BELL’S FIRST USAC HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET WIN COMES AT LINCOLN PARK
Putnamville, Indiana.……Christopher Bell from Norman, Oklahoma has jumped out to a hot start in the USAC Honda National Dirt Midget campaign aboard his new ride with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports this season. After finishing on the podium on night one, he held off his hard-charging teammate Kyle Larson for the win on Thursday night at Lincoln Park Speedway as “Indiana Midget Week” rolled on.
Bell benefitted from four of the top-nine qualifiers failing to transfer through their heat and found himself on the pole. He jumped out ahead of another teammate, Rico Abreu, to grab the early lead. With just five laps in the books, a power outage led to a red-flag period.
A wide track led to lots of slide-jobs as the race resumed, with ninth-starting Brad Mosen the prime mover as he climbed into the top-five. The three teammates ran 1-2-3 for an extended run, until Mosen came calling after a restart and took advantage of Abreu and Larson racing for second to dive to the runner-up spot. Mosen immediately reeled in Bell and applied pressure for most of the second half of the race, with Larson disposing of Abreu to track them down while in third.
With just eight to go, Jerry Coons, Jr. stopped while running sixth with a flat right-rear tire. Tire wear was an issue, and the front-runners cooled their tires, including some packing down the enormous cushion in turn-one. Larson jumped up there on the restart and immediately circled Mosen. He set his sights on Bell and tried the outside in one again, but to no avail. With time running out, Larson threw two slide-jobs for the lead but failed to make them stick. He made one more desperation slide into turn-three on the final lap, but came up short, leaving Bell to take the win in the Curb Records – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“This means so much to me. I’m thankful for the opportunity with Keith, Pete, and Kris on this team. We were fortunate to start up there after qualifying tenth. I had to go as slow as I could without getting passed and try to have some stuff at the end. I could hear Kyle out there, so I opened up my entry a little, and then he started sliding me. I saw the white flag and thought ‘Well, here we go.’ Keith warned me under the red that I had to save tires, and we might not make it. Kyle is the best in the business, so it’s really cool to be able to beat him for this,” Bell said.
Larson just missed out on back-to-back wins, this time after garnering the ProSource “Fast Time Award” earlier in the evening aboard the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71K Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“I was thinking if I could pressure him (Bell) some, he might use his tire up, but he stayed calm and I wasn’t able to get anywhere. It was cool to see him win his first, and I think he’s gonna win a lot of races this year. We had that red, and I heard the announcer talking about running up above the cushion, actually. It worked for me a little earlier, so I thought I’d try it again. It helped in two ways, getting by a car and saving the right-rear some. I had more tire than Chris, but we just didn’t quite have enough to get him,” Larson said.
New Zealand driver Mosen finished off a fine run to come home third in the Western Springs Speedway – BSL Racing Products #7NZ Breka/Esslinger.
“We ran some other races before this week and didn’t have much success, but this is the time to step up and have some good runs. I’m so proud of our team. We bring these cars from New Zealand and don’t do many shows, but the boys put together a great race car. It’s so much fun to come up here and race with all these great drivers. To race wheel-to-wheel with those guys tonight was awesome. I had a hell of a good time,” Mosen said.
Tracy Hines backed up his second-place run from the night before by coming home fourth in the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. #24 Spike/Stanton Toyota. Abreu wound up fifth in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #67K Bullet/Speedway Toyota, and Steve Buckwalter picked up the B&W Auto Mart “Hard Charger Award” after driving from 16th to finish sixth in the Buckwalter’s Roofing – VRP Shocks #25 Elite/Ott by Deppe.
