BARBERVILLE, FL – Christopher Bell guided the Swindell SpeedLab backed No. 39 to three top fives during the DIRTcar Nationals last week.
A mechanical problem hampered the team on Wednesday during the first of five scheduled nights of competition at Volusia Speedway Park. The next three nights showcased strong outings before the event finale rained out on Sunday.
“I thought we were one of the fastest cars if not the fastest car all week,” Kevin Swindell said. “It was good to run so well during the final three nights after the problem on Wednesday. I believe we have a car capable of winning World of Outlaws races and we nearly accomplished that.”
Thursday began with Bell qualifying ninth quickest overall and fourth in his group. A third-place run in a heat race was enough to advance into a dash, which Bell won to garner the pole position for the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions main event.
“(Daryn) Pittman had the lead early and we were right there, but we had one time in traffic where we had to check up and that cost us positions,” Swindell said. “It was a good run and something to build off.”
Bell finished fourth, which was his best result in the five races he’d competed with the team. Meanwhile, the feature results improved each of the next two nights.
On Friday, Bell timed in fourth quickest in qualifying during the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season opener. A heat race win locked Bell into the dash and a runner-up result in the dash lined him up second for the main event.
Once again he battled for a win throughout much of the race before placing third – tying his career-best result at Volusia Speedway Park.
The final start of the week came on Saturday when Bell qualified fifth quickest. He finished second in a heat race to lock into the dash, which he won for the second time in three races. Bell took advantage of the pole position for the main event, leading the first 18 laps before Pittman took over the top spot briefly.
Bell regained the lead on Lap 20 and held onto the top spot for six more laps before Pittman passed him on Lap 26. Bell battled back on Lap 27 before Pittman returned the favor the following lap.
“Pittman had a great car and ran a great race,” Swindell said. “He made the bottom work really well and it just played out in his favor. It’s a good thing to be bummed about finishing second in a World of Outlaws race. We know we can contend for the wins and as long as we keep putting ourselves in a position to compete for the lead the wins will come.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Feb. 6 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 15; Heat race: DNF (3); B Main: 9 (6).
Feb. 7 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 9; Heat race: 3 (1); Dash: 1 (2); Feature: 4 (1).
Feb. 8 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 2 (1); Feature: 3 (2).
Feb. 9 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 5; Heat race: 2 (2); Dash: 1 (1); Feature: 2 (1).
SEASON STATS –
4 races, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 3 top 10s, 3 top 15s, 3 top 20s
UP NEXT –
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Rossie Feed & Grain
“Jon Black and his team at Rossie Feed & Grain have been a part of our Chili Bowl car for several years and they’ve started helping with the sprint car stuff,” Swindell said. “We’re very grateful for their support and friendship.”
Swindell would also like to thank Mike Curb and Curb Records, John Christner Trucking, South Bay, High Performance Lubricants, Premier Truck Group, Tim Walker Real Estate, Wiser Organics, TWRentToOwn.com, E-Distribution Racing, MPI Steering Wheels, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Racing Optics, Arai Helmets, Maxim Chassis, DMI, Hoosier Racing Tires, Sweet Manufacturing, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Kenny’s Components and Swindell SpeedLab for their continued support.
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