POWRi: Christopher Bell Captures Night One of the Pepsi Nationals

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SUN PRAIRIE, WI. — official release — Jeff Arns photo — Christopher Bell started on the pole of the 30 lap star-filled feature, taking the lead on lap one and never looked back to win night one of the co-sanctioned POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series/USAC/Badger Midgets Pepsi Nationals feature at Angell Park Speedway.

Bell of Norman, Oklahoma, a now repeat winner at “The Prairie” had to battle stiff competition from the likes of defending Chili Bowl Nationals Champion Brian Clauson, open wheel hot shoe Tracy Hines, as well as his fellow Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammates, Tanner Thorson and Rico Abreu.

At the drop of the green flag, Bell would set a blistering pace only to be slowed on lap two by Terry Babb’s turned over racecar on the back stretch. The first of two red flags for the 30 lap feature event, Babb would be okay and restart at the tail of the field. When green flag racing resumed, Bell would again jump out in front and take a commanding lead while teammate Rico Abreu began to work his way through Tracy Hines and Tanner Thorson in his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports’ Toyota-powered Bullet. Just as Abreu looked to be gaining on Bell, the caution flag flew for the under-powered Lein Acres Racing entry of Tyler Courtney on the back stretch.

With Courtney restarted and tagging the rear of the field, Bell and Abreu would break away from the field until the red flag would fly for the second time of the evening for the wildly flipping car of Zach Daum. Daum, of Pocahontas, Illinois would be alright, but unfortunately the car was damaged beyond repair and Daum would be done for the evening. With the field lined back up and racing again underway, Bell and Abreu would pull away from the field running the nicely built-up curb on both ends of the historic 1/3 mile Angell Park Speedway.

With Bell and Abreu out front, the real battle ensued for third place between Tanner Thorson in theKeith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports’ Toyota-powered Bullet # 67, Chris Windom in theRFMS Racing-owned DRC # 3, and Tracy Hines’ # 24, Toyota-powered Spike. As drivers battled for third, Bell would take the checkered followed closely by teammate Rico Abreu for second, and Tanner Thorson in third.

“Last time I left this place I was in an ambulance,” explained second place finisher Rico Abreu. “Unfortunate, but I was very lucky how safe I was in my racecar. Onto tonight, I hung with Christopher [Bell] there for a while, I thought I could wait until traffic and be patient enough, and then pull the trigger maybe once or twice, but every time we got to traffic and it broke his momentum, we got a caution or I would make a mistake. The Keith Kunz cars are very fast right now and it has been a very successful year.”

“It was really good. We started off the night with quick time,” explained third place finisher Tanner Thorson. “Keith and Pete gave me an awesome car for qualifying, which they always do. We started sixth and got to second there for a minute until Rico got back by me and just stayed there for third. Couldn’t really catch him and then we started to catch him and then he’d pull away. Onto tomorrow night and we’ll see what we can do.”

“I felt like I left something on the table after qualifying, but it worked out that I qualified sixth and caught the invert and started on the front row of the feature,” explained a victorious Christopher Bell. “I feel like tonight was a pretty good night to start on the front row the way the track was. The track was pretty fast around the top and it was just a matter of me hitting my marks and not making any mistakes. I got to say thanks to the Keith Kunz Motorsports crew; they gave me an awesome racecar.”

Rounding out the top-five was Chris Windom in fourth and Tracy Hines in fifth.

Co-SanctionedPOWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series/USAC/Badger Midgets Feature results (30 laps): 1. 71 – Christopher Bell 2. 97 – Rico Abreu 3. 67 – Tanner Thorson 4. 3 – Chris Windom 5. 24 – Tracy Hines 6. 3F – Michael Pickens 7. 63 – Bryan Clauson 8. 9K – Kevin Thomas Jr. 9. 2B – Tyler Courtney 10. 9P – Parker Price-Miller 11. 39 – Spencer Bayston 12. 11A – Andrew Felker 13. 57 – Jerry Coons Jr. 14. 25 – Jake Blackhurst 15. 7 – Austin Brown 16. 2st – Bill Balog 17. 32 – Garrett Aitken 18. 2 – Seth Motsinger 19. 25 – Kevin Olson 20. 91T – Tyler Thomas 21. 5D – Zach Daum 22. 88 – Terry Babb 23. 11 – Brady Bacon 24. 15 – Brandon Waelti

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