When the Pro All Star Series (PASS) Super Late Models roll into Caraway Speedway (NC) on November 1 for their portion of the North-South Shootout, Christopher Bell – one of the sports rising stars – will be behind the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 52 Toyota.
Bell, best known for his success in the dirt ranks, captured his first career asphalt win in just his third career start one week ago at Orange County Speedway (NC) and will be looking to make it two in a row when the KBM team arrives at the Sophia, North Carolina oval.
“It’s definitely nice to have some confidence built up,” said Bell, of Norman, Oklahoma. “After you run good you get your confidence up and it just makes you better. So I’m really looking forward to getting back in the seat at Caraway.”
During the 2014 racing season, Bell has recorded 21 main event wins on dirt surfaces including wins in a USAC Dirt Midget and with the World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series.
For Bell, finding speed in a Super Late Model on asphalt surfaces hasn’t been an issue. The toughest part of the learning curve for Bell thus far has been maintaining enough speed throughout longer distance events. He believes he took a step in the right direction at Orange County and hopes to continue in that same direction at Caraway.
“As far as driving cars and having the speed, that hasn’t seemed to be the issue,” said the 19-year-old Bell. “The issue has been learning how to maintain that speed throughout the whole race because they’re much longer races than what I’m used to. Between my crew chief and spotter, they were able to talk me to it the other night at Orange County and hopefully they’ll be able to help me out again at Caraway.”
Bell and his teammate for the race, 17-year-old Karl Weber, recently tested with the Kyle Busch Motorsports team at Caraway. He learned a lot about the track and what to expect on race day and looks forward to getting back the track to see how he matches up against the competition.
“It’s a different place,” said Bell. “You like the tracks you run well at so I might like it a little bit more after next week. It was just me and my teammate Carl Weber there so we weren’t entirely sure of what lap times we needed to be aiming for so we don’t really know if we were fast or slow, but we kind of got to a point where I had a steady pace. I guess we’ll figure out when we get there next week if we’re fast or not.”
With the prestige of the North-South Shootout and the race being broadcast nationally on 51 TV, Bell knows a win would be a huge boost for his asphalt career.
“It would definitely be a huge confidence boost and definitely good publicity wise,” Bell said. “For me to be able to come out there and win a Super Late Model race, it almost shocked me. It shocked me, so I know it had to shock everyone else in the country. I didn’t expect to be able to do it, but to be able to go out there and do it was definitely a huge relief.
“It would be unbelievable to do it again at the North-South Shootout.”
The 12th Annual North-South Shootout event will feature the Tour-Type Modifieds along with the PASS South Super Late Models, Southeast Limited Late Model Series, USAC Midgets, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Legends Cars. Shootout weekend kicks off on Thursday, October 30 with practice for all divisions at Caraway Speedway. Racing action gets underway on Friday, October 31 with qualifying and several feature events. The John Blewett III North-South Shootout feature will take center stage on Saturday, November 1 along with PASS and more.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 336-629-5803. 51 TV, the live video broadcast network from Speed51.com, will feature a live pay-per-view broadcast of all of the November 1 feature action from Caraway. To purchase the live broadcast for just $19.99, visit www.speed51.com.
Caraway Speedway is located in Sophia, North Carolina near Asheboro and just minutes from Interstates 85 and 74.
For tickets and more on the 12th Annual North-South Shootout, visit www.carawayspeedway.com or call 336-629-5803.
-51 Sports/North-South Shootout Press Release
-Photo Credit: Laura Ward/LWPictures.com