MESQUITE, Texas — Kyle Bellm became the 116th driver to win a Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real feature Friday night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Piloting his own Christian County Collision Center No. 14k, the Missouri native utilized restarts to come from the sixth starting spot to victory on the opening night of the 40th annual Spring Nationals and Matt Clevenger Memorial at the half-mile dirt track.
“We’ve got a great team with us here” said Bellm. “I’ll tell you what; it’s real surreal for me. Half-miles haven’t usually been my thing but tonight we were just good right out of the box and I can’t thank everybody enough. Patriot Race Engines is probably the one that won this for us as heavy as the track was. That thing never gave up.”
Despite being in his own car, Bellm was quick to give credit to his car owners with the Speedway Motors Warrior Region saying, “I really think, for me, as a driver getting behind the wheel of the Jeff and Jerry Smith No. 86 has really been a big thing for my career. Just getting more seat time and to have that quality equipment that I can race every weekend so I’ve got to thank them a bunch too because without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Assuming the runner up spot on the 13th round, Bellm took over the lead after race long leader Christopher Bell fell off with a failed rear-end assembly in the Baytown Ford No. 31b.
Falling to third after drawing the pole, Shawn Petersen ran the race of his life, coming back to finish second.
After selling his equipment midway through the 2012 season, Tulsa, Okla. native Sean McClelland said he was done but a phone call from Bruce Griffith Jr. landed Sean behind the wheel of the Bruce and Teresa Griffith back No. 17 which McClelland drove to a third-place finish ahead of Joe Wood Jr. and 17th-starting Travis Rilat who rounded out the top five.
Kyle Bellm, Shawn Petersen, Sean McClelland, Joe Wood Jr., Travis Rilat, Brad Loyet, Jeff Swindell, Johnny Herrera, Brady Bacon, Jason Johnson, Zach Pringle, Logan Forler, Tony Bruce Jr., John Carney II, Kyle Sager, Mark Pace, Seth Bergman, Christopher Bell, John James, Dustin Morgan, George White, Patrick Stasa, Kolt Walker, Lucas Wolfe.