LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Bouncing between his second starting spot and fifth for the first half of the night’s 25-lap feature at the Southern New Mexico Speedway, Christopher Bell raced to victory in the opening night of the fourth annual ASCS 305 Sprint Car Shootout.
In a Robert Miller-owned mount with Aaron Reutzel supplying the setup, Bell gave great praise to his crew in victory lane. Asked about the confidence he had with his crew, Bell replied, “It gives me a ton of confidence. I’ve learned over the past couple of months that you’re only as good as the racecar underneath you and these guys gave me a great piece.”
Stopping for an opening lap red involving the flipping Preston Peebles and Derek DeMartino, the next seven circuits saw pole sitter Kolt Walker trading the lead off and on with Kyle McCutcheon and Christopher Bell.
The caution lights blinked on Lap 10 as reigning event champion John Carney II spun running ninth, collecting Cesar Fuentes and Royal Jones in the process. The MVT No. 131 was able to return to competition.
With rubber forming in the middle groove of the Speedway, Bell sat comfortably with the lead despite a caution on Lap 19 that saw a slower car nearly collect the Norman, Okla. driver.
On the restart, Bell was unchallenged for the win with Kyle McCutcheon grabbing the runner up spot followed by Jeff Swindell and Lorne Wofford in the four transfer spots for Saturday’s $5,000 to win feature event. Jason Johnson completed the top five after winning the night’s B main and starting 17th.
Christopher Bell, Kyle McCutcheon, Jeff Swindell, Lorne Wofford, Jason Johnson, Josh Baughman, Brandon Schure, Harli White, Kolt Walker, Richard Wilbee, Kyle Sager, Robert Herrera, Royal Jones, David Burns, Chuck Jackson, Wes Wofford, Jesse Higginbotham, John Carney II, Cesar Fuentes, Don Grable, Mike Stringfield, Zach Blurton, Preston Peebles II, Derek Demartino.