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Bell gets first taste of Asphalt Action


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Bell Gets First Taste of Asphalt Action

Lonnie Wheatley, NORMAN, Okla. (September 10, 2014) It was just a matter of time before Christopher Bell got his first dose of asphalt racing.

That first asphalt outing came this past weekend as the 19-year-old from Norman, OK, drove a Kyle Busch Motorsports asphalt late model in twin 50-lap features at North Carolinas Hickory Motor Speedway.

Already a winner of 20 feature events in Sprint Car and Midget action on dirt this year, the transition to a full-sized Late Model on asphalt is a big one. But the young shoe seems to be adapting quite well, running near the front in the early stages of the first race before finishing fourth. His second feature was cut short by mechanical problems.

After some Thursday night testing, an open practice on Friday proved beneficial. It really helped to be on the track around other cars and get a feel for just how big these cars are.

Race day rolled around on Saturday and it was time for the real deal. Diverging from the dirt world that hes accustomed to, both Saturday qualifying laps had implications with the first qualifying lap setting the grid for the first 50-lap feature and then the second qualifying lap setting the lineup for the second 50-lap feature.

I got lucky and laid down two good laps in qualifying that put us starting third in both features, Bell explained. Then one of the guys that qualified ahead of us in the first race got sent to the tail for some reason, so we moved up to the front row.

With a front row seat for the first 50-lapper, the original start didnt go as planned. I missed a shift on the first start, its just part of the learning process in these cars. We got lucky and had a restart though.

There was no missed shift on the second start, with Bell racing among the leaders in the early going.

We were fast early then we kind of faded, we were still able to finish fourth though, Bell explains. The first 10 or 15 laps though, I thought we might win this thing.

After taking the checkered flag fourth in his first asphalt attempt, Bells was forced pitside in the second 50-lapper.

We were fast and the car felt good, Bell said of a successful asphalt debut. Everything about this is different, its a learning process.

Bell gets another round of asphalt late model action in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 with this Saturdays 100 lapper at Hickory Motor Speedway.

2014 Quick Stats: 81 races, 20 wins, 44 top-fives, 55 top-tens.

Next Up:

Saturday, Hickory Motor Speedway (Hickory, NC) Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 asphalt late model

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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