New Team, Same Result for Bell at Chili Bowl Thursday

Christopher Bell’s run at a fourth-straight Golden Driller got started with a new team in Tucker-Boat Motorsports, but an all-too familiar result as the Oklahoma-born driver scored the Thursday night preliminary A-Main win for a record fifth year in a row. It was a clean sweep for the soon-to-be NASCAR Cup Series rookie, who also took wins in his heat race and qualifier, all in convincing fashion.

 

Contrary to how the rest of the week had played out to that point, only one yellow flew during Thursday night’s A-Main. Bell executed a slide job on Thomas Meseraull on Lap 11 and checked out for his sixth prelim night feature win overall.

 

“That’s about as fun as it gets right there, I freaking love this place,” Bell said on the Racinboys.com broadcast. “The way the race track is, you can run up or down and they were both really equal. It was just so much fun racing.”

 

Lapped traffic played a role in the final half of the race, with Bell slicing his way through slower cars while keeping Meseraull and Buddy Kofoid at bay. Bell avoided a late-race scare in heavy lapped traffic after making contact with a lapped car coming to the white flag, nearly spinning his No. 84 out in the process.

 

“That startled me pretty bad. I didn’t really get a good run to drive in there and I kind of floated the middle and looking out my right side and I couldn’t see him, so I said I guess he gave it to me,” he said. “He didn’t give it to me. I’m glad we didn’t get that boogered up there.”

 

Up next for Bell is Saturday night’s main event, where he looks to tie Kevin Swindell’s record for most consecutive Chili Bowl Nationals victories.

 

“We’ve got a great race car, I love where we’re at. I think the slicker the track is, the better we get, so bring it on.”

 

Meseraull outdueled Chili Bowl rookie Kofoid in the final laps to finish second and lock a spot into the main event for the seventh time in his career. However, he admits he has other business to take care of back in Indiana before Saturday rolls around.

 

“I’ve got some family problems back home, I’ve got to leave right now to get home to Indy. I don’t even know how I’m going to get back but you know what, that’s just part of my life,” Meseraull said. “I’m excited to be here, I’m in some of the best s*** in the pits and it shows. We’re running up front, I’d like to think we’re doing a good job but we’ve just been clicking off good stuff.”

 

While being interviewed in victory lane, he gave his opinion on the Bell vs. Larson debate, while paying respect to the three-time Chili Bowl Nationals winner

 

“Christopher Bell’s one of the best, if not the best. I think (Kyle) Larson’s better, I’m not going to lie, but Bell’s bad---.”

 

Buddy Kofoid gave Keith Kunz Motorsports another podium run with the third-place finish, while California drivers Logan Seavey and Shane Golobic completed the top five.

 

Results:

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway - Tulsa, Okla.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night

Car Count: 73
Event Count: 273

OERB Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 55V-CJ Leary[5]; 2. 15D-Andrew Deal[8]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker[4]; 4. 02-Andy Gage[1]; 5. 52C-Cody Karl[9]; 6. 7JR-JD Black[6]; 7. 41X-Howard Moore[3]; 8. 3B-Jessie Barber[2]; 9. 11P-Laydon Pearson[7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 17W-Shane Golobic[3]; 2. 77U-Chris Urish[1]; 3. 2ND-Dave Darland[7]; 4. 117-Jack Dover[6]; 5. 87F-Johnny Kent[4]; 6. 39B-Cole Bodine[8]; 7. M1-Mark Smith[5]; 8. 0K-Don O'Keefe Jr[2]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[5]; 2. 31B-Chance Crum[7]; 3. 49-Scott Kreutter[2]; 4. 78M-Merle Scherb[1]; 5. 51X-Joe Walker[3]; 6. 2C-Seth Carlson[8]; 7. Q23-Barrie Valentino[6]; 8. 21D-Justin Dickerson[4]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 21K-Cory Kruseman[2]; 2. 47X-Danny Stratton[1]; 3. 3N-Jake Neuman[6]; 4. 5G-Ben Worth[8]; 5. 57K-Kevin Studley[5]; 6. 84S-Shaun Shapel[4]; 7. 72-Eric Fenton[7]; 8. 46X-Jeffrey Champagne[3]

