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Bell Blasts to Victory at the Knight Before the Kings Royal

Christopher Bell in the press room following his victory during the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 14, 2017) – Christopher Bell has won in NASCAR Trucks, midgets, winged 360 sprint cars, and silver crown cars at Eldora Speedway. Friday, he added a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory to his list winning the Knight Before the Kings Royal.

Bell had to hold off multiple challenges from Tony Stewart Racing teammate Donny Schatz for the victory.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Bell in the press room following his victory. “To drive for Tony (Stewart) is a dream come true. To win at Eldora on Kings Royal weekend with the Outlaws, I’m just speechless.”

Brian Brown and Brad Sweet started on the front row for the 30-lap main event. Brown led through turns one and two before Sweet got a run on the bottom of turn four to take the lead.

One lap later Bell drove by Brown to take the runner up spot off turn four. Brown and Bell continued to exchange the position back and forth for another lap before Bell secured the second position on lap five.

Sweet started to encounter slower traffic on lap eight and allowed Bell to quickly close in for the lead. Bell built up momentum off turn two on lap 10 to take the lead away from Sweet. From there Bell quickly put a half straightaway of distance between himself and Sweet.

While Bell was pulling away his TSR teammate Schatz was making his presence felt. Schatz disposed of Kraig Kinser for the fourth spot and was up to third position on lap 17. At that point Bell found himself held up in slower traffic. This allowed Sweet to close. Then out of nowhere Schatz quickly closed the gap on Sweet and took over the second spot with a sweep to the inside of lap 19.

Bell continued to get held up in traffic as Schatz closed in when the caution appeared on lap 21 when Sheldon Haudenschild slowed in turn three to bring out the only caution flag of the event. Haudenschild was unable to continue.

Bell chose the inside lane for the double file restart. Bell and Schatz crossed lanes down the front stretch as Bell raced to the top of the track through turns one and two. Schatz and Bell diced back and forth for the lead until Bell secured the top spot on lap 23.

Bell’s advantage he built up over Schatz started to dissipate with three laps to go as he got into slower traffic. Bell had enough of an advantage built up though to take the victory over Schatz and Sweet. For Bell, the gap was enough for him to be patient with his decisions through slower traffic at the end.

“I felt like we had a decent gap. I kept looking up at the big screen and they were not showing me. Typically, that’s a good sign whenever you are not on the big screen.” said Bell. “I figured out the bottom was good, but there were cars on the bottom, so I moved back up to the top and I caught (Jac) Haudenschild, and you know where he is going to be. I kept trying to shortcut the top that way I didn’t get caught in his air and end up crashing like I did last year. I felt like I slowed down enough, but I knew if I could make clean laps and didn’t make tremendous mistakes I would be alright.”

For Bell adding a World of Outlaws victory at his favorite track was a major accomplishment.

“This place is my favorite race track in the world. I’ve had a lot of success here and a lot of hard luck here, some of it self-inflected. I’ve won here in a midget, silver crown car, 360-winged car, and now with the Outlaws….and the Truck to, I forgot about the truck. It’s been good to me the past couple of years. I’m excited to get a big one tomorrow and a truck win on Wednesday.”

The Knight Before the Kings Royal
World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series
Eldora Speedway
Rossburg, Ohio
Friday July 14, 2017

Qualifying Flight #1: 1. 41 – Jason Johnson, 13.216; 2. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 13.233; 3. 18 – Ian Madsen, 13.272; 4. 21 – Brian Brown, 13.279; 5. 10H – Chad Kemenah, 13.376; 6. 14 – Christopher Bell, 13.389; 7. 3H – James McFadden, 13.399; 8. 71 – Joey Saldana, 13.413; 9. 81 – Lee Jacobs, 13.416; 10. 24 – Rico Abreu, 13.437; 11. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 13.461; 12. 07 – Ryan Smith, 13.482; 13. 44 – Trey Starks, 13.491; 14. 99 – Brady Bacon, 13.495; 15. 7K – Cale Conley, 13.561; 16. 21AU – Jordyn Brazier, 13.613; 17. 49D – Shawn Dancer, 13.619; 18. 2X – Parker Price-Miller, 13.654; 19. 5t – Travis Philo, 13.707; 20. 33M – Max Stambaugh, 13.736; 21. 45 – Trevor Baker, 13.776; 22. 16 – Chris Andrews, 13.896; 23. 71M – Paul May, 13.934; 24. 27Z – Sean Zemunik, 13.961; 25. 22M – Dan McCarron, 14.110; 26. 5QB – Quentin Blonde, 14.856.

Qualifying Flight #2: 1. 15 – Donny Schatz, 13.057; 2. 5 – David Gravel, 13.088; 3. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 13.170; 4. 49 – Brad Sweet, 13.183; 5. 2M – Kerry Madsen, 13.205; 6. 1A – Logan Schuchart, 13.254; 7. 17 – Jac Haudenschidl, 13.286; 8. 2 – Shane Stewart, 13.374; 9. 12N – Cole Duncan, 13.386; 10. 1ST – Gary Taylor, 13.387; 11. 1A – Jacob Allen, 13.424; 12. 55MX – Dale Blaney, 13.453; 13. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.454; 14. 7S – Jason Sides, 13.465; 15. 4 – Paul McMahan, 13.501; 16. 19 – Brent Marks, 13.513; 17. A67 – Brandon Wimmer, 13.585; 18. 41S – Dominic Scelzi, 13.667; 19. 13 – Clyde Knipp, 13.690; 20. 19P – Paige Polyak, 13.703; 21. W20 – Greg Wilson, 13.820; 22. 11N – Craig Mintz, 13.833; 23. 91 – Cale Thomas, 13.859; 24. 17X – Josh Baughman, 13.984; 25. 97 – Mitch Wormall, 14.030; 26. 7J – Joe Swanson, 14.122; 27. 83 – Adam Cruea, 14.949.

