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Christopher Bell Runs Away With ASCS Southwest Copper Classic Opener

Christopher Bell stormed to victory in Friday’s Copper Classic opener with the ASCS Southwest Region at Arizona Speedway (ASCS / Aaron Clay)

From Bryan Hulbert

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. (November 24, 2017) – Victorious at the 77th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix in USAC National Midget competition just 24-hours prior to strapping into the Berryman Motorsports No. 31 at Queen Creek’s Arizona Speedway with the ASCS Southwest Region, Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell added another win to his weekend with a $2,000 score to open up the second annual Copper Classic.

Earning the pole in Friday’s preliminary A-Feature, the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion slid to the lead ahead of Billy Chester as the pair dashed into the opening turns. Working to a comfortable advantage just as traffic came into play on Lap 4, the advantage over Chester faded quickly but a caution on Lap 6 ended the run for the No. 2b as Nick Parker rolled to a stop.

Pulling away once more, the race paused on Lap 13 when Rick Ziehl and J.T. Imperial crashed in turn-two. Ziehl smashed through the wall that lines the track. Both drivers were unharmed.

Back underway, Bell again ran away as the race for second began going slide for slide between Billy Chester and Colton Hardy with the No. 2b able to hold as California’s Justin Sanders came into the mix as well, dropping Hardy back to fourth.

Back into traffic with five laps to run, Bell enjoyed a straightaway advantage and continued up to build on it all the way to the drop of the checkered flag despite the engine starting to spew fluid on his legs in the closing laps.

Billy Chester crossed second 4.929 seconds behind Bell with Colby Copeland sneaking through the field in the final laps to take the final podium step. Justin Sanders in fourth is the final driver locked into Saturday’s A-Main and was followed to the line by Colton Hardy, who is one stop close to sewing up his first career ASCS Southwest Regional Championship.

From 14th, California’s Willie Croft crossed sixth with Giovanni Scelzi hard charging from 17th to seventh with brother, Dominic Scelzi in eighth. Josh Shipley was scored ninth with Washington’s Chase Goetz making up the top-ten.

The second annual Copper Classic at Arizona Speedway continues on Saturday, November 25 with things getting underway at 6:30 P.M. (MST). More information can be found online at http://www.arizonaspeedway.net. For fans unable to attend, live PPV will be available at http://www.speedshifttv.com.

For continued updates on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the seven regional tours that make up the over 150 races across the ASCS Nation in 2017, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.

Race Results:

ASCS Southwest Region
Arizona Speedway – Queen Creek, Ariz.
2nd annual Copper Classic
Friday, November 24, 2017

Car Count: 29

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2B-Billy Chester III, [4]; 2. 5V-Dominic Scelzi, [2]; 3. 9R-Reece Goetz, [3]; 4. 29W-Willie Croft, [5]; 5. 1-Giovanni Scelzi, [6]; 6. 77-Colt Treharn, [1]; 7. 71H-Corey Hurley, [7]; 8. (DNS) 99-James Aragon,

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 31-Christopher Bell, [4]; 2. 74-Colton Hardy, [6]; 3. 115-Nick Parker, [3]; 4. 131-Royal Jones, [5]; 5. 14-Cody Sickles, [7]; 6. (DNF) 57-Steve Stone, [1]; 7. (DNF) 83T-Tanner Carrick, [2]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 91C-Chase Goetz, [5]; 2. 01-Josh Shipley, [3]; 3. 8-Justin Sanders, [6]; 4. 90-Lance Norick, [4]; 5. 21-Stevie Sussex III, [1]; 6. 33-Steve Cushman, [2]; 7. (DNF) 7-Mark Clark, [7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 5C-Colby Copeland, [3]; 2. 91-Dave Darland, [1]; 3. 75X-J.T. Imperial, [5]; 4. 88N-D.J. Netto, [6]; 5. 22-Jesse Baker, [2]; 6. 20Z-Rick Ziehl, [4]; 7. (DNF) 29-Darrell Sickles, [7]

B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 1-Giovanni Scelzi, [2]; 2. 20Z-Rick Ziehl, [5]; 3. 90-Lance Norick, [1]; 4. 83T-Tanner Carrick, [10]; 5. 22-Jesse Baker, [3]; 6. 77-Colt Treharn, [9]; 7. 21-Stevie Sussex III, [4]; 8. 71H-Corey Hurley, [7]; 9. 33-Steve Cushman, [6]; 10. (DNF) 7-Mark Clark, [8]; (DNS) 57-Steve Stone,

A Feature (25 Laps) : 1. 31-Christopher Bell, [1]; 2. 2B-Billy Chester III, [2]; 3. 5C-Colby Copeland, [6]; 4. 8-Justin Sanders, [5]; 5. 74-Colton Hardy, [4]; 6. 29W-Willie Croft, [14]; 7. 1-Giovanni Scelzi, [17]; 8. 5V-Dominic Scelzi, [9]; 9. 01-Josh Shipley, [3]; 10. 91C-Chase Goetz, [7]; 11. 9R-Reece Goetz, [12]; 12. 83T-Tanner Carrick, [20]; 13. 131-Royal Jones, [15]; 14. 91-Dave Darland, [10]; 15. 22-Jesse Baker, [21]; 16. 90-Lance Norick, [19]; 17. (DNF) 75X-J.T. Imperial, [8]; 18. (DNF) 20Z-Rick Ziehl, [18]; 19. (DNF) 88N-D.J. Netto, [11]; 20. (DNF) 14-Cody Sickles, [16]; 21. (DNF) 115-Nick Parker, [13]; 22. (DNF) 77-Colt Treharn, [22]