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 91B-Tanner Berryhill[4]; 2. 17B-Ryan Bickett[3]; 3. 56D-Mitchell Davis[2]; 4. 11X-Donovan Peterson[1]; 5. 19B-Spencer Bayston[7]; 6. 7R-Austin Williams[8]; 7. 4M-Michelle Decker[5]; 8. 33J-James Davison[6]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 39-Logan Seavey[4]; 2. 25-Jerry Coons Jr[3]; 3. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]; 4. 67S-Ryan Smith[7]; 5. 32D-Casey Shuman[2]; 6. 6-Bill Rose[5]; 7. 68B-Blain Petersen[1]; 8. 1H-Rick Horn[8]

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[1]; 2. 35L-Cody Ledger[4]; 3. 17T-Stevie Sussex[3]; 4. 321-Chad Winfrey[2]; 5. 10C-Dalton Camfield[8]; 6. 715-Robert Bell[5]; 7. 24F-Hunter Fischer[7]; 8. 00D-Daniel Sanchez[6]

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 9P-Shane Cottle[2]; 2. 76M-Jason McDougal[3]; 3. 67-Michael Kofoid[7]; 4. 2X-AJ Fike[1]; 5. 27D-Travis Berryhill[8]; 6. 11-Cale Conley[4]; 7. 72X-Jeff Wheeler[5]; 8. 926-Morgan Frewaldt[6]

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 7MF-Chance Morton[1]; 2. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[5]; 3. 1G-Kyle Cummins[4]; 4. 08M-Joe B Miller[7]; 5. 00X-Jason Martin[2]; 6. 67K-Holley Hollan[6]; 7. 73-Dylan Ito[8]; 8. 17M-Kala Keliinoi[3]

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C-Main 1 (12 Laps): 1. 11-Cale Conley[8]; 2. 6-Bill Rose[6]; 3. 87F-Johnny Kent[3]; 4. 78M-Merle Scherb[1]; 5. 32D-Casey Shuman[4]; 6. M1-Mark Smith[10]; 7. 11P-Laydon Pearson[16]; 8. 24F-Hunter Fischer[9]; 9. 72X-Jeff Wheeler[11]; 10. 33J-James Davison[13]; 11. 46X-Jeffrey Champagne[15]; 12. 926-Morgan Frewaldt[14]; 13. 1H-Rick Horn[12]; 14. 73-Dylan Ito[7]; 15. 7JR-JD Black[5]; 16. 2X-AJ Fike[2]; 17. (DNS) 3B-Jessie Barber

C-Main 2 (12 Laps): 1. 4M-Michelle Decker[10]; 2. 51X-Joe Walker[3]; 3. 00X-Jason Martin[4]; 4. 67K-Holley Hollan[5]; 5. 57K-Kevin Studley[2]; 6. 11X-Donovan Peterson[1]; 7. 68B-Blain Petersen[12]; 8. 21D-Justin Dickerson[14]; 9. Q23-Barrie Valentino[8]; 10. 41X-Howard Moore[9]; 11. 00D-Daniel Sanchez[11]; 12. 715-Robert Bell[6]; 13. 84S-Shaun Shapel[7]; 14. 17M-Kala Keliinoi[13]; 15. (DNS) 72-Eric Fenton; 16. (DNS) 0K-Don O'Keefe Jr

Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 76M-Jason McDougal[1]; 2. 39B-Cole Bodine[10]; 3. 91B-Tanner Berryhill[5]; 4. 2ND-Dave Darland[4]; 5. 15D-Andrew Deal[6]; 6. 7MF-Chance Morton[2]; 7. 49-Scott Kreutter[9]; 8. 117-Jack Dover[8]; 9. 77U-Chris Urish[7]; 10. 35L-Cody Ledger[3]

