Bell Rings Again In USAC Midgets

Christopher Bell will make his Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series debut during the Ted Horn 100. (Frank Smith Photo)
Chris Bell, shown during the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals last in January, won Tuesday’s USAC midget race at Beloit, Kan. (Frank Smith Photo)

BELOIT, Kan. — Chris Bell continued his phenomenal Honda National Dirt Midget season as he won Tuesday night’s Chad McDaniel Memorial at Solomon Valley Raceway. The win was his third of the season.

Bell and fellow front-row starter Brad Kuhn banged wheels on the start before Bell shot out to the lead, starting a green-flag of 18 laps to start the race. Bell opened up a sizeable advantage as he carved up traffic, while a swarm of cars raced inside the top-five while disposing of slower traffic.

Bell’s teammate Rico Abreu moved to the runner-up spot as the race slowed for the first time before the red flag was displayed three laps later for ProSource Fast Qualifier Caleb Armstrong, who flipped in turn-three while running inside the top-10.

With a final restart coming, Abreu had his chance at Bell with no lapped cars between them. The young Rutherford, Calif., driver looked inside Bell but did not have enough steam to pull all the way alongside, as the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota took the win.

“We had that red flag, and they told me that Rico was right behind me and Tracy was pretty good in third. Rico surprised me a little when I saw his nose at the end, but we had another awesome race car and were able to get wound up again. It really wasn’t easy tonight to get through traffic, but I could duck under guys if they pushed the front end off the corners,” Bell said.

Abreu finished second in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 67k Bullet/Speedway Toyota.

“Christopher got out to such a big lead early, but we used some traffic to reel him back in some. Then, he got rolling through there again and I was having trouble turning down under guys. I had to be smart racing with him at the end – I’m just racing to win but I don’t want to do anything stupid and take him out, especially while he is leading the points. It was so fast, I couldn’t make anything happen in clear track,” Abreu said.

Coming off the final corner, Jerry Coons Jr. snuck under Tracy Hines to take the final podium spot in the Joe Dooling – Westin Packaged Meats No. 63 Spike/Esslinger.

“Traffic was definitely hairy at times, especially with the track beating pretty narrow. Everybody was pretty even, so you had to take advantage of any bobble in traffic to get a spot. Tracy was trying to get lower and lower, and it looked like he just pushed the front end and opened the door for us to steal a spot. We were able to run him down after having to get by a couple cars on the restart, so we were good,” Coons said.

Hines and Darren Hagen rounded out the top five.