Christopher Bell Digs To Seventh Consecutive Chili Bowl Prelim Victory

Winning Thursday’s John Christer Trucking Qualifying Night, Christopher Bell used every line possible to work by Tanner Thorson in the final five laps. Tying Sammy Swindell for all-time preliminary night wins, Bell’s win was his seventh in as many years to make it eighth victories since 2014.
Back in a car owned by Keith Kunz Motorsports, the win is No. 35 for Kunz at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.
“First off I’ve got to say, damn I love the Chili Bowl!” stated Bell from Victory Lane.
On his ability to run the car anywhere he wanted, Bell stated, “Man I don’t know, I feel like I’ve struggled on the wet tracks, and especially when they put their feature setup in. I just really struggle to get going the first couple of laps, but at the end, I feel good. I could roll the bottom nice, and it was good on the top too. For whatever reason, this package we’re running is making it good when the track really slicks off and the curb gets really big, but man, I had to work for that one.”
Getting to the lead over Shane Golobic on Lap 5, Tanner Thorson held point on the field until Lap 27. Pursued by Bell, who worked to second with 11 laps to run, traffic played into the race as the leaders hit the 20th revolution. Trading lines with Thorson, the iRacing No. 71w had a run working Lap 22 but would have to wait as the caution waved.
Going for the slide on the restart, Bell slammed the cushion, allowing Thorson to retake the lead. Challenged by C.J. Leary for a moment, Bell was able to regroup. Caution again working Lap 25, the field reverted back to Lap 24 as only the top four made it across the line before the caution was called for.
The top three to the hub of the Tulsa Expo Raceway on the restart, Thorson stayed low as Bell adjusted back to the cushion. Taking over the lead on Lap 27, the next three laps were anyone’s race to win as Thorson and Leary went after the No. 71w, but Bell would not be denied the win; crossing with only 0.380-seconds to spare.
Keeping the upper hand through the final two turns, Tanner Thorson locked into Saturday night with a runner-up finish. C.J. Leary settled for third. Rolling through a B-Feature, Tim Buckwalter clawed his way through the field from 20th to finish fourth. Shane Golobic ended up fifth.
From 18th, Brady Bacon ended up sixth with Dillon Welch seventh. Matt Sherrell advanced six spots to finish eighth. Recovering from an early caution, Emerson Axsom crossed ninth with Don Droud, Jr. making up twelve spots to round out the top ten.
Thursday saw 78 of the 82 scheduled drivers draw in, bringing the week’s total to 299. With Friday to go, there will be a new attendance record. The World Wide Technology Raceway Flip Count made it to 36 with everyone able to walk away.
Preliminary Night action concludes with Friday’s Drive2Save Lives Qualifying Night. The SageNet Center opens at 9:00 A.M. and will require a ticket or Pit Pass to enter. Hot Laps are at 4:00 P.M. with racing at 5:00 P.M. General Admission Pit Passes are sold at the event and never sell out.
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Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, Okla.
Thursday, January 13, 2022
John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night
Car Count: 78
Event Count: 299
