Bell Gets Second WoO iRacing Invitational Win

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Christopher Bell won Sunday's World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational event at virtual Volusia Speedway Park. (JZi Racing Photography)
Christopher Bell won Sunday's World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational event at virtual Volusia Speedway Park. (Jeremy Zarfos photo)

CONCORD, N.C. – Christopher Bell had an eventful iRacing Sunday.

After finishing second in the NASCAR Pro Invitational race earlier in the day, Bell made the journey from the virtual Dover Int’l Speedway to the virtual Volusia Speedway Park.

He made it in time to survive a wild 35-lap feature that saw three-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational winner Logan Seavey get disqualified and Bell pick up his second invitational win.

“I felt pretty good in the middle,” Bell said. “In the practice race I got to work on my car a little bit to see what was a little bit better and what was a little bit worse. It got interesting there at the end. Hopefully it was a good race.”

The thousands of fans watching on DIRTVision were given a plethora of excitement throughout the night. Nearly every heat race featured close battles for the lead and transfer positions.

Bell was the benefactor of a three-way battle for the lead and charged to the win in Comp Cams Heat No. 3.

Then, at the start of the 35-lap feature, Bell came forward from third and followed leader Kevin Swindell to open air as they cleared the swarm of cars behind them.

The duo held the top two spots for the early laps with Swindell holding the lead and Bell putting pressure on him every corner.

About a quarter of the way into the main, Swindell couldn’t find traction off the top of turn four, allowing Bell to get a run underneath him. Bell threw a hopeful slider at Swindell in turn one but couldn’t clear his No. 39 and the two raced side by side down the backstretch.

Bell again threw a slide job into the corner and this time made it work. He cleared Swindell off turn four to take the lead. However, Swindell charged back and threw his own slide job back at Bell into Turn 1 to reclaim the top spot.

Bell then put a period on their battle when he once again slid back by Swindell in turn three and pulled away with the lead.

Swindell was left to fight off the hungry hoard of Seavey, two-time World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Invitational winner Mike McKinney and former World of Outlaws driver Brent Marks.

Seavey and Swindell touched wheels while battling for second off turn two, sending Seavey backwards. The next lap, Swindell got sideways off turn two and collided with McKinney’s NOS Energy Drink No. 17m car.

McKinney was able to continue without issue, but Swindell had to bring his car to the pit area for repairs.

With 17 laps to go, Troy Wagaman Jr., Marks and Seavey bounced off each other while battling three-wide in Turn 3. Wagaman snuck underneath Marks going into the turn and the two touched, pushing Marks up into Seavey – who lost momentum and ended up colliding with Carson Macedo off turn four.

The incident brought out a caution and while the field was slowing, Seavey drove into Marks’ car, putting him in the wall and taking him out of the feature.

Race director Mike Hess then made the call to black flag Seavey from the race.

“It’s a video game, but the adrenaline is still there for the drivers when they’re racing and what not,” Hess said. “They had a little bump in three and four. I think Troy Wagaman got in below Brent Marks and bumped him a little bit, which pushed him up into Seavey and Seavey just thought he ran down in there and did it on purpose. He didn’t. It was just a racing deal.

“In real life under yellow, if anything is taken out under yellow that’s an automatic DQ, so I booted him.”

Bell held the field at bay for the remainder of the race until a late caution caused a green-white-checkered finish. He got sideways off turn four when the race resumed, putting second-place McKinney and third-place Wagaman on his bumper.

However, McKinney and Wagaman’s side by side battle for second helped Bell pull away.

On the final lap, coming to the checkered flag, Bell had a mirror full of McKinney and Wagaman. McKinney poked his nose high, while Wagaman looked low.

A car stopped sideways at the bottom of the track on the front stretch hindered Wagaman’s run and allowed Bell to pull ahead of the two drivers for the $1,000 win.

“I knew that they were going to be trying to attack corner entry pretty hard,” Bell said. “I was basically giving up my entry to make a good exit. That’s how I was able to make good lap times. I knew on the green-white-checkered I was going to have to charge the entry a little harder to not give them the advantage.”

Behind Bell, McKinney and Wagaman, Tony Gualda and Brian Brown completed the top five.

The finish:

1. 21-Christopher Bell [3] [$1,000]; 2. 117-Mike McKinney [5]; 3. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [10]; 4. 99-Tony Gualda [23]; 5. 21-Brian Brown [17]; 6. 41-David Gravel [16]; 7. 17-Austin McCarl [18]; 8. 46-Michael Bauer [9]; 9. 11-Zeb Wise [7]; 10. 73-Brett Michalski [15]; 11. 7-Justin Allgaier [19]; 12. 37-Michael Faccinto [8]; 13. 18-Ian Madsen [24]; 14. 2-Carson Macedo [12]; 15. 55-Robbie Kendall [13]; 16. 7-Justyn Cox [21]; 17. 10-Joe Kata [22]; 18. 39-Kevin Swindell [1]; 19. 5-Chase Briscoe [4]; 20. 1-Logan Schuchart [14]; 21. 84-Tom Harris [20]; 22. 88-Trent Ivey [11]; 23. 5-Brent Marks [2]; 24. 19-Logan Seavey [6]. 

Lap Leaders: Kevin Swindell 1-5; Christopher Bell 6-35. 

KSE Hard Charger: Tony Gualda (+14).