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Bell Keeps Ringing at “The Prairie,” Steals the 33rd Annual Pepsi Nationals

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Bell Keeps Ringing at “The Prairie,” Steals the 33rd Annual Pepsi Nationals

Sun Prairie, WI. – Christopher Bell continued his winning ways at Angell Park Speedway as he set the pace for the evening with quick time and then dominated the final 12 laps of the 30 lap POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature to take his first Pepsi Nationals title, an event co-sanctioned by POWRi, USAC, and Badger Midgets. The Norman, Oklahoma native led the three car Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports stable to their podium sweep of the event in an almost repeat fashion from the night before, but with Tanner Thorson coming in second and Rico Abreu in third.

As cars lined up for the feature, it would be last year’s defending Pepsi Nationals’ champion, Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Illinois leading the field to the green next to Garett Aitken of Paris, Illinois. Once the field took the green, Aitken would jump out front to lead the opening lap only to be overthrown by Auckland, New Zealand native Michael Pickens. With Pickens’ RFMS Racing-sponsored DRC out front, Aitken did his best to hang on to the second position, but nothing could stop the relentless Bell and on lap eight Bell powered past Aitken for the second position.

With no slowdown in sight for the pace set by Pickens, Bell slowly began to reel in Pickens and just as Bell looked to be close enough to pounce, Spencer Bayston of Lebanon, Indiana would bring out the caution with 16 laps in the book. With the field bunched back up, Bell would be in prime position to capitalize on the caution and vie for the lead with Pickens. As green flag racing resumed, Pickens would only be able to hold off Bell for two laps until Kevin Thomas, Jr. brought out the caution as his Esslinger-powered Boss Chassis slowed on the back stretch on lap 18.

With the field bunched back up again, Bell would make quick work of Pickens and take the lead, setting a blistering pace for the final 12 laps. As Bell pulled away from the field, fellow Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Tanner Thorson would set his sights on second and battle Michael Pickens until the Minden, Nevada native was able to take the second position on lap 23. As Christopher Bell cruised comfortably out front and Thorson gave chase, a battle between Michael Pickens, Tracy Hines, and Chris Windom ensued for third.

Unfortunately, Hines and Pickens would tangle on lap 25 nearly spinning out, bringing out the caution. The yellow would give Rutherford, California native Rico Abreu the opportunity to capitalize as he was now in striking distance for the final spot on the podium. When the green flag flew with only four laps left, capitalize is just what Abreu did as he quickly dispatched Chris Windom for third, but would be unable to challenge Thorson or Bell.

“Just a little tight early on,” said third place finisher Rico Abreu. “I struggled running the cushion and started to move around. You can’t over estimate these race tracks. I got going really good there at the end, pretty respectively. Keith, Pete, and Chuck build really great racecars and they make us look really good up here.”

“Hopefully the fans enjoyed it,” explained 2014 Pepsi Nationals champion, Christopher Bell. “Hat’s off to Kenny Brown or whoever did the track tonight. It was really nice and you could move around and it wasn’t single file anywhere. You really could run the bottom or the top.”

“Keith, Pete, and Chuck gave me an awesome car every time I hit the track,” explained second place finisher Tanner Thorson. “Came up a little short, but I’m glad my teammate beat me.”

Co-Sanctioned POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series/USAC/Badger Midgets Feature results (30 laps): 1. 71 – Christopher Bell 2. 67 – Tanner Thorson 3. 97 – Rico Abreu 4. 3 – Chris Windom 5. 5D – Zach Daum 6. 11 – Brady Bacon 7. 24 – Tracy Hines 8. 3F – Michael Pickens 9. 25 – Jake Blackhurst 10. 2st – Bill Balog 11. 57 – Jerry Coons Jr. 12. 2B – Tyler Courtney 13. 63 – Bryan Clauson 14. 91T – Tyler Thomas 15. 11A – Andrew Felker 16. 7 – Austin Brown 17. 32 – Garrett Aitken 18. 9P – Parker Price-Miller 19. 2 – Seth Motsinger 20. 88 – Terry Babb 21. 9K – Kevin Thomas Jr. 22. 39 – Spencer Bayston

For more information, visit www.powri.com


Derek Schuett

POWRi Media


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