DU QUOIN, Ill. — Christopher Bell came, saw, and conquered the eighth running of the Jason Leffler Memorial presented by Fatheadz Eyewear inside the Southern Illinois Center on Saturday night.
Bell, making his debut with RMS Racing was also joined in the field by fellow NASCAR Cup Series racer Chase Briscoe, who started on the pole for the 50-lap, $8,000-to-win feature.
Outside front row starter Cannon McIntosh looked like he had been shot out of a cannon in the early going, taking the early advantage over polesitter Briscoe to lead the opening 10 laps with ease. Hot on his heels was third-starting Bell.
As the two neared lapped traffic, Bell’s motor began to jingle in McIntosh’s ear. After three laps of heavy pressure, Bell was finally able to sneak by to take the lead.
From there, chaos ensued from about second through fifth with McIntosh, Briscoe and Rudeen Racing drivers Chance Crum and Cory Eliason. Not long after Bell went to the lead, bad luck struck two drivers inside the top five.
Eliason was the first to go around, then just a few laps later, second place running Briscoe went around as well nearing halfway.
From laps 30-44, the longest green-flag run of the race transpired and it’s where Bell said “adios” as McIntosh chased after.
McIntosh’s final chance at Bell on restart came with six laps to go. The Dave Mac-Dalby Motorsports driver was not able to capitalize on the opportunity as Bell drove away to win the race and become the eighth different Leffler Memorial winner.
The win was Bell’s first in the Jason Leffler Memorial, besting his previous best effort of second in 2014.
Bell also picked up his second career win in the Southern Illinois Center, his first coming during the Junior Knepper 55 in 2017. With the victory, Bell ended his USAC-sanctioned Midget winless streak at three years and 27 days.
McIntosh held on to finish second for the newly combined Dave Mac-Dalby Motorsports team. Crum placed third with Sam Johnson fourth and Mitchel Moles rounding out the top five.
To see full results, turn to the next page.