SALISBURY, N.C. – Christopher Bell went back to his roots and ultimately collected his first Millbridge Speedway victory on Wednesday night in micro sprint action at the sixth-mile dirt oval.
Piloting a No. 21 that looked just like the 410 sprint car he pilots out of the Tucker/Boat Motorsports shop, Bell slid polesitter Carson Kvapil in turn one on the opening lap and never looked back.
Though Kvapil gave chase for nearly half of the 30-lap feature, and actually slid Bell back for the lead at one point on lap 10, Bell never faltered and pulled away down the stretch.
Following a caution with 10 to go when Joey Robinson’s engine expired, Bell rocketed away with ease on the final restart and took the checkered flag 1.356 seconds clear of second-place Brent Crews.
“This car was just really stuck. I was able to stick around the bottom,” Bell said in victory lane. “[Kvapil] learned from the first start to go down and block me, but he opened the door just enough where I got a run and got inside him.”
Wednesday night’s score for Bell came after he had a mechanical issue in his heat race during the micro opener on May 14, but rallied through the field for a top-10 finish after winning the B-main that night.
“We had a really good race the first time we came out here,” Bell noted. “Unfortunately, we got caught up in the heat race, but it was a lot of fun in the feature to start in the back and work my way through there. We learned a lot on the car, and we continue to get better and better.”
After dogging Bell for much of the race, Kvapil fell back to third in the final rundown. He was passed by Crews on lap 26 and attributed a major vibration in the closing laps to his loss of speed.
“I ran Bell down in about two or three laps once we got going, and I threw a slider, but it didn’t work off of (turn) two,” Kvapil recalled. “I figured after that we’d be throwing bombs the rest of the race and both be running for the win, but I packed the right front (tire) full of mud and the wheel ended up with a huge vibration. I couldn’t see, my hand was hot from the steering wheel rubbing … it was really bad.
“I was just holding on; it wasn’t horrible, I guess. It’s the first winged race I’ve finished, so that’s something.”
Sam Corry and Matt Francis completed the top five, followed by Gavan Boschele, Sean Brierley, Trevor Cline, Ethan Burdett and Chase Cabre.
Bell’s win made him the third different micro sprint winner in three features at Millbridge this year, joining Crews and Cabre in that category.
RESULTS: Millbridge Speedway; Wild Wednesday Series Week Three; June 3, 2020
Winged 600cc Micro Qualifying (best of two laps): 1. #1x – Brent Crews, 9.6834 (63.201 mph); 2. #27 – Carson Kvapil, 9.7783; 3. #14c – Sam Corry, 9.8403; 4. #21 – Christopher Bell, 9.8569; 5. #16 – Matt Francis, 9.9494; 6. #5 – Gavan Boschele, 9.9663; 7. #7 – Sean Brierley, 9.9799; 8. #42n – Tim Nye, 10.0206; 9. #63jr – John Nicholson Jr., 10.0514; 10. #09 – Tyler Letarte, 10.1309; 11. #81 – Tyler Walker, 10.2008; 12. #55 – Trevor Cline, 10.2386; 13. #17z – Max McLaughlin, 10.3657; 14. #14 – Ethan Burdett, 10.3778; 15. #33 – Joey Robinson, 10.4306; 16. #1 – Chase Cabre, NT.
Winged 600cc Micro Heat #1 (8 laps, all transfer): 1. Brent Crews , 2. Matt Francis , 3. Sam Corry , 4. Sean Brierley , 5. Tyler Walker , 6. John Nicholson Jr. , 7. Joey Robinson , 8. Max McLaughlin .
Winged 600cc Micro Heat #2 (8 laps, all transfer): 1. Tim Nye , 2. Christopher Bell , 3. Carson Kvapil , 4. Trevor Cline , 5. Gavan Boschele , 6. Tyler Letarte , 7. Ethan Burdett , 8. Chase Cabre .
Winged 600cc Micro A-Feature (30 laps): 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Brent Crews, 3. Carson Kvapil, 4. Sam Corry, 5. Matt Francis, 6. Gavan Boschele, 7. Sean Brierley, 8. Trevor Cline, 9. Ethan Burdett, 10. Chase Cabre, 11. Joey Robinson, 12. Tyler Walker, 13. Tim Nye, 14. John Nicholson Jr., 15. Tyler Letarte, 16. Max McLaughlin (DNS).