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Bell Dominates Early, Coons Puts Toyota on Podium at Du Quoin

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TORRANCE, Calif. (February 19, 2017) – After dominating much of the race, Christopher Bell had a potential victory snatched away from him with a twist of bad luck in the season-opening “Shamrock Classic” USAC Midget National Championship season-opener at the Southern Illinois Center as Jerry Coons Jr. finished third as the top finishing Toyota.

Bell had taken over the lead on lap two of 50 and maintained the top spot until lap 34 when the lapped cars of Korey Weyant and Chris Andrews tangled in front of him on the high side of turn four. Bell became trapped between the two cars and the outside retaining wall, dropping him to the back of the field and taking away any shot at victory. The 2013 USAC champion had opened the year with a victory at the Chili Bowl Nationals and followed with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in Atlanta.

Two-time series champion Coons earned his first podium finish since last year’s Belleville Nationals while making his first start in the Toyota-powered Petry-Goff Motorsports Petry Excavating/Gray Auto Spike.

“I started off the race a little too tight on the right rear,” relayed Coons. “It kind of came to us and got better midway through the race. The car was really good all throughout the night. Hopefully, we can go on to the next one and keep piling up top-threes.”

Brady Bacon made it two Toyota-powered entries in the top-five with a fourth-place finish, while Bell rallied for 10th. Spencer Bayston placed 12th, while 15-year-old Tanner Carrick made his national debut with a 14th. Chad Boat finished 17th, while defending series champion Tanner Thorson was running in the top three early before mechanical woes sidelined him on lap 16. He eventually finished 21st.

Finish Toyota Drivers – Du Quoin Feature
3 Jerry Coons Jr.
4 Brady Bacon
10 Christopher Bell
12 Spencer Bayston
14 Tanner Carrick
17 Chad Boat
21 Tanner Thorson

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: April 7-8 – Kokomo (IN) Speedway – “Kokomo Grand Prix”

USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS:
1-Grant-70
2-Golobic-67
3-Coons-64
4-Bacon-61
5-Bayston-39
6-Walker-37
7-Carrick-35
8-Boat-29
9-Thorson-23
10-Darland-10.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: April 7-8 – Kokomo (IN) Speedway – “Kokomo Grand Prix”

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