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From Kansas to Iowa for Bell; Knoxville Natnls rookie pursuit begins


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From Kansas to Iowa for Bell Knoxville Nationals Rookie Pursuit Begins Tonight

NORMAN, Okla. (August 6, 2014) It has been a whirlwind week for Christopher Bell with six races over the course of the past eight days. And, it continues tonight, as the 19-year-old Norman, OK, native begins his pursuit of Rookie of the Year honors at the 54th Annual Knoxville Nationals in Knoxville, IA.

Amidst the whirlwind, Bell got his first glimpse of the famed half-mile clay oval at the Marion County Fairgrounds during Sunday nights Third Annual Capitani Classic.

The car felt good and we were going forward in the heat race before the engine soured, Bell commented of the Brandon Berryman No. 31b entry. Well change engines and hope we get this other one tuned a little better so we can do something.

Sundays Capitani Classic followed four Kansas nights for the youngster that already his 17 wins to his credit during the 2014 campaign.

It began last Tuesday night, July 29, at the Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, KS, where Bell bounced back from an early feature spin to battle past teammate Rico Abreu in the closing laps to claim fourth aboard the Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 71 Toyota Midget.

The longer the race went, the better the car got, Bell commented. We needed another ten or 15 laps, we were strong at the end.

From there it was on to the 37th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals, where Bell reigned as defending champion.

Things didnt fall into place this time though, with a blown engine in Thursdays preliminary feature putting Bell and the Kunz team behind the eight ball.

After an engine change, Bell rallied from sixth to second in his Saturday heat race to earn a position in the Pole dash, where he finished fourth.

Bell raced fourth all the way in Saturdays 40-lap Belleville Midget Nationals finale, battling with Tracy Hines for third most of the way before coming up just inches short for the position at the line.

We just werent as fast as Rico (Abreu) this time around, Bell said. We got what we could get.

Sandwiched in between the pair of Belleville Midget Nationals nights was the USAC Silver Crown High Banks Hustle on Friday night, with Bell battling for the lead aboard the RPM/Gormly No. 99 much of the way before settling for third.

I packed the right rear with mud, the vibration got so bad I had to move down the track, Bell explained after a race that is still raved about by those on hand.

Following Sunday nights Capitani outing, Bells first 410 Sprint Car laps at Knoxville, the Berryman swapped powerplants for Mondays Front Row Challenge at Oskaloosas Southern Iowa Speedway where 46th top ten finish of the season with a run of eighth.

We just never really got going, Bell said. The track was racy enough, we just couldnt find the speed we needed.

And, after a Tuesday night off to catch his breath, its now time for Christopher Bells first crack at the Knoxville Nationals.

2014 Quick Stats: 70 races, 17 wins, 36 top-fives, 46 top-tens.

Next Up:

Wednesday, Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, IA) Berryman 31b Winged 410 Sprint Car

Friday (if necessary), Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, IA) Berryman 31b Winged 410 Sprint Car

Saturday, Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, IA) Berryman 31b Winged 410 Sprint Car

Meet Up: Fans can meet Christopher Bell during the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museums fan forums. Bell will be on hand for the Friday session from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Keep Track: Keep track of Christopher Bells on-track action including schedule and results at http://www.christopherbellracing.com/.

If you would like to keep up with all of Christopher Bells racing action by having press releases e-mailed directly to you, simply send your e-mail address to Lonnie Wheatley at lonniewheatley@gmail.com.

Penning the recurring series of The Wheatley Chronicles articles on racinboys.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at lonniewheatley@gmail.com.

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