Chili Bowl champion Tracy Hines was relegated to the 11th starting spot in the second C-Feature. Charging through the C and B-Features, the Wilke-Pak No. 11 advanced position 36 times to finish seventh. Tip-toeing his way through the field, Casey Shuman made up six positions with Kyle Cummins rebounding from a late-race caution to finish ninth. Despite mechanical issues throughout the A-Feature, cautions brought Andrew Felker back into the mix for a top-10 finish.

The four nights of racing have seen 276 drivers check-in, including Thursday’s 73. The Chili Bowl Flip Count stands at 41; all drivers have walked away.

Racing continues Friday with Vacuworx Qualifying Night. A roster of 75 drivers is expected for the final prelim program. Hot laps at River Spirit Expo Center will get underway at 4 p.m. (CST) with racing at 5 p.m.

Fans can follow Chili Bowl action on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with @CBNationals. All official press, updates and results on the Chili Bowl Nationals can be accessed online at http://www.chilibowl.com.

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire/ John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night

Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 39-Ryan Bernal, [1]; 2. 97A-Austin O’Dell, [6]; 3. 7MF-Chance Morton, [8]; 4. 23-Bryan Salisbury, [7]; 5. 7JR-JD Black, [2]; 6. 10K-Marvin Mitchell, [3]; 7. (DNF) 13-Steve Davis, [4]; 8. (DNF) 84S-Shaun Shapel, [5]; 9. (DNF) 35L-Cody Ledger, [9].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 71R-Chase Johnson, [1]; 2. 72K-Sam Johnson, [3]; 3. 1A-Justin Allgaier, [5]; 4. 15D-Andrew Deal, [6]; 5. 22B-Troy Betts, [8]; 6. 17M-Brett Ireland, [7]; 7. (DNF) 49F-Taylor Forbes, [4]; 8. (DNF) 98-Ryan Padgett, [2].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 32D-Casey Shuman, [1]; 2. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [4]; 3. 68-Robby Josett, [5]; 4. 71X-McKenna Haase, [7]; 5. 51-R.J. Johnson, [8]; 6. 321-Chad Winfrey, [6]; 7. (DNF) 71T-Zac Taylor, [3]; 8. (DNF) 24F-Hunter Fischer, [2].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 71W-Christopher Bell, [4]; 2. 17H-Sheldon Haudenschild, [2]; 3. 92M-Josh Most, [6]; 4. 81B-Seth Bergman, [5]; 5. 4T-AJ Valim, [1]; 6. 22M-Mike Hess, [7]; 7. 46L-L.J. Lombardo, [8]; 8. (DNF) 19W-Jake Morgan, [3].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 55V-C.J. Leary, [1]; 2. 7S-Pat Schudy, [2]; 3. 91K-Kevin Bayer, [8]; 4. 2D-Matt Sherrell, [3]; 5. (DNF) 11X-Donovan Peterson, [6]; 6. (DNF) 73B-Cole Macedo, [7]; 7. (DNF) 71B-Robert Bell, [4]; 8. (DNF) 23S-Kyle Simon, [5].

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Seth Carlson, [2]; 2. 45J-Jack Dover, [5]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker, [4]; 4. 5R-Ryan Foster, [3]; 5. 10C-Dalton Camfield, [7]; 6. 72-Craig Oakes, [1]; 7. 9S-Rick Shuman, [6]; (DNS) 6-Bill Rose.

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 51B-Joe B. Miller, [1]; 2. 25-Jerry Coons Jr., [2]; 3. 7R-Thomas Meseraull, [3]; 4. 7-Shannon McQueen, [8]; 5. 17A-Austin Brown, [7]; 6. 49X-Justin Fifield, [5]; 7. 222-A.J. Gilbert, [6]; 8. (DNF) 15G-Gavin Stout, [4].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 1G-Kyle Cummins, [2]; 2. 2T-Kaleb Currie, [1]; 3. 47X-Danny Stratton, [8]; 4. 21K-Josh Lakatos, [4]; 5. 67F-Kyle O’Gara, [5]; 6. 91B-Bret Barney, [6]; 7. 103-Broc Hunnell, [7]; 8. (DNF) 7CH-Chris (Critter) Malone, [3].

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 83-Karsyn Elledge, [2]; 2. 17C-Shane Golobic, [5]; 3. 17B-Ryan Bickett, [6]; 4. 56X-Mark Chisholm, [3]; 5. 73-Dylan Ito, [7]; 6. 57-Maria Cofer, [1]; 7. 11-Tracy Hines, [4]; (DNS) 21D-Justin Dickerson.

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 22M-Mike Hess, [3]; 2. 22B-Troy Betts, [1]; 3. 67F-Kyle O’Gara, [2]; 4. 19W-Jake Morgan, [13]; 5. 49X-Justin Fifield, [6]; 6. 9S-Rick Shuman, [9]; 7. 15G-Gavin Stout, [12]; 8. 10K-Marvin Mitchell, [7]; 9. 4T-AJ Valim, [4]; 10. 71T-Zac Taylor, [11]; 11. 91B-Bret Barney, [5]; 12. (DNF) 13-Steve Davis, [10]; 13. (DNF) 72-Craig Oakes, [8]; 14. (DNF) 98-Ryan Padgett, [15]; (DNS) 71B-Robert Bell; (DNS) 23S-Kyle Simon; (DNS) 21D-Justin Dickerson.

