QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Victorious at the 77th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix in USAC National Midget competition 24 hours earlier, Christopher Bell won Friday night’s ASCS Southwest Region sprint car feature on night one of the Copper Classic.
Driving the Berryman Motorsports No. 31, Bell earned the pole in Friday’s preliminary feature and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion slid to the lead ahead of Billy Chester as the pair dashed into the opening turns.
Working to a comfortable advantage just as traffic came into play on lap four, the advantage over Chester faded quickly but a caution on lap six ended the run for the No. 2b as Nick Parker rolled to a stop.
Pulling away once more, the race paused on lap 13 when Rick Ziehl and J.T. Imperial crashed in turn-two. Ziehl smashed through the wall that lines the track.
Back underway, Bell again ran away as the race for second began going slide for slide between Billy Chester and Colton Hardy with the No. 2b able to hold as California’s Justin Sanders came into the mix as well, dropping Hardy back to fourth.
Back into traffic with five laps to run, Bell enjoyed a straightaway advantage and continued up to build on it all the way to the drop of the checkered flag despite the engine starting to spew fluid on his legs in the closing laps.
Billy Chester crossed second 4.929 seconds behind Bell with Colby Copeland sneaking through the field in the final laps to take the final podium step.
Justin Sanders was fourth and the final driver locked into Saturday’s A-Main. Colton Hardy finished fifth.
Christopher Bell, Billy Chester III, Colby Copeland, Justin Sanders, Colton Hardy, Willie Croft, Giovanni Scelzi, Dominic Scelzi, Josh Shipley, Chase Goetz, Reece Goetz, Tanner Carrick, Royal Jones, Dave Darland, Jesse Baker, Lance Norick, J.T. Imperial, Rick Ziehl, D.J. Netto, Cody Sickles, Nick Parker, Colt Treharn.