PLANO, Texas (July 4, 2017) – Christopher Bell finished third to lead three Toyota-powered drivers into the top five in the USAC National Midget Series feature at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Monday night. Dave Darland placed fourth, while series point leader Spencer Bayston was fifth.
It marked the third straight top-three finish for Bell during the USAC Illinois Midget Weekend triple-header after winning the previous two nights at the Macon Speedway on Saturday and the Lincoln Speedway on Sunday. The 22-year-old Oklahoma native also currently sits second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.
After starting fourth, Bell immediately moved into third as caution flags slowed the early going. On lap six, he was able to move into second, but passing would be at a premium on the tight one-fifth mile dirt oval. Bell’s best opportunity to take the lead may have come on lap 15 when leader Tyler Courtney was caught in lapped traffic. Bell closed in and was all over Courtney as he tried to navigate the slower cars. Unfortunately, right then a caution would come out ending his bid for the lead.
From that point on, Courtney would lead the remainder of the way, while Bell slipped to third. Behind him in fourth was Darland, who earned the race’s hard-charger award after moving up from the 15th starting position. Bayston was one spot behind – earning his fourth consecutive top-five finish.
Jerry Coons Jr. finished sixth, with Brady Bacon in eighth and Tanner Thorson in tenth as six Toyota-powered drivers would earn top-10 finishes on the night.
Bayston continues to lead the USAC national point standings by 21 points, while Bacon fell from second to third, but still just 30 points behind Bayston.
The USAC National Midget Series will take off the rest of July before heading to the Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska, Aug. 1 for the beginning of a four races in five days portion of the schedule that will wrap up with the Belleville Nationals, Aug. 4-5.
|Finish||Toyota Drivers –
Ill. State Fairgrounds
|6||Jerry Coons Jr.|
|USAC||National Midget Standings||Points|
|7||Jerry Coons Jr.||589|
*Toyota drivers in bold