Bell’s Chili Bowl Defense Starts Thursday Night

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Indoor Racing, Other Midgets 0 Comments

Christopher Bell will begin defense of his Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals victory on Thursday night. (TeeJay Crawford photo)

TULSA, Okla. – Defending Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals champion Christopher Bell headlines the list of entries for Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Night at the Tulsa Expo Center.

Bell will kick off his defense of the crown during a stacked program that features 11 heat races, twin D- and C-Mains, four qualifying races, two Last Chance Showdowns and a 25-lap preliminary A-Feature.

The top three finishers from that A-Feature will lock themselves into Saturday night’s 55-lap finale.

Bell will be chasing his fourth Thursday night prelim victory in the last five years and third consecutive, after previously taking the laurels in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Coming off a career season, Bell won multiple races in a midget car last year, including the Chili Bowl, the Turkey Night Grand Prix and the Junior Knepper 55.

Aside from Bell, two other former champions of the Chili Bowl will also be in action on Thursday.

Cory Kruseman will pilot his own No. 21k, while Tracy Hines is driving the Bob Parker-owned No. 24.

Tanner Thorson makes his much-anticipated debut for Dooling-Hayward Motorsports during the third qualifying night, wheeling the red No. 63 machine, while his former team in Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports sends Holly Shelton into battle in the No. 67k alongside Bell’s No. 71w mount.

New Zealand midget champion Michael Pickens will take a turn behind the wheel of the four-time Chili Bowl-winning No. 39 for Swindell Motorsports, with another veteran in Jerry Coons Jr. coming back to Wilke-PAK Motorsports for another go.

Full-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series drivers Shane Stewart and David Gravel, along with fellow open-wheel stars Paul McMahan, Paul Nienhiser, Jac Haudenschild, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Danny Smith, Frank Flud, Steve Buckwalter, Caleb Armstrong, C.J. Leary and Ryan Bernal are also entered for Thursday’s program.

The full entry list for John Christner Trucking Night can be viewed on the next page…

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