NORMAN, Okla. (December 17, 2014) – After finishing off his asphalt season in strong form in the recent Snowflake 100, Christopher Bell is set to finish off a fast-paced 2014 with Saturday night’s POWRi Midget “Battle at the Center” in Du Quoin, IL.
Saturday’s fifth annual event at the Southern Illinois Center will mark Bell’s 108th event of a year in which he has already racked up 27 feature wins.
Bell comes off a rare idle weekend after racing to finish of sixth in the asphalt late model ranks at Five Flags Speedway’s Snowflake 100 in Pensacola on December 6.
Piloting the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 for the Snowflake, Mother Nature conspired against the team from the outset with a pair of rain delays that resulted in an extended evening with a checkered flag that ultimately flew at 4:00 a.m. the following morning.
One of those rain delays proved critical, taking place during qualifying.
“The temperature probably dropped 20 degrees during that rain delay and we were only able to qualify 14th quick after that,” Bell explained.
Fourteenth best in qualifying among a field of approximately 80 still had the Norman, OK, native in strong contention for the victory in the preliminary to the prestigious Snowball Derby.
“We were fast the entire race, the cautions just never worked in our favor,” Bell said. “We got stuck up top on just about every restart, you just run out of laps when you have to pass the same cars three or four times.”
Bell still finished off his final asphalt race of the year with a strong sixth place finish after a win and two runner-up finishes in his previous starts aboard the Kyle Busch Motorsports entries.
“We definitely learned a lot in our asphalt starts this year, it’s something we can carry over and hopefully have more success with next year,” Bell commented.
For now, it’s back to the dirt this Saturday night with one more Midget start before the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in January.
And Bell will take to the one-sixth mile Southern Illinois Center oval in Du Quoin on Saturday night aboard the potent Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 71 Toyota-powered Midget that he’s already parked in victory lane on 16 previous occasions in 2014.
A 17th win aboard the Kunz machine and 28th overall for the year would be just the shot of momentum Bell is looking for going into the Chili Bowl.
“The Battle at the Center is a fun race, I love that place,” Bell said. “When I was there last time they had it nice and wide, you could run anywhere. Hopefully we can finish the year strong with another win.”
2014 Quick Stats: 107 races, 27 wins, 58 top-fives, 73 top-tens.
Saturday, Southern Illinois Center (Du Quoin, IL) – Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 71 Midget
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Sources: Lonnie Wheatley/Christopher Bell PR