Bell Masters Port City Traffic
The first of two nights saw a three-hour delay because of rain, sleet and colder than expected temperatures.
Polesitter Darren Hagen took the lead on the initial start, but was unable to hold off challenges from Justin Peck and the relentless Bacon. Bacon, was then challenged by Bell, who took the lead running the high line on the eighth-mile oval until a caution came out for contact between Matt Sherrell and J.D. Black.
Shortly after racing resumed, a fierce battle between Bacon and Bell ensued when they entered heavy lapped traffic. Setting up the classic short track duel, Bacon ran the bottom line while Bell ran the high side. Utilizing the “treacherous curb,” Bell passed a few cars and then dropped down to the bottom and passed some others.
Bell, who had been running mostly the high line in his Keith Kunz/ Curb-Agajanian Motorsports’ Bullet-Toyota, darted to the bottom as he stealthily navigated lap traffic, taking the lead from Brady Bacon and never looked back.
“They pulled through and gave us an awesome race track and hopefully it made for some pretty good racing,” Bell said. “I know it did there for the first couple of laps between Brady and me.”
Consistently running in the top three for the duration of the main event, Monrovia, Indiana’s Justin Peck drove his Esslinger-powered DRC to his first podium finish with the Lucas Oil POWRi National Midgets.
“We had a good, fast night,” explained Peck, a graduate of the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series. “It’s running really nice so far, first night out on it. I can’t wait to see what the season brings.”
Starting from the 11th position, Tyler Thomas charged through the field in his BT Machines sponsored, Esslinger powered, Triple X Chassis to take home the runner-up position.
The only red of the main event occurred on lap 35 when Port City favorite Chris Andrews was collected and turned over.
Christopher Bell, Tyler Thomas, Justin Peck, Brian McClellad, Zach Daum, Cody Brewer, Alex Sewell, Daniel Robinson, Parker Price-Miller, Tanner Thorson, Austin Brown, Darren Hagen, Jonathan Beason, Jacob Patton, Seth Motsinger, Chris Andrews, Jason McDougal, Brady Bacon, Matt Sherrell, Danny Smith, Chett Gehrke, J.D. Black.