Bell Stays Perfect With Thursday Chili Bowl Win

Christopher Bell has been nearly unstoppable at the Chili Bowl Nationals ever since he took his first Golden Driller in 2017.  That success has carried over to 2021 once again, as he continued his perfect week with his sixth straight Thursday night preliminary A-Main win, the longest active prelim night winning streak at the event.


After winning the VIROC for a second consecutive year on Tuesday, the three-time Chili Bowl champion swept the night by winning his heat race and qualifier before running away with the A-Main once again.


“That thing was exceptional, I’m just proud of Chad (Boat) and everyone at CB Industries to put together such awesome race cars for this event.  That was a fun one,” Bell said on the FloRacing broadcast.  “The straightaways got super slick, it made it really technical.  You really had to be down on the straightaway to catch the grip while you had to carry momentum around the top.”


Bell faced a little bit of adversity early in the A-Main after starting fourth.  He fell back to fifth on the first lap, but quickly made his way to the front.  After two passes for the lead were called back due to cautions, the third time was the charm as he wrestled the lead away from Spencer Bayston on lap 11.


“Whenever you get put behind like that, I think I was fifth at the end of lap one, you’ve got to search and you’ve got to go wherever your car’s best at.  Luckily my car was pretty good everywhere it went.  I definitely like what we’ve got going on.”


Buddy Kofoid improved his prelim A-Main result by one position from last year and locked himself into Saturday night’s main event with a second-place run.  After starting eighth, the defending Chili Bowl Rookie of the Year put on a show on his way to the runner-up spot, becoming the third Keith Kunz Motorsports driver to lock their spot into the main event this week.


“I think we were just too soft on the right rear so it was dipping over and I was getting really free and it was trying to drive itself off the cushion,” Kofoid said.  “I moved up a little bit and did some stuff to the shocks and that got me to the end.  I was staying with Christopher from about three-quarters of the straightaway so I figured that third’s got to be about to be the same back.”


He emerged from a spirited battle with former USAC champions Spencer Bayston and Brady Bacon in the middle stages of the race and was at one point the only driver all week to keep up with Bell for an extended race run.


“Some of those lappers were tricky, they were making me nervous.  I saw Bayston one time and I wasn’t sure whether to slide him or run the bottom.  I’m just glad to be locked in and stress-free, I’ll only be there to race on Saturday for the main event.”


Bacon was able to get by Bayston in the final laps to take the final podium spot.  Former Tulsa Shootout Winged Outlaw champion Joe B. Miller rounded out the top-five.


The final preliminary night is set for Friday with Driven2SaveLives Qualifying Night.  Previous Friday night prelim A-Main winners Tanner Thorson and Justin Grant headline the evening’s list of drivers, while former Chili Bowl champion Damion Gardner, NASCAR stars Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier, and three-time All Star Circuit of Champions champion Aaron Reutzel will also be in action.


-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: DB3 Inc


Chili Bowl Nationals – John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night Results:


Fatheadz Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.


Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 37W-Zeb Wise[2]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[1]; 3. 35L-Cody Ledger[4]; 4. 17B-Ryan Bickett[8]; 5. 8B-Brock Berreth[6]; 6. 11X-Donovan Peterson[7]; 7. 58-Norman Rose[5]; 8. (DNF) 87F-Johnny Kent[3]


Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Michael Kofoid[3]; 2. 15X-Carson Garrett[2]; 3. 321-Chad Winfrey[7]; 4. 68S-Andy Bradley[8]; 5. 117-Ryan Ellis[1]; 6. 21D-Justin Dickerson[4]; 7. (DNF) 11G-Mike Goodman[6]; 8. (DNF) 51X-Joe Walker[5]


Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 47C-Chance Crum[1]; 2. 39-Logan Seavey[3]; 3. 49J-Joe B Miller[6]; 4. 29-Tim Buckwalter[7]; 5. 2H-Nick Hoffman[5]; 6. 08J-Jace McIntosh[4]; 7. 84S-Shaun Shapel[2]; 8. 5H-Casey Hicks[8]


Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 1S-Spencer Bayston[2]; 2. 1G-Chase Stockon[1]; 3. 88-Terry Babb[3]; 4. 5W-Ben Worth[5]; 5. 17X-Tres Mehler[7]; 6. 28Q-Sean Quinn[4]; 7. (DNF) 22Z-Zac Millikin[6]; 8. (DNF) 40-JT Imperial[8]


Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 72C-Jeffrey Champagne[1]; 2. 19P-Austin Prock[2]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker[5]; 4. 15D-Andrew Deal[7]; 5. 2L-Matt Linder[3]; 6. 71D-Jeff Wheeler[8]; 7. (DNF) 12S-Brent Shearer[4]; 8. (DNF) 15N-Joey Brasil[6]


Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[1]; 2. 31K-Frankie Guerrini[3]; 3. 2D-Matt Sherrell[7]; 4. 22T-Don Droud Jr[2]; 5. 53R-Sean Robbins[4]; 6. 17-Tanner Berryhill[6]; 7. 7M-Brody Roa[8]; 8. 7MF-Chance Morton[5]


Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 21H-Brady Bacon[8]; 2. 20G-Noah Gass[2]; 3. 21G-Trey Gropp[6]; 4. 83-TJ Smith[7]; 5. 4B-Jason McDougal[3]; 6. 78M-Merle Scherb[5]; 7. 17D-Garrett Smithley[1]; 8. 25C-Courtney Crone[4]


Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[6]; 2. 71-Kaylee Bryson[3]; 3. 93-Kyle Bellm[2]; 4. 79M-Keith Martin[5]; 5. 56X-Mark Chisholm[4]; 6. 26M-Marshall Skinner[1]; 7. 15-Aaron Farney[7]; 8. 69-Stephen “Gravy” Fairfield[8]



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


C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 4B-Jason McDougal[1]; 2. 17-Tanner Berryhill[2]; 3. 7M-Brody Roa[3]; 4. 11G-Mike Goodman[6]; 5. 25C-Courtney Crone[12]; 6. 51X-Joe Walker[11]; 7. 15-Aaron Farney[5]; 8. 08J-Jace McIntosh[4]; 9. 5H-Casey Hicks[8]; 10. 58-Norman Rose[7]; 11. 17D-Garrett Smithley[10]; 12. (DNF) 69-Stephen “Gravy” Fairfield[9]


C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 12S-Brent Shearer[7]; 2. 7MF-Chance Morton[9]; 3. 87F-Johnny Kent[10]; 4. 21D-Justin Dickerson[3]; 5. 117-Ryan Ellis[1]; 6. 26M-Marshall Skinner[5]; 7. 78M-Merle Scherb[2]; 8. 84S-Shaun Shapel[8]; 9. 28Q-Sean Quinn[4]; 10. (DNF) 22Z-Zac Millikin[6]; 11. (DNS) 40-JT Imperial; 12. (DNS) 15N-Joey Brasil



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


Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 71-Kaylee Bryson[2]; 2. 21G-Trey Gropp[4]; 3. 21H-Brady Bacon[6]; 4. 83-TJ Smith[1]; 5. 2D-Matt Sherrell[5]; 6. 17B-Ryan Bickett[3]; 7. 93-Kyle Bellm[8]; 8. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[7]; 9. 8B-Brock Berreth[9]; 10. (DNF) 53R-Sean Robbins[10]


Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 15X-Carson Garrett[1]; 2. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[6]; 3. 22T-Don Droud Jr[9]; 4. 11A-Andrew Felker[2]; 5. 47C-Chance Crum[4]; 6. 1G-Chase Stockon[7]; 7. 5W-Ben Worth[8]; 8. 56X-Mark Chisholm[10]; 9. (DNF) 37W-Zeb Wise[5]; 10. (DNF) 68S-Andy Bradley[3]


Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 1S-Spencer Bayston[5]; 2. 29-Tim Buckwalter[2]; 3. 39-Logan Seavey[3]; 4. 67-Michael Kofoid[6]; 5. 72C-Jeffrey Champagne[4]; 6. 35L-Cody Ledger[7]; 7. 19P-Austin Prock[1]; 8. 11X-Donovan Peterson[10]; 9. 79M-Keith Martin[8]; 10. 71D-Jeff Wheeler[9]


Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[4]; 2. 15D-Andrew Deal[2]; 3. 49J-Joe B Miller[5]; 4. 20G-Noah Gass[1]; 5. 31K-Frankie Guerrini[3]; 6. 2H-Nick Hoffman[9]; 7. 321-Chad Winfrey[6]; 8. 88-Terry Babb[7]; 9. 2L-Matt Linder[10]; 10. 17X-Tres Mehler[8] B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.


B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 20G-Noah Gass[2]; 2. 35L-Cody Ledger[4]; 3. 19P-Austin Prock[6]; 4. 7M-Brody Roa[13]; 5. 2H-Nick Hoffman[5]; 6. 72C-Jeffrey Champagne[1]; 7. 17-Tanner Berryhill[12]; 8. 321-Chad Winfrey[3]; 9. 11G-Mike Goodman[14]; 10. 88-Terry Babb[7]; 11. 71D-Jeff Wheeler[10]; 12. 11X-Donovan Peterson[8]; 13. (DNF) 4B-Jason McDougal[11]; 14. (DNF) 2L-Matt Linder[9]; 15. (DNS) 5W-Ben Worth; 16. (DNS) 68S-Andy Bradley


B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 37W-Zeb Wise[6]; 2. 93-Kyle Bellm[5]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[7]; 4. 31K-Frankie Guerrini[2]; 5. 7MF-Chance Morton[14]; 6. 83-TJ Smith[1]; 7. 17B-Ryan Bickett[4]; 8. 17X-Tres Mehler[9]; 9. 87F-Johnny Kent[13]; 10. 12S-Brent Shearer[11]; 11. (DNF) 8B-Brock Berreth[10]; 12. (DNF) 21D-Justin Dickerson[15]; 13. (DNF) 1G-Chase Stockon[3]; 14. (DNF) 56X-Mark Chisholm[8]; 15. (DNF) 53R-Sean Robbins[12]; 16. (DNS) 79M-Keith Martin



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


A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[4]; 2. 67-Michael Kofoid[7]; 3. 21H-Brady Bacon[2]; 4. 1S-Spencer Bayston[3]; 5. 49J-Joe B Miller[8]; 6. 39-Logan Seavey[13]; 7. 29-Tim Buckwalter[11]; 8. 21G-Trey Gropp[5]; 9. 15D-Andrew Deal[12]; 10. 2D-Matt Sherrell[14]; 11. 71-Kaylee Bryson[6]; 12. 31K-Frankie Guerrini[24]; 13. 15X-Carson Garrett[9]; 14. 11A-Andrew Felker[15]; 15. 47C-Chance Crum[16]; 16. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[22]; 17. 20G-Noah Gass[17]; 18. 93-Kyle Bellm[20]; 19. 22T-Don Droud Jr[10]; 20. 7M-Brody Roa[23]; 21. (DNF) 25B-Steve Buckwalter[1]; 22. (DNF) 35L-Cody Ledger[19]; 23. (DNF) 37W-Zeb Wise[18]; 24. (DNF) 19P-Austin Prock[21]


Lap Leader(s): Steve Buckwalter 1-5; Spencer Bayston 6-7, 9; Christopher Bell 8, 10-30;
Hard Charger: Frankie Guerrini +12



Bell Stays Perfect With Thursday Chili Bowl Win