BELL’S BREAKTHROUGH “INDIANA MIDGET WEEK” ENDS IN KOKOMO VICTORY
Kokomo, Indiana.…..Christopher Bell left no doubt as to who this year’s “Indiana Midget Week” champion was, emerging at the end of of five nights of bare-knuckle Honda National Midget Series racing as the winner in Sunday’s 30-lap Feature at Kokomo Speedway, and the undisputed king of this year’s IMW.
It was a tough road on this night for Bell, however. After qualifying tenth, Bell had to race through the Semi-Feature after his teammate, Kyle Larson, passed him for the final transfer spot in the heat.
The two squared off again in the Feature, this time with Bell prevailing.
Brad Mosen led Andrew Felker in a two-car breakaway from the rest of the field, as they took advantage of front-row starting spots. Those two circled the rim, while Larson moved into the top-three early. Just before the halfway point, Bell broke into the top-five as he battled with his chief rival in the week-long standings, Bryan Clauson.
Larson had moved to second before halfway and pressured Mosen for the top spot as the leaders hit ten to go. Bobby East and Bell joined the fray to make it four cars racing for the top spot, as Larson used the bottom to claw his way to the lead on lap 22. Bell followed suit shortly after, but a caution with just three laps to go made for one final dash to the checkers.
Bell wasted no time finding his rhythm up against the mean Kokomo cushion, while Larson twisted his machine around the bottom. The two nearly touched on the straightaways, with Bell narrowly holding the advantage on lap 28. Larson tried to counter on the bottom, but bicycled badly and nearly turned over. Bell finished it off with two perfectly laps around the rim to win in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“Kyle actually drew for us tonight, and he drew really good pills for everybody on our team except me. That kinda put us behind the eight-ball to start with going out so late,” Bell laughed, adding, “Then, he drove around us in the heat to send me to the B-feature. I think that actually helped us, though. I actually found out exactly how hard I could run this place. I worked the bottom a little in the feature, and then just had to drive it as hard as I could on the top to pass Kyle at the end.”
Bell got a good look at the lead duo before eventually making his move, saying, “I was waiting to see what would happen when Kyle and Mosen were battling, and then I was able to get going good on the bottom to get to second. But then I said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna go ahead and go for it,’ and it ended up working. This is my first “Midget Week” with Keith. This is really special to me. I can’t say enough about these cars – they really are the best out here.”
Larson recovered to finish second in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71K Bullet/Speedway Toyota, making it three top-two finishes in his three starts for the week.
“I’ve been telling everybody about how good Chris Bell is, and nobody believes me, but hopefully now everybody sees what I’m saying. Hopefully, he can keep doing what he’s doing. I knew the bottom probably wasn’t the place to be, at least in one and two, but I got he lead down there and felt really good down there in three and four. He was just able to get a lot of momentum and not make any mistakes and drive around me, which was pretty impressive. I biked it up a couple times trying to stay up with him after he went past me,” Larson said.
Caleb Armstrong came on strong in the final few laps to net third, a fine result in the C&A Motorsports – Winfield Racing #7c Beast/Stanton Toyota, after leading most of Saturday night’s Feature.
“We just kept getting better and better through the feature. I finally got moved up all the way, and we got rolling really well. The curb was pretty decent tonight, but we were fast up there. This was a tough week, and we were trying to figure out a new car still, but we got the thing going great at the end of the week,” Armstrong said.
Mosen wound up fourth to end his strong week in the Western Springs Speedway – BSL Race Products #7NZ Breka/Esslinger, while Zach Daum backed up his win from the night before to finish fifth in the Daum Crop Insurance – Toyota #5D Eagle/Stanton Toyota. ProSource “Fast Qualifier” Rico Abreu started the night off by breaking the track record, but he ended upside-down on the final lap of the Feature in turn-three. He was unhurt. Kevin Thomas, Jr. claimed the B&W Auto Mart “Hard Charger Award” after climbing from 22nd to tenth in the Gregg Steele-owned, Duane & Sonja Alexander #2 Beast/Esslinger.
