SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — official release — Phil Rider photo — Christopher Bell picked up where he left off at Angell Park Speedway, backing up a weekend sweep in July with the flag-to-flag victory in Sunday night’s CornFest 30-lapper.
It was Bell’s fifth Honda National Midget win of the year in a race that was co-sanctioned by both POWRi and BMARA. It was Bell’s 14th career USAC win, tying him for 45th all-time.
Bell jumped to the lead from the pole as Daniel Robinson held off Bryan Clauson and a host of others early in the race. After two early yellows, heat race winner Chris Windom caught the backstretch wall and took a vicious tumble into turn three.
After another yellow flag on lap 10, Clauson made his move on Robinson and the two made contact, spinning up the track and collecting series point leader Rico Abreu. All three cars restarted.
The seventh and final stoppage of the feature was for Brady Bacon, who hopped the turn-two cushion and flipped. That set up one final restart for Darren Hagen, who had assumed the runner-up slot, to take a run at Bell. He had nothing for the defending National Midget champion, however, and Bell took a convincing 1.185-second win in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“It seems like 30 laps takes forever at this place,” Bell said. “Running by yourself and seeing those laps on the board, it seems like they click off so slowly. All those yellows and being out front is just agonizing. It’s special to be so good here, especially after having so much trouble here last year. We’ve had a great stretch this season up here at the Prairie.”
Hagen held on for second in the Great Clips – Fatheadz Eyewear No. 56 Beast/Esslinger, his finest showing of the season.
“This is one of the great tracks in the country, so I’m happy just to be back here and definitely to get a good finish,” Hagen said. “We had our challenges. Both rear tires were losing air and I had some problems with my helmet, along with us spewing water too. We never could get anything together to challenge for the lead, but it was good to come out in front of a good crowd and run second.”
Tyler Thomas was on the move from his 10th-starting spot, eventually passing two cars in the final two laps to steal a podium spot in the BT Machine – Triple X Race Company No. 91t Triple X/Esslinger.
“The open red gave us a chance to make some changes and take a shot at running the bottom. We ran right up through there to fifth before leveling off some. Those two were racing hard for third on the last couple laps and gave us a chance to hit the bottom and get to third. It was really tricky down there. If I could stay right against the tires, it was pretty good down there,” Thomas said.
ProSource Fast Qualifier Tracy Hines came home fourth with Clauson fifth.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Darren Hagen, 3. Tyler Thomas, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Bryan Clauson***, 6. Zach Daum, 7. Jerry Coons, Jr., 8. Andrew Felker, 9. Michael Pickens, 10. Jake Blackhurst, 11. Seth Motsinger, 12. Daniel Robinson, 13. Rico Abreu, 14. Tanner Thorson, 15. Austin Brown, 16. Terry Babb, 17. Kevin Olson, 18. Isaac Chapple, 19. Brady Bacon****, 20. Spencer Bayston, 21. Chris Windom**, 22. Parker Price-Miller*, 23. Robbie Ray, 24. Brandon Waelti. NT
*Price-Miller flipped in Heat 1.
**Windom flipped on Lap 4 of the Feature.
***Clauson flipped on Lap 10 of the Feature.
****Bacon flipped on Lap 29 of the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Bell.