Christopher Bell wins wild World of Outlaws Sprint Car iRacing Invitational

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BELL RINGER: Christopher Bell wins wild Sprint Car iRacing Invitational
NASCAR star picks up second Invitational win; Seavey DQ’d after on-track incident

CONCORD, NC – May 3, 2020 – Christopher Bell had an eventful iRacing Sunday.

After finishing second in the NASCAR Pro Invitational race earlier in the day, Bell made the long journey from the virtual Dover International Speedway to the virtual Volusia Speedway Park. He made it just in time to survive a wild 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature that saw three-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational winner Logan Seavey get disqualified and Bell pick up his second Invitational win.

“I felt pretty good in the middle,” Bell said. “In the practice race I got to work on my car a little bit to see what was a little bit better and what was a little bit worse. It got interesting there at the end. Hopefully it was a good race.”

The thousands of fans watching on DIRTVision were given a plethora of excitement throughout the night. About every Heat Race featured close battles for the lead and transfer positions.

Bell was the benefactor of a three-way battle for the lead and charged to the win in Comp Cams Heat #3. Then, at the start of the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature, Bell, from third, followed leader Kevin Swindell to open air as they cleared the swarm of cars behind them.

The duo held the top two spots for the early laps with Swindell holding the lead and Bell putting pressure on him every corner. About a quarter way into the NOS Energy Drink Feature, Swindell couldn’t find traction off the top of Turn 4, allowing Bell to get a run underneath him. Bell threw a hopeful slider at Swindell in Turn 1 but couldn’t clear his #39 car and the two raced side by side down the backstretch.

Bell, again, threw a slide job into the corner and this time made it work. He cleared Swindell off Turn 4 to take the lead. However, “The Bulldog” charged back and threw his own slide job back at Bell into Turn 1 to reclaim the top spot. Bell then put a period on their battle when he once again slid back by Swindell in Turn 3 and pulled away with the lead.

Swindell was left to fight off the hungry hoard of Seavey, two-time World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Invitational winner Mike McKinney and former World of Outlaws driver Brent Marks. Seavey and Swindell touched wheels while battling for second off Turn 2, sending Seavey backwards. The next lap Swindell got sideways off Turn 2 and collided with McKinney’s NOS Energy Drink #17 car. McKinney was able to continue without issue, but Swindell had to bring his car to the pit area for repairs.

With 17 laps to go, Troy Wagaman Jr., Marks and Seavey bounced off each other while battling three-wide in Turn 3. Wagaman snuck underneath Marks going into the turn and the two touched, pushing Marks up into Seavey who lost momentum and ended up colliding with Carson Macedo off Turn 4. The incident brought out a caution and while the field was slowing, Seavey drove into Marks’s car, putting him in the wall and taking him out of the Feature. Race Director Mike Hess then made the call to black flag Seavey from the race.

“It’s a video game but the adrenaline is still there for the drivers when they’re racing and what not,” Hess said. “They had a little bump in three and four. I think Troy Wagaman got in below Brent Marks and bumped him a little bit, which pushed him up into Seavey and Seavey just thought he ran down in there and did it on purpose. He didn’t. It was just a racing deal. In real life under yellow, if anything is taken out under yellow that’s an automatic DQ. So, I booted him.”

Bell held the field at bay for the remainder of the race until a late caution caused a green-white-checkered finish. He got sideways off Turn 4 when the race resumed, putting second-place McKinney and third-place Wagaman on his bumper. However, McKinney and Wagaman’s side by side battle for second helped Bell pull away.

On the final lap, coming to the checkered flag, Bell had a mirror full of McKinney and Wagaman. McKinney poked his nose high, while Wagaman looked low. A car stopped sideways at the bottom of the track on the front stretch hindered Wagaman’s run and allowed Bell to pull ahead of the two drivers for the $1,000 win.

“I knew that they were going to be trying to attack corner entry pretty hard,” Bell said. “I was basically giving up my entry to make a good exit. That’s how I was able to make good lap times. I knew on the green-white-checkered I was going to have to charge the entry a little harder to not give them the advantage.”

McKinney’s runner-up finish was his second, so far, in the Sprint Car Invitational races.

“I can’t complain,” McKinney said. “I come to this deal to have some fun and kind of get away from the Late Model side where I’m super competitive. I was a threat to win. I came in there not thinking I had a shot to win. These last couple of weeks we’ve been getting a lot better and doing pretty good. Happy we could come in here for NOS Energy Drink and put on a good show.”

With his win tonight, Bell proclaimed he’s ready to race in Tuesday’s “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout” on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET).

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars iRacing Invitational; May 3, 2020; Volusia Speedway Park

NOS ENERGY DRINK Feature (35 laps) — 1. 21-Christopher Bell [3] [$1,000]; 2. 117-Mike McKinney [5]; 3. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [10]; 4. 99-Tony Gualda [23]; 5. 21-Brian Brown [17]; 6. 41-David Gravel [16]; 7. 17-Austin McCarl [18]; 8. 46-Michael Bauer [9]; 9. 11-Zeb Wise [7]; 10. 73-Brett Michalski [15]; 11. 7-Justin Allgaier [19]; 12. 37-Michael Faccinto [8]; 13. 18-Ian Madsen [24]; 14. 2-Carson Macedo [12]; 15. 55-Robbie Kendall [13]; 16. 7-Justyn Cox [21]; 17. 10-Joe Kata [22]; 18. 39-Kevin Swindell [1]; 19. 5-Chase Briscoe [4]; 20. 1-Logan Schuchart [14]; 21. 84-Tom Harris [20]; 22. 88-Trent Ivey [11]; 23. 5-Brent Marks [2]; 24. 19-Logan Seavey [6]. Lap leaders: Kevin Swindell 1-5; Christopher Bell 6-35. KSE Hard Charger: Tony Gualda +14.