OERB Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2G-JJ Yeley[1]; 2. 2D-Matt Sherrell[3]; 3. 5K-Ben Worth[5]; 4. 60-Cody Gardner[2]; 5. 74-Drew Rader[7]; 6. 2S-Travis Scott[9]; 7. 78M-Merle Scherb[6]; 8. 10T-Brandon Thomas[8]; 9. (DNF) 71G-Damion Gardner[4]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 29-Tim Buckwalter[1]; 2. 19T-Tanner Thorson[9]; 3. 20G-Noah Gass[2]; 4. 75X-Alex Vande Voort[6]; 5. 79K-Larry Webster[5]; 6. 4Z-Nate Barger[8]; 7. 8G-Austin Shores[7]; 8. (DNF) 72X-Chris Tarrant[4]; 9. (DNF) 15W-Danny Burke[3]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 77-Stevie Sussex III[2]; 2. 60M-Earl McDoulett Jr[1]; 3. 7D-Michelle Decker[4]; 4. 4A-Dillon Silverman[8]; 5. 14M-Dylan Bloomfield[5]; 6. 23B-Brian Bell[7]; 7. (DNF) 14X-Chad Boespflug[9]; 8. (DNF) 715-Robert Bell[6]; 9. (DNF) 7JR-JD Black[3]
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 17W-Shane Golobic[6]; 2. 4M-Brody Fuson[3]; 3. 3B-Zach Blurton[1]; 4. 68W-Shane Cottle[8]; 5. 7NZ-Travis Buckley[2]; 6. 3F-Tim Barber[4]; 7. 91-Jeff Stasa[5]; 8. 93-Kyle Bellm[7]; 9. (DNS) 18C-Ryan Moser
Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 71W-Christopher Bell[4]; 2. 57B-Daniel Robinson[2]; 3. 71R-Frankie Guerrini[3]; 4. 15D-Andrew Deal[5]; 5. 0T-Alex Schriever[8]; 6. 08B-Austin Barnhill[7]; 7. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr[1]; 8. (DNF) 73X-Colby Johnson[9]; 9. (DNF) 17M-Jeremy Hill[6]
Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 51B-Joe B Miller[2]; 2. 81X-Dillon Welch[4]; 3. 39B-Emerson Axsom[7]; 4. 53R-Sean Robbins[1]; 5. 69-Cody Hays[5]; 6. 63H-Larry Petersen[6]; 7. 84J-Jesse Shapel[3]; 8. (DNF) 44C-Tristan Lee[8]; 9. (DNF) 2A-Rickie Gaunt[9]
Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[3]; 2. 21H-Brady Bacon[5]; 3. 9-Mitchell Davis[7]; 4. 2E-Whit Gastineau[8]; 5. 8AJ-AJ Johnson[4]; 6. 35L-Carson McCarl[2]; 7. 31S-Ray Seach[6]; 8. (DNF) 20H-Noah Harris[1]
Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 86-Brent Crews[3]; 2. 1S-Spencer Bayston[4]; 3. 55V-CJ Leary[7]; 4. 71E-Mariah Ede[2]; 5. 10C-Dalton Camfield[6]; 6. 98B-Joe Boyles[5]; 7. 51J-AJ Hernandez[8]; 8. 21D-Justin Dickerson[1]
Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 22T-Don Droud Jr[1]; 2. 47X-Danny Stratton[5]; 3. 57-Maria Cofer[6]; 4. 17B-Ryan Bickett[3]; 5. 15X-Carson Garrett[7]; 6. 17E-Blake Edwards[2]; 7. 6C-Collin Rinehart[8]; 8. 17J-Frank Beck[4]
D-Features: Top 2 advance to corresponding C-Feature.
D Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 91-Jeff Stasa[1]; 2. 71G-Damion Gardner[8]; 3. 93-Kyle Bellm[3]; 4. 7JR-JD Black[9]; 5. 17J-Frank Beck[5]; 6. 21D-Justin Dickerson[7]; 7. 715-Robert Bell[4]; 8. (DNF) 73X-Colby Johnson[6]; 9. (DNF) 10T-Brandon Thomas[2]
D Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 20H-Noah Harris[6]; 2. 44C-Tristan Lee[2]; 3. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr[3]; 4. 2A-Rickie Gaunt[5]; 5. 18C-Ryan Moser[9]; 6. 72X-Chris Tarrant[4]; 7. 84J-Jesse Shapel[1]; 8. 17M-Jeremy Hill[7]; 9. (DNF) 15W-Danny Burke[8]
C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 14M-Dylan Bloomfield[2]; 2. 14X-Chad Boespflug[5]; 3. 53R-Sean Robbins[1]; 4. 71G-Damion Gardner[12]; 5. 15X-Carson Garrett[3]; 6. 3F-Tim Barber[8]; 7. 23B-Brian Bell[4]; 8. 78M-Merle Scherb[10]; 9. 17E-Blake Edwards[9]; 10. 51J-AJ Hernandez[7]; 11. 91-Jeff Stasa[11]; 12. 63H-Larry Petersen[6]
