Christopher Bell races to second consecutive Chili Bowl crown

Aubrey Yates
January 14, 2018

Larson was seeking that elusive Chili Bowl title, an annual event typically with more than 300 entries.

The stage was set Saturday night as they traded the lead at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, but a blown engine in Larson's vehicle with 13 laps remaining ended that drama, and Bell sped to his second consecutive Chili Bowl crown at the Tulsa Expo Center. Bell's win previous year was the first of the season in which he went on to win five races and the championship in NASCAR's Truck Series.

"To win the Chili Bowl past year was something I'll never forget", Bell said on the MavTV broadcast. "I feel like Kyle got robbed, I got robbed and the fans got robbed". "I kind of chose the top [lane in the race Friday] and it didn't work out". Abreu swept all three of his races and earned the automatic berth into the 55-lap feature at the Tulsa Expo Center.

During a Wednesday night SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio appearance, Larson spoke in reverence about the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals and knew his comments were going to earn some scorn. Spencer Bayston finished third.

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Also advancing to the main event was, a World of Outlaws Sprint auto regular and the brother of Larson's fiancée, as well as Tyler Courtney.

Bell, who grew up in nearby Norman, benefitted from NASCAR Monstery Energy Series star Kyle Larson's misfortune.

Larson and Bell have both moved into NASCAR's pavement ranks for their full-time jobs, but routinely return to their roots in dirt track racing. 2-time Chili Bowl victor Rico Abreu returned from a 15-week break to win his heat and advance to Saturday night's main event.

"Somebody hung a right and I was on the outside", Stenhouse said. I forgot how it feels.

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