RACING ELECTRONICS Qualifying — 1. 39-Kevin Swindell [14.971]; 2. 2-Carson Macedo [15.017]; 3. 37-Michael Faccinto [15.019]; 4. 5-Chase Briscoe [15.022]; 5. 117-Mike McKinney [15.059]; 6. 22-Jock Goodyer [15.077]; 7. 66-Matt Cosner [15.092]; 8. 23-Cole Macedo [15.114]; 9. 69-Lance Dewease [15.169]; 10. 99-Larry Wight [15.175]; 11. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [15.178]; 12. 11-Zeb Wise [15.201]; 13. 55-Robbie Kendall [15.226]; 14. 1-Logan Schuchart [15.233]; 15. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [15.246]; 16. 19-Logan Seavey [15.285]; 17. 18-Ian Madsen [15.311]; 18. 21-Christopher Bell [15.355]; 19. 46-Michael Bauer [15.362]; 20. 1-Jacob Allen [15.383]; 21. 88-Trent Ivey [15.384]; 22. 5-Brent Marks [15.401]; 23. 99-Tony Gualda [15.405]; 24. 7-Justin Allgaier [15.428]; 25. 73-Brett Michalski [15.490]; 26. 47-Eric Riggins [15.502]; 27. 2-Kerry Madsen [15.513]; 28. 17-Austin McCarl [15.522]; 29. 3-Cale Conley [15.533]; 30. 35-Mike Mahaney [15.540]; 31. 41-David Gravel [15.548]; 32. 21-Brian Brown [15.612]; 33. 2-WJ Johnson [15.612]; 34. 69-Brady Bacon [15.677]; 35. 28-Ron Capps [15.692]; 36. 84-Tom Harris [15.700]; 37. 17-Max Mclaughlin [15.707]; 38. 71-Cruz Pedregon [15.722]; 39. 52-Blake T Hahn [15.731]; 40. 7-Justyn Cox [15.772]; 41. 555-Dylan Cisney [15.806]; 42. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [15.864]; 43. 10-Joe Kata [16.017]; 44. 27-Carson McCarl [16.091]; 45. 13-Paul McMahan [16.356].

DRYDENE Heat 1 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 39-Kevin Swindell [1]; 2. 19-Logan Seavey [4]; 3. 88-Trent Ivey [5]; 4. 41-David Gravel [7]; 5. 84-Tom Harris [8]; 6. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [3]; 7. 555-Dylan Cisney [9]; 8. 47-Eric Riggins [6]; 9. 22-Jock Goodyer [2]

DART MACHINERY Heat 2 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 5-Brent Marks [5]; 2. 11-Zeb Wise [3]; 3. 2-Carson Macedo [1]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [7]; 5. 66-Matt Cosner [2]; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [4]; 7. 17-Max Mclaughlin [8]; 8. 2-Kerry Madsen [6]; 9. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [9]

COMP CAMS Heat 3 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 21-Christopher Bell [4]; 2. 37-Michael Faccinto [1]; 3. 55-Robbie Kendall [3]; 4. 17-Austin McCarl [6]; 5. 10-Joe Kata [9]; 6. 2-WJ Johnson [7]; 7. 99-Tony Gualda [5]; 8. 23-Cole Macedo [2]; 9. 71-Cruz Pedregon [8]

HOOSIER RACING TIRE Heat 4 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 5-Chase Briscoe [1]; 2. 46-Michael Bauer [4]; 3. 1-Logan Schuchart [3]; 4. 7-Justin Allgaier [5]; 5. 3-Cale Conley [6]; 6. 69-Brady Bacon [7]; 7. 52-Blake T Hahn [8]; 8. 27-Carson McCarl [9]; 9. 69-Lance Dewease [2]

ARP FASTENERS Heat 5 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 117-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [3]; 3. 73-Brett Michalski [5]; 4. 7-Justyn Cox [8]; 5. 99-Larry Wight [2]; 6. 35-Mike Mahaney [6]; 7. 1-Jacob Allen [4]; 8. 28-Ron Capps [7]; 9. 13-Paul McMahan [9]

VP RACING FUELS C-Main (8 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 69-Brady Bacon [1]; 2. 35-Mike Mahaney [2]; 3. 17-Max Mclaughlin [4]; 4. 99-Tony Gualda [5]; 5. 1-Jacob Allen [7]; 6. 22-Jock Goodyer [13]; 7. 47-Eric Riggins [8]; 8. 52-Blake T Hahn [6]; 9. 28-Ron Capps [12]; 10. 555-Dylan Cisney [3]; 11. 27-Carson McCarl [11]; 12. 23-Cole Macedo [10]; 13. 13-Paul McMahan [17]; 14. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [14]; 15. 69-Lance Dewease [16]; 16. 2-Kerry Madsen [9]; 17. 71-Cruz Pedregon [15]

VP RACING FUELS Last Chance Showdown (10 laps) — Top 9 Transfer — 1. 41-David Gravel [1]; 2. 21-Brian Brown [2]; 3. 17-Austin McCarl [3]; 4. 7-Justin Allgaier [4]; 5. 84-Tom Harris [6]; 6. 7-Justyn Cox [5]; 7. 10-Joe Kata [8]; 8. 99-Tony Gualda [17]; 9. 18-Ian Madsen [12]; 10. 2-WJ Johnson [13]; 11. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [11]; 12. 35-Mike Mahaney [15]; 13. 99-Larry Wight [10]; 14. 17-Max Mclaughlin [16]; 15. 66-Matt Cosner [7]; 16. 3-Cale Conley [9]; 17. 69-Brady Bacon [14].

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