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 57-Maria Cofer, [8]; 2. 11-Tracy Hines, [11]; 3. 321-Chad Winfrey, [4]; 4. 11X-Donovan Peterson, [1]; 5. 103-Broc Hunnell, [7]; 6. 7JR-JD Black, [3]; 7. 24F-Hunter Fischer, [15]; 8. 35L-Cody Ledger, [13]; 9. 7CH-Chris (Critter) Malone, [14]; 10. 222-A.J. Gilbert, [9]; 11. (DNF) 46L-L.J. Lombardo, [6]; 12. (DNF) 17M-Brett Ireland, [2]; 13. (DNF) 84S-Shaun Shapel, [12]; 14. (DNF) 49F-Taylor Forbes, [10]; (DNS) 73B-Cole Macedo; (DNS) 6-Bill Rose.

Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 55V-C.J. Leary, [2]; 2. 1A-Justin Allgaier, [1]; 3. 71W-Christopher Bell, [6]; 4. 11A-Andrew Felker, [8]; 5. 1G-Kyle Cummins, [4]; 6. 17H-Sheldon Haudenschild, [7]; 7. 81B-Seth Bergman, [9]; 8. 17B-Ryan Bickett, [3]; 9. 45J-Jack Dover, [5]; 10. 21K-Josh Lakatos, [10].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 39-Ryan Bernal, [3]; 2. 17C-Shane Golobic, [5]; 3. 51B-Joe B. Miller, [2]; 4. 2D-Matt Sherrell, [10]; 5. 97A-Austin O’Dell, [6]; 6. 10C-Dalton Camfield, [9]; 7. 7S-Pat Schudy, [7]; 8. (DNF) 68-Robby Josett, [1]; 9. (DNF) 83-Karsyn Elledge, [4]; 10. (DNF) 51-R.J. Johnson, [8].

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 25-Jerry Coons Jr., [7]; 2. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [4]; 3. 71R-Chase Johnson, [3]; 4. 7R-Thomas Meseraull, [8]; 5. 7-Shannon McQueen, [2]; 6. 91K-Kevin Bayer, [5]; 7. 17A-Austin Brown, [9]; 8. 7MF-Chance Morton, [6]; 9. 5R-Ryan Foster, [10]; 10. 23-Bryan Salisbury, [1].

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 47X-Danny Stratton, [6]; 2. 2T-Kaleb Currie, [7]; 3. 32D-Casey Shuman, [3]; 4. 71X-McKenna Haase, [1]; 5. 15D-Andrew Deal, [8]; 6. 2C-Seth Carlson, [5]; 7. 73-Dylan Ito, [9]; 8. 56X-Mark Chisholm, [10]; 9. (DNF) 72K-Sam Johnson, [2]; 10. (DNF) 92M-Josh Most, [4].

B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 1G-Kyle Cummins, [1]; 2. 91K-Kevin Bayer, [2]; 3. 2C-Seth Carlson, [3]; 4. 19W-Jake Morgan, [16]; 5. 17B-Ryan Bickett, [8]; 6. 72K-Sam Johnson, [10]; 7. 22M-Mike Hess, [13]; 8. 5R-Ryan Foster, [11]; 9. 22B-Troy Betts, [14]; 10. 56X-Mark Chisholm, [9]; 11. 73-Dylan Ito, [7]; 12. 17H-Sheldon Haudenschild, [4]; 13. 7S-Pat Schudy, [6]; 14. (DNF) 67F-Kyle O’Gara, [15]; 15. (DNF) 7MF-Chance Morton, [5]; 16. (DNF) 23-Bryan Salisbury, [12].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 17A-Austin Brown, [6]; 2. 15D-Andrew Deal, [1]; 3. 92M-Josh Most, [10]; 4. 11-Tracy Hines, [14]; 5. 51-R.J. Johnson, [11]; 6. 68-Robby Josett, [9]; 7. 45J-Jack Dover, [7]; 8. 81B-Seth Bergman, [5]; 9. 321-Chad Winfrey, [15]; 10. 21K-Josh Lakatos, [12]; 11. 83-Karsyn Elledge, [8]; 12. 71X-McKenna Haase, [2]; 13. (DNF) 57-Maria Cofer, [13]; 14. (DNF) 11X-Donovan Peterson, [16]; 15. (DNF) 7-Shannon McQueen, [3]; 16. (DNF) 10C-Dalton Camfield, [4].

A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature

A-Feature (25 Laps): 1. 71W-Christopher Bell, [3]; 2. 17C-Shane Golobic, [4]; 3. 55V-C.J. Leary, [8]; 4. 47X-Danny Stratton, [1]; 5. 92M-Josh Most, [22]; 6. 17A-Austin Brown, [18]; 7. 11-Tracy Hines, [24]; 8. 32D-Casey Shuman, [14]; 9. 1G-Kyle Cummins, [17]; 10. 11A-Andrew Felker, [9]; 11. 97A-Austin O’Dell, [10]; 12. 2C-Seth Carlson, [21]; 13. 1A-Justin Allgaier, [11]; 14. 71R-Chase Johnson, [13]; 15. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [7]; 16. (DNF) 39-Ryan Bernal, [5]; 17. (DNF) 25-Jerry Coons Jr, [2]; 18. (DNF) 2D-Matt Sherrell, [12]; 19. (DNF) 7R-Thomas Meseraull, [15]; 20. (DNF) 19W-Jake Morgan, [23]; 21. (DNF) 15D-Andrew Deal, [20]; 22. (DNF) 91K-Kevin Bayer, [19]; 23. (DNF) 2T-Kaleb Currie, [6]; 24. (DNF) 51B-Joe B. Miller, [16].

Lap Leader(s): Jerry Coons Jr. 2; Shane Golobic 23; Christopher Bell 1, 3-22, 24-25; 
Hard Charger: Josh Most, plus-17

| , RacinToday.com Friday, January 18 2019
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