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps): 1. 41 – Jason Johnson, 2. 21 – Brian Brown, 3. 3H – James McFadden, 4. 24 – Rico Abreu, 5. 5T – Travis Philo, 6. 16 – Chris Andrews, 7. 44 – Trey Starks. DNS: 21AU – Jordyn Brazier, 22M – Dan McCarron. (First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps): 1. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 2. 10H – Chad Kemenah, 3. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 4. 71 – Joey Saldana, 5. 99 – Brady Bacon, 6. 49D – Shawn Dancer, 7. 71M – Paul May, 8. 33M – Max Stambaugh, 9. 5B – Quentin Blonde. (The first three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps): 1. 18 – Ian Madsen, 2. 14 – Christopher Bell, 3. 81 – Lee Jacobs, 4. 07 – Ryan Smith, 5. 7K – Cale Conley, 6. 2X – Parker Price-Miller, 7. 45 – Trevor Baker, 8. 27Z – Sean Zemunik. (The first three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #4 (8 laps): 1. 15 – Donny Schatz, 2. 49 – Brad Sweet, 3. 17 – Jac Haudenschild, 4. 19 – Brent Marks, 5. 1ST – Gary Taylor, 6. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 7. 13 – Clyde Knipp, 8. 11N – Craig MIntz, 9. 97W – Mitch Wormall. (The first three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #5 (8 Laps): 1. 2M – Kerry Madsen, 2. 2 – Shane Stewart, 3. 5 – David Gravel, 4. 7S – Jason Sides, 5. A67 – Brandon Wimmer, 6. 1A – Jacob Allen, 7. 91 – Cale Thomas, 8. 7J – Joe Swanson, 9. 19P – Paige Polyak. (The first three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #6 (8 Laps): 1. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 2. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 3. 55XM – Dale Blaney, 4. 41S – Dominic Scelzi, 5. 12N – Cole Duncan, 6. 4 – Paul McMahan, 7. W20 – Greg Wilson, 8. 83C – Adam Cruea, 9. 17X – Josh Baughman. (The first three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

D-Main (8 Laps): 1. 16 – Chris Andrews, 2. 11N – Craig MIntz, 3. 71M – Paul May, 4. 97W – Mitch Wormall, 5. 17X – Josh Baughman, 6. 83C – Adam Cruea, 7. 7J – Joe Swanson, 8. 22M – Dan McCarron, 9. 5QB – Quentin Blonde, 10. 27Z – Sean Zemunik. (First two finishers transferred to the A-Main)

C-Main (10 Laps): 1. 19 – Brent Marks, 2. A67 – Brandon Wimmer, 3. 49D – Shawn Dancer, 4. 2X – Parker Price-Miller, 5. 41S – Dominic Scelzi, 6. 33M – Max Stambaugh, 7. 5T – Travis Philo, 8. W20 – Greg Wilson, 9. 19P – Paige Polyak, 10. 11N – Craig Mintz, 11. 16 – Chris Andrews, 12. 13 – Clyde Knipp. DNS: 21AU – Jordyn Brazier, 45 – Trevor Baker. (First two finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Dash #1 (6 Laps): 1. 21 – Brian Brown, 2. 14 – Christopher Bell, 3. 18 – Ian Madsen, 4. 41 – Jason Johnson, 5. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 6. 10H – Chad Kemenah. (Finish determined the inside six starting positions of the A-Main)

Dash #2 (8 Laps): 1. 49 – Brad Sweet, 2. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 3. 15 – Donny Schatz, 4. 2M – Kerry Madsen, 5. 2 – Shane Stewart, 6. 1S – Logan Schuchart. (Finish determined the outside six starting positions of the A-Main)

B-Main (12 Laps): 1. 71 – Joey Saldana, 2. 24 – Rico Abreu, 3. 12N – Cole Duncan, 4. 07 – Ryan Smith, 5. 1ST – Gary Taylor, 6. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 7. 44 – Trey Starks, 8. 4 – Paul McMahan, 9. 7S – Jason Sides, 10. 99 – Brady Bacon, 11. 19 – Brent Marks, 12. 7K – Cale Conley, 13. A67 – Brandon Wimmer, 14. 1A – Jacob Allen. (First six finishers transferred to the A-Main)

A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 14 – Christopher Bell, 2. 15 – Donny Schatz, 3. 49 – Brad Sweet, 4. 18 – Ian Madsen, 5. 21 – Brian Brown, 6. 2M – Kerry Madsen, 7. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 8. 5 – David Gravel, 9. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 10. 24 – Rico Abreu, 11. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 12. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 13. 19 – Brent Marks, 14. 71 – Joey Saldana, 15. 10H – Chad Kemenah, 16. 2 – Shane Stewart, 17. 41 – Jason Johnson, 18. 55MX – Dale Blaney, 19. 81 – Lee Jacobs, 20. 17 – Jac Haudenschild, 21. 3H – James McFadden, 22. 4 – Paul McMahan, 23. 07 – Ryan Smith, 24. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 25. 12N – Cole Duncan, 26. 1ST – Gary Taylor.