Christopher Bell passes Kyle Larson on last lap to win Chili Bowl
Christopher Bell passed Kyle Larson on the last lap to win his third consecutive Chili Bowl Nationals early Sunday morning.
It was the only lap Bell led in the 55-lap race.
“I ran 53 1/2 good laps and didn’t close it out,” Larson told Mav TV after placing second. “Hate it. ... It’s just disappointing to be close to winning a race like that, feeling I did everything I could until the very end. Just gave it away. Hate that.”
Bell charged under Larson and they made contact. Larson tried to get under Bell in Turn 3 and they hit again. Bell held off his friend and denied Larson his first Chili Bowl. Bell celebrated his win by doing several spins in his midget before it rolled over.
“If (Larson) wouldn’t have missed his marks, if he would have stuck the bottom, then, A, I wouldn’t haven’t got there, but I’m not just going to run into the back of him,” Bell said in the press conference after the race. “Whenever he went in there and missed his mark and slid up, I took advantage of it.”
Said Larson in the press conference after the race: “I didn’t think what Chris did was wrong at all. I knew I missed the bottom, so then I’m trying to squeeze him down. I knew that there was contact coming. If anything, I’m more upset with what I did into (Turn) 3 of running into the side of him. I try to pride myself and not race like that and that’s twice now that I’ve done that on the last lap. Just a little desperation out of myself. Got to not do that in the future.”
Justin Grant was third. Brady Bacon was fourth and Zac Daum was fifth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. placed 21st in the 24-car field.
The A main began at 12:53 a.m. ET and ended at 1:17 a.m. ET.
MORE: Race results
Among others with NASCAR ties:
Alex Bowman finished seventh in his C main and did not advance to the B main.
Justin Allgaier and Tanner Berryhill each failed to advance from their C main.
Chase Briscoe missed advancing from his B main to the A feature by one spot.
Worth staying up to watch the @cbnationals for the first time.— Nate Ryan (@nateryan) January 20, 2019
The @KyleLarsonRacin-@CBellRacing rivalry might be the greatest in motorsports - ALL motorsports - at the moment.
A few glimpses of it in #nascar last year (e.g., Bristol Xfinity). Hope there's even more to come.