HONDA USAC NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE RESULTS: June 13, 2013 – Putnamville, Indiana – Lincoln Park Speedway – “Indiana Midget Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Kyle Larson, 71k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.336; 2. Andrew Felker, 11a, Felker-13.462; 3. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-13.626; 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2, Steele-13.686; 5. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-13.688; 6. Brad Mosen, 7nz, Buckley-13.759; 7. Darren Hagen, 3, RFMS-13.785; 8. Brady Bacon, 11, Wilke-Pak-13.800; 9. Rico Abreu, 67k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.817; 10. Christopher Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.845; 11. Levi Jones, 56, 5IVE-6IX-13.939; 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 63, Dooling-13.950; 13. Ryan Criswell, 11R, R & C-13.972; 14. Blake Edwards, 17E, Koontz-13.978; 15. Dillon Welch, 98, CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-14.023; 16. Brenden Bright, 92, Bright-14.027; 17. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-14.083; 18. Austin Brown, 7, Brown-14.121; 19. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.128; 20. Steve Buckwalter, 25, Buckwalter-14.130; 21. Dave Darland, 2x, Lein-14.145; 22. Brad Kuhn, 10, Cook-14.152; 23. Michael Pickens, 1nz,Buckley-14.196; 24. Tyler Thomas, 2s, Lein-14.198; 25. Bryan Clauson, 39, CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-14.204; 26. Thomas Meseraull, 16, Sandy-14.230; 27. Dalton Armstrong, 7a, C & A-14.360; 28. Nick Lucas, 6, Isenhower-14.440; 29. Shane Cockrum, 14c, Cockrum-14.457; 30. Alex Bright, 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-14.465; 31. Ross Rankine, 39R, RW/Curb-Agajanian-14.475; 32. Billy Lawhead, 35, Three 5 Racing-14.479; 33. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-14.543; 34. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-14.553; 35. Matt Jackson, 97au, Jackson-14.612; 36. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C & A-14.682; 37. Colten Cottle, 5c, Cottle-14.687; 38. Jaimie McKinley, 42ua, Fedrizzi-14.696; 39. Jimmy Light, 23, FTD Motorsports-14.745; 40. Michael Koontz, 17k, Koontz-14.806; 41. Cameron King, 55k, King-14.882; 42. Billy Wease, 10x, Moore-14.887; 43. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-14.925; 44. Johnny Murdock, 0, Murdock-15.823; 45. Seth Motsinger, 2m, Brown-NT.
QUALIFYING RACE : (8 laps) 1. Ray, 2. Daum, 3. C.Armstrong, 4. C.Cottle, 5. Jackson, 6. Koontz, 7. King, 8. Wease, 9. Dickerson, 10. McKinley, 11. Motsinger, 12. Murdock, 13. Light. NT
FIRST HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Larson, 2. Abreu, 3. Darland, 4. Ray, 5. East, 6. Clauson, 7. Criswell. 8. Ferns, 9. Cockrum. NT
SECOND HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Brown, 2. Bell, 3. Felker, 4. Kuhn, 5. Mosen, 6. Daum, 7. A.Bright, 8. Meseraull, 9. Edwards. NT
THIRD HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Hagen, 2. Pickens, 3. Thorson, 4. Jones, 5. Hines, 6. Welch, 7. C.Armstrong, 8. Rankine, 9. D.Armstrong. NT
FOURTH HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Buckwalter, 2. Coons, 3. T.Thomas, 4. K.Thomas, 5. Bacon, 6. B.Bright, 7. C.Cottle, 8. Lucas, 9. Lawhead. 2:36.39
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. East, 2. Hines, 3. Bacon, 4. Welch, 5. Clauson, 6. Mosen, 7. Edwards, 8. Meseraull, 9. Criswell, 10. A.Bright, 11. Daum. 12. B.Bright, 13. D.Armstrong, 14. Rankine, 15. Ferns, 16. C.Armstrong, 17. C.Cottle, 18. Lucas, 19. Lawhead. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Kyle Larson, 3. Brad Mosen, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Rico Abreu, 6. Steve Buckwalter, 7. Andrew Felker, 8. Brad Kuhn, 9. Brady Bacon, 10. Michael Pickens, 11. Levi Jones, 12. Bryan Clauson, 13. Caleb Armstrong, 14. Dave Darland, 15. Dillon Welch, 16. Bobby East, 17. Jerry Coons Jr., 18. Tyler Thomas, 19. Darren Hagen, 20. Zach Daum, 21. Tanner Thorson, 22. Davey Ray, 23. Kevin Thomas Jr., 24. Austin Brown. NT
**Cockrum flipped during the first heat. K.Thomas, East and Daum flipped on lap 11 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Bell.
NEW HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bell-128, 2-Hines-122, 3-Felker-109, 4-Kuhn-87, 5-Clauson-84, 6-Abreu-75, 7-Coons-74, 8-Hagen-68, 9-Jones-66, 10-Bacon-62.
NEW “INDIANA MIDGET WEEK” POINTS: 1-Larson-142, 2-Bell-128, 3-Hines-122, 4-Buckwalter-110, 5-Felker-109, 6-Mosen-108, 7-Kuhn-87, 8-Clauson-84, 9-Abreu-75, 10-Pickens-74.
NEXT HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE: June 14 – Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington Speedway – “Indiana Midget Week”