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 67-Michael Kofoid[4]; 2. 3N-Jake Neuman[3]; 3. 39-Logan Seavey[5]; 4. 67S-Ryan Smith[1]; 5. 55V-CJ Leary[6]; 6. 47X-Danny Stratton[7]; 7. 10C-Dalton Camfield[8]; 8. 2C-Seth Carlson[10]; 9. 56D-Mitchell Davis[9]; 10. 5G-Ben Worth[2]

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 17W-Shane Golobic[5]; 2. 08M-Joe B Miller[1]; 3. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[6]; 4. 19B-Spencer Bayston[9]; 5. 11A-Andrew Felker[7]; 6. 27D-Travis Berryhill[8]; 7. 21K-Cory Kruseman[4]; 8. 23S-Kyle Simon[3]; 9. 7R-Austin Williams[10]; 10. 17B-Ryan Bickett[2]

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[3]; 2. 25-Jerry Coons Jr[2]; 3. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[5]; 4. 1G-Kyle Cummins[7]; 5. 31B-Chance Crum[6]; 6. 9P-Shane Cottle[4]; 7. 52C-Cody Karl[1]; 8. 321-Chad Winfrey[9]; 9. 02-Andy Gage[10]; 10. 17T-Stevie Sussex[8]

Dave.com B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B-Main 1 (15 Laps): 1. 9P-Shane Cottle[3]; 2. 11A-Andrew Felker[2]; 3. 21K-Cory Kruseman[5]; 4. 2ND-Dave Darland[1]; 5. 47X-Danny Stratton[4]; 6. 17B-Ryan Bickett[10]; 7. 6-Bill Rose[14]; 8. 10C-Dalton Camfield[6]; 9. 87F-Johnny Kent[12]; 10. 321-Chad Winfrey[9]; 11. 2C-Seth Carlson[8]; 12. 78M-Merle Scherb[15]; 13. 7R-Austin Williams[11]; 14. 11-Cale Conley[13]; 15. 52C-Cody Karl[7]; 16. (DNS) 56D-Mitchell Davis

B-Main 2 (15 Laps): 1. 1G-Kyle Cummins[1]; 2. 67S-Ryan Smith[2]; 3. 117-Jack Dover[7]; 4. 27D-Travis Berryhill[3]; 5. 7MF-Chance Morton[4]; 6. 5G-Ben Worth[10]; 7. 35L-Cody Ledger[9]; 8. 49-Scott Kreutter[5]; 9. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]; 10. 77U-Chris Urish[8]; 11. 4M-Michelle Decker[13]; 12. 02-Andy Gage[11]; 13. 67K-Holley Hollan[14]; 14. 00X-Jason Martin[15]; 15. 51X-Joe Walker[12]; 16. (DNS) 17T-Stevie Sussex

A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday's A-Feature.
A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[6]; 2. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[3]; 3. 67-Michael Kofoid[2]; 4. 39-Logan Seavey[5]; 5. 17W-Shane Golobic[1]; 6. 19B-Spencer Bayston[15]; 7. 55V-CJ Leary[12]; 8. 76M-Jason McDougal[11]; 9. 25-Jerry Coons Jr[14]; 10. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[8]; 11. 91B-Tanner Berryhill[4]; 12. 3N-Jake Neuman[10]; 13. 08M-Joe B Miller[16]; 14. 9P-Shane Cottle[17]; 15. 67S-Ryan Smith[20]; 16. 2ND-Dave Darland[23]; 17. 31B-Chance Crum[13]; 18. 15D-Andrew Deal[9]; 19. 27D-Travis Berryhill[24]; 20. 1G-Kyle Cummins[18]; 21. 21K-Cory Kruseman[21]; 22. 39B-Cole Bodine[7]; 23. 117-Jack Dover[22]; 24. 11A-Andrew Felker[19] Lap Leader(s): Shane Golobic 1-2; Thomas Meseraull 3--11; Christopher Bell 12-30
Hard Charger: Spencer Bayston +9

 

-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Kyler Hope

New Team, Same Result for Bell at Chili Bowl Thursday