Kokomo Win Gives Midget Week Title To Bell
KOKOMO, Ind. — Christopher Bell left no doubt as to who this year’s “Indiana Midget Week” champion was, emerging at the end of five nights of bare-knuckle Honda National Midget Series racing as the winner in Sunday’s 30-lap Feature at Kokomo Speedway, and the undisputed king of this year’s IMW.
It was a tough road on this night for Bell, however. After qualifying tenth, Bell had to race through the semi-feature after his teammate, Kyle Larson, passed him for the final transfer spot in the heat.
The two squared off again in the feature, this time with Bell prevailing.
Brad Mosen led Andrew Felker in a two-car breakaway from the rest of the field, as they took advantage of front-row starting spots. Those two circled the rim, while Larson moved into the top-three early. Just before the halfway point, Bell broke into the top-five as he battled with his chief rival in the weeklong standings — Bryan Clauson.
Larson had moved to second before halfway and pressured Mosen for the top spot as the leaders hit ten to go. Bobby East and Bell joined the fray to make it four cars racing for the top spot, as Larson used the bottom to claw his way to the lead on lap 22. Bell followed suit shortly after, but a caution with just three laps to go made for one final dash to the checkers.
Bell wasted no time finding his rhythm up against the mean Kokomo cushion, while Larson twisted his machine around the bottom. The two nearly touched on the straightaways, with Bell narrowly holding the advantage on lap 28. Larson tried to counter on the bottom, but bicycled badly and nearly turned over. Bell finished it off with two perfectly laps around the rim to win in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“Kyle actually drew for us tonight, and he drew really good pills for everybody on our team except me. That kinda put us behind the eight-ball to start with going out so late,” Bell laughed, adding, “Then, he drove around us in the heat to send me to the B-feature. I think that actually helped us, though. I actually found out exactly how hard I could run this place. I worked the bottom a little in the feature, and then just had to drive it as hard as I could on the top to pass Kyle at the end.”