HONDA USAC NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE RESULTS: June 16, 2013 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – “Indiana Midget Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Rico Abreu, 67k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.009; 2. Kyle Larson, 71k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.063; 3. Brad Kuhn, 10, Cook-13.181; 4. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C & A-13.272; 5. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.429; 6. Bryan Clauson, 39, CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.435; 7. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-13.447; 8. Brad Mosen, 7nz, Buckley-13.453; 9. Andrew Felker, 11a, Felker-13.458; 10. Christopher Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.520; 11. Brady Bacon, 11, Wilke-Pak-13.556; 12. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-13.637; 13. Jaimie McKinlay, 42ua, Fedrizzi-13.662; 14. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-13.674; 15. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-13.677; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 63, Dooling-13.697; 17. Steve Buckwalter, 25, Buckwalter-13.719; 18. Tyler Thomas, 2s, Lein-13.759; 19. Dave Darland, 2x, Lein-13.779; 20. Levi Jones, 56, 5IVE-6IX-13.780; 21. Dillon Welch, 98, CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.813; 22. Darren Hagen, 3, RFMS-13.840; 23.; Dalton Armstrong, 7a, C & A-13.872; 24. Ryan Criswell, 11R, Criswell-13.951; 25. Brenden Bright, 92, Bright-14.070; 26. Matt Jackson, 97au, Jackson-14.072; 27. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-14.079; 28. Thomas Meseraull, 16, Sandy-14.096; 29. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2, Steele-14.175; 30. Austin Brown, 7, Brown-14.189; 31. Billy Wease, 10x, Moore-14.205; 32. Alex Bright, 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-14.260; 33. Seth Motsinger, 2M, Brown-14.605; 34. Lynsey Liguori, 6rr, Liguori-14.804; 35. Kevin Studley, 57, Studley-14.805; 36. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-15.056; 37. Ross Rankine, 39R, Rankine-NT; 38. Michael Pickens, 1nz,Buckley-NT.
FIRST HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Felker, 2. Thorson, 3. Welch, 4. McKinlay, 5. Abreu, 6. K.Thomas, 7. Motsinger, 8. B.Bright, 9. Buckwalter. 2:18.69
SECOND HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Hagen, 2. T.Thomas, 3. Clauson, 4. Larson, 5. Bell, 6. Hines, 7. Brown, 8. Rankine, 9. Liguori, 10. Jackson. 2:18.49
THIRD HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. East, 3. Darland, 4. Ray, 5. Kuhn, 6. Ferns, 7. D.Armstrong, 8. Wease, 9. Studley. NT
FOURTH HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Criswell, 2. Mosen, 3. Daum, 4. Coons, 5. C.Armstrong, 6. Jones, 7. A.Bright, 8. Meseraull, 9. Dickerson. 2:19.01
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Abreu, 2. Bell, 3. C.Armstrong, 4. Kuhn, 5. Hines, 6. K.Thomas, 7. A.Bright, 8. Meseraull, 9. Brown, 10. Motsinger, 11. D.Armstrong, 12. Wease, 13. Rankine, 14. Jackson, 15. B.Bright, 16. Liguori, 17. Studley, 18. Dickerson, 19. Jones, 20. Ferns.2:46.82
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Kyle Larson, 3. Caleb Armstrong, 4. Brad Mosen, 5. Zach Daum, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Bryan Clauson, 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. Darren Hagen, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Andrew Felker, 12. Dave Darland, 13. Davey Ray, 14. Tyler Thomas, 15. Ryan Criswell, 16. Austin Brown, 17. Jaimie McKinlay, 18. Dillon Welch, 19. Tanner Thorson, 20. Alex Bright, 21. Rico Abreu, 22. Bobby East, 23. Tracy Hines, 24. Brad Kuhn. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Mosen, Laps 22-27 Larson, Laps 28-30 Bell.
**Ferns flipped on the start of the Semi. Abreu flipped at the finish of the Feature.
NEW HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bell-286, 2-Clauson-261, 3-Felker-222, 4-Hagen-217, 5-Coons-212, 6-Bacon-209, 7-C.Armstrong-206, 8-Daumn-197, 9-Hines-189, 10-Abreu-185.
FINAL “INDIANA MIDGET WEEK” POINTS: 1-Bell-286, 3-Clauson-261, 3-Felker-222. 4-Hagen-217, 5-Coons-212, 6-Larson-209, 7-Bacon-209, 8-Hines-189, 9-Mosen-188, 10-Daum-185.
NEXT HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE: June 23 – Sun Prairie, Wisconsin – Angell Park Speedway