C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 8AJ-AJ Johnson[3]; 2. 8G-Austin Shores[9]; 3. 20H-Noah Harris[11]; 4. 44C-Tristan Lee[12]; 5. 08B-Austin Barnhill[4]; 6. 79K-Larry Webster[1]; 7. 6C-Collin Rinehart[7]; 8. 31S-Ray Seach[10]; 9. 35L-Carson McCarl[8]; 10. 69-Cody Hays[2]; 11. 7NZ-Travis Buckley[5]; 12. (DNF) 98B-Joe Boyles[6]
Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 86-Brent Crews[5]; 2. 81X-Dillon Welch[3]; 3. 19T-Tanner Thorson[6]; 4. 2E-Whit Gastineau[1]; 5. 9-Mitchell Davis[4]; 6. 29-Tim Buckwalter[2]; 7. 57B-Daniel Robinson[7]; 8. 3B-Zach Blurton[9]; 9. 10C-Dalton Camfield[10]; 10. 0T-Alex Schriever[8]
Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 17W-Shane Golobic[6]; 2. 55V-CJ Leary[4]; 3. 2D-Matt Sherrell[1]; 4. 1S-Spencer Bayston[3]; 5. 71R-Frankie Guerrini[8]; 6. 21H-Brady Bacon[5]; 7. 22T-Don Droud Jr[2]; 8. 74-Drew Rader[9]; 9. 60M-Earl McDoulett Jr[7]; 10. 60-Cody Gardner[10]
Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 4M-Brody Fuson[1]; 2. 71W-Christopher Bell[6]; 3. 57-Maria Cofer[3]; 4. 47X-Danny Stratton[5]; 5. 77-Stevie Sussex III[4]; 6. 4A-Dillon Silverman[2]; 7. 71E-Mariah Ede[10]; 8. 2S-Travis Scott[9]; 9. (DNF) 7D-Michelle Decker[7]; 10. (DNF) 20G-Noah Gass[8]
Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 39B-Emerson Axsom[5]; 2. 68W-Shane Cottle[2]; 3. 15D-Andrew Deal[8]; 4. 51B-Joe B Miller[4]; 5. 2G-JJ Yeley[3]; 6. 5K-Ben Worth[1]; 7. 17B-Ryan Bickett[9]; 8. 75X-Alex Vande Voort[7]; 9. 4Z-Nate Barger[10]; 10. (DNF) 25B-Steve Buckwalter[6] B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 77-Stevie Sussex III[1]; 2. 71R-Frankie Guerrini[2]; 3. 71G-Damion Gardner[16]; 4. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[7]; 5. 57B-Daniel Robinson[5]; 6. 2G-JJ Yeley[3]; 7. 14X-Chad Boespflug[14]; 8. 20G-Noah Gass[12]; 9. 71E-Mariah Ede[6]; 10. 14M-Dylan Bloomfield[13]; 11. 4A-Dillon Silverman[4]; 12. 2S-Travis Scott[9]; 13. 75X-Alex Vande Voort[8]; 14. 53R-Sean Robbins[15]; 15. 4Z-Nate Barger[11]; 16. (DNF) 7D-Michelle Decker[10]
B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 21H-Brady Bacon[2]; 2. 29-Tim Buckwalter[3]; 3. 22T-Don Droud Jr[5]; 4. 2E-Whit Gastineau[1]; 5. 3B-Zach Blurton[7]; 6. 17B-Ryan Bickett[6]; 7. 5K-Ben Worth[4]; 8. 0T-Alex Schriever[11]; 9. 60M-Earl McDoulett Jr[9]; 10. 8G-Austin Shores[14]; 11. 20H-Noah Harris[15]; 12. 44C-Tristan Lee[16]; 13. 10C-Dalton Camfield[10]; 14. 60-Cody Gardner[12]; 15. 8AJ-AJ Johnson[13]; 16. 74-Drew Rader[8]
A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 71W-Christopher Bell[4]; 2. 19T-Tanner Thorson[3]; 3. 55V-CJ Leary[6]; 4. 29-Tim Buckwalter[20]; 5. 17W-Shane Golobic[1]; 6. 21H-Brady Bacon[18]; 7. 81X-Dillon Welch[7]; 8. 2D-Matt Sherrell[14]; 9. 39B-Emerson Axsom[5]; 10. 22T-Don Droud Jr[22]; 11. 68W-Shane Cottle[11]; 12. 1S-Spencer Bayston[15]; 13. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[23]; 14. 51B-Joe B Miller[13]; 15. 9-Mitchell Davis[16]; 16. 71R-Frankie Guerrini[19]; 17. 47X-Danny Stratton[10]; 18. (DNF) 15D-Andrew Deal[9]; 19. (DNF) 71G-Damion Gardner[21]; 20. (DNF) 86-Brent Crews[2]; 21. (DNF) 77-Stevie Sussex III[17]; 22. (DNF) 4M-Brody Fuson[8]; 23. (DNF) 57-Maria Cofer[12]; 24. (DNF) 2E-Whit Gastineau[24]
Lap Leader(s): Shane Golobic 1-4; Tanner Thorson 5-26; Christopher Bell 27-30
Hard Charger: Tim Buckwalter +16
Chili Bowl PR