Bell Leads USAC Rookie Award Winners
INDIANAPOLIS – Christopher Bell, Chris Windom and Tyler Courtney have been named USAC National Rookies of the Year and Kevin Thomas Jr. has been named USAC’s 2013 Most Improved Driver.
They will be honored at the USAC Night of Champions celebration in Indianapolis on Dec. 13. The function will be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.
Bell, of Norman, Okla., exploded on the Honda National Midget scene this year, claiming the dirt championship while raking in numerous career highlights along the way. He scored a pair of wins on his way to the Indiana Midget Week crown, added wins in the Chad McDaniel Memorial in Beloit, Kan., and the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas and the Gold Crown Midget Nationals in Pontoon Beach, Ill. His sixth and final dirt win came in a prelim at the Western World in Peoria, Ariz. On pavement he scored a victory at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind. In addition to his six dirt wins he added seven other podiums.
Windom, of Canton, Ill., won the Traxxas Silver Crown honor with his runner-up point ranking. He won the series closer, the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and scored top 10 finishes in seven of the eight series races. He was second in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 in Springfield, Ill., and third after winning the pole at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.
Courtney, of Indianapolis, recorded nine top 10 finishes in the AMSOIL National Sprint Car series. A stellar second-place finish behind Tracy Hines in Ocala, Fla., in the early-season races was followed by another second-place finish behind Chad Boespflug at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind., in July. He was also the fastest qualifier and finished third in West Memphis, Ark.
Windom’s Silver Crown success came with car owner RW/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports of Lederach, Pa. Courtney fielded his own sprint car and Bell led the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team of Columbus, Ind.
Thomas, of Cullman, Ala., was one of three drivers who recorded seven AMSOIL USAC National Sprint victories this year. In climbing from 11th place in points in 2012 to fifth this year he won three straight early races at Lawrenceburg, Gas City and Haubstadt, then put together three straight Indiana Sprint Week races at Kokomo, Lawrenceburg and Terre Haute. His final win came at Haubstadt in September.