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Sunday April 21st, 2019 11:00AM

Bell records Thursday Chili Bowl qualifying triumph

By Bryan Hulbert
  Contact Editor

TULSA, Okla. - Surviving a myriad of cautions in Thursday’s qualifying night, along with a late race challenge from Shane Golobic and C.J. Leary, two-time defending Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Champion Christopher Bell locked into his seventh Saturday A-Feature in as many years at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.

“It was a lot busier than what I wanted them to be,” Bell said about the closing laps of the event. “Shane (Golobic) definitely made a race out of it and I hope the last four laps were a good show. It was a lot of fun … well it was fun because I won but if I hadn’t won it wouldn’t have been much fun.”

It marks the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular’s fifth career preliminary night win, as the final four laps turned into a shootout. Taking his Keith Kunz Motorsports mount on two wheels on the final restart, the misstep was enough to allow Golobic a run to the inside line going into the third and fourth turns. Sliding across the nose of Golobic’s racer, Christopher turned down the track to retake the point.

Bell and Golobic found themselves under fire, as Leary nearly moved to the point. Unable to hold the spot, Leary battled close with Golobic as Bell moved away to take the checkered flag by 0.555 seconds.

“Shane was able to sneak underneath me in three,” Bell said. “It got so slick off two and then all the way really until you got to pretty much four you were just kind of sitting there waiting on it and I knew that opening up my entry like that I was very vulnerable.

“I kept hitting the bottom off (turn) two on the restarts and going straight to the top, so I didn’t really want to change what I was doing. I went down there, and I don’t know if my tire was low or I got too much berm but I biked up and it allowed him to stay with me a little bit better and pull the trigger on me.”

Golobic’s second place finish punched his seventh ticket to Saturday’s A-Feature since 2010. Leary had to settle for third, with Danny Stratton in fourth and Josh Most in fifth.

Austin Brown, Tracy Hines, Casey Shuman, and Andrew Felker closed out the top ten.

With four nights complete and two to go, 276 drivers have check-in so far with 73 taking part in Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night.

The 33rd Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals continues Friday with Vacuworx Qualifying Night. For more information, visit ChiliBowl.com.

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, OK
John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night – January 17, 2019

1. 71W-Christopher Bell*
2. 17C-Shane Golobic*
3. 55V-C.J. Leary
4. 47X-Danny Stratton
5. 92M-Josh Most
6. 17A-Austin Brown
7. 11-Tracy Hines
8. 32D-Casey Shuman
9. 1G-Kyle Cummins
10. 11A-Andrew Felker
11. 97A-Austin O’Dell
12. 2C-Seth Carlson
13. 1A-Justin Allgaier
14. 71R-Chase Johnson
15. 45X-Johnny Herrera
16. (DNF) 39-Ryan Bernal
17. (DNF) 25-Jerry Coons, Jr.
18. (DNF) 2D-Matt Sherrell
19. (DNF) 7R-Thomas Meseraull
20. (DNF) 19W-Jake Morgan
21. (DNF) 15D-Andrew Deal
22. (DNF) 91K-Kevin Bayer
23. (DNF) 2T-Kaleb Currie
24. (DNF) 51B-Joe B. Miller

*Locked Into Saturday’s A-Feature

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Open Wheel, Auto Racing, Dirt Track, Short Track, Midgets, Chili Bowl
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