Christopher Bell wins Chili Bowl Nationals; Kyle Larson suffers heartbreak

Christopher Bell won the Chili Bowl Nationals for a second straight year, while an engine failure relegated Kyle Larson to a 19th-place finish.

Capitalizing on Kyle Larson’s mechanical issues, Christopher Bell won the Chili Bowl Nationals for a second straight year Saturday night at the River Spirit Expo Center at Tulsa’s Expo Square.

Larson started on the pole and was leading with 15 laps remaining when the engine in his car expired. That ended the night for the driver who competes fulltime in the NASCAR Cup Series, and was seeking his first win in the prestigious midget race, a race he said wants to win more than the Daytona 500. Larson finished 19th in the 24-car field.

With his biggest competitor sidelined, Bell was never challenged the rest of the way and the native Oklahoman drove away for his second Chili Bowl win by a three-second margin over runner-up Rico Abreu. Bell is the defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and is advancing fulltime to the Xfinity Series in 2018.

“To win the Chili Bowl last year was something I’ll never forget,” Bell said on the MavTV broadcast. “To do it back-to-back I’m just speechless. I’m just bummed about Kyle. I thought we were going to have a great race there.”

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