“I’ve been close on these races before, and I was worried as the race went on that something would come up. I really thought Kody (Swanson) would be tough to beat, as well as he was hanging with me early. I had to go above the little bit of rough into turn-one, and then I started losing my cushion off turn-four, and when it was gone, I kept hitting the wall towards the end. I tried to keep from doing it as much as I could, but it got really difficult up there. Thankfully, we were able to hang on for all 50 (laps),” Bell said.
Bell immediately rocketed to the lead from the start and ran right against the wall all the way around, entering above the cushion into turn-one and walking away from the field. Behind him, Kody Swanson and Chris Windom battled for the second spot before Swanson spaced himself away from Windom, comfortably in second.
After an early caution, Windom was locked in a battle with Shane Cockrum and Brady Bacon. Shane Cottle was on the move from his ninth starting spot and joined the fray as well.
Just past halfway, Dave Darland spun in turn-two to bring out the final caution of the event, erasing a 4.612-second lead for Bell. It had no adverse effect on him, though, as he traced the very outside of the high-banked half-mile to close out the night’s festivities with a 50-lap win.
Behind him, Kody Swanson stretched out his advantage and came home comfortably in second, clinching his second-straight Silver Crown Series championship in the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire.
“When you’re racing for these guys, you have to get yourself ready to go good here, and they’ve gotten me a lot better. To be able to seal up the championship here for them is really something special. I’m so proud of these guys and so grateful to be a part of their team. Two seconds at the 4-Crown is pretty wild for a guy like me,” Swanson said.
Windom rounded out the podium as Bell’s teammate in the Fred Gormly – RPM Auto Enterprise #98 Maxim/J & D Performance Mopar.
“Today was a really tough day. Just getting here from the rain-delayed ARCA race at Kentucky was a trip. I just couldn’t quite get up in the fluff like those top-two were without getting really tight. I just had to settle in for third, which is a little disappointing with as bad as I wanted to win it. It was a good night for us as a team, though,” Windom said.
Cottle’s fine run ended fourth in the Curtis Williams – QS Components #81 Maxim/Williams, and Bacon rounded out the top-five in the Martens Machine Shop – Womack Machine Supply #48 DRC/Kistler Chevy.
Dallas Hewitt, who substituted for Kent Wolters in the feature, earned the $750 Larry Rice High Performance Award for his run from 19th to finish 13th.
USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 26, 2015 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – 34th “4-Crown Nationals”
QUALIFYING: 1. Christopher Bell, 99, RPM/Gormly-17.125; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-17.385; 3. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-17.705; 4. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-17.754; 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-17.942; 6. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-17.981; 7. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary/6R Racing-17.995; 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-18.000; 9. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-18.043; 10. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-18.130; 11. Dave Darland, 19, Longworth-18.173; 12. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-18.303; 13. Chase Stockon, 14, McQuinn-18.365; 14. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-18.395; 15. Terry Babb, 00, Babb-18.636; 16. A.J. Fike, 3, RFMS-18.692; 17. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-18.747; 18. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-18.885; 19. Kent Wolters, 21, Swanson-19.057; 20. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-NT.
FEATURE: (50 laps) 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Kody Swanson, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Shane Cottle, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Justin Grant, 7. Shane Cockrum, 8. C.J. Leary, 9. Steve Buckwalter, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. A.J. Fike, 12. David Byrne, 13. Dallas Hewitt (#21), 14. Chase Stockon, 15. Aaron Pierce, 16. Austin Nemire, 17. Tanner Thorson (#17), 18. Dave Darland, 19. Chris Fetter, 20. Terry Babb. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Bell.
NEW USAC SILVER CROWN POINTS: 1-Swanson-557, 2-Coons-433, 3-Fike-386, 4-Windom-351, 5-Pierce-335, 6-Leary-303, 7-Byrne-300, 8-Cockrum-297, 9-Nemire-283, 10-Grant-262.
NEXT SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE: October 10 – Syracuse, New York – New York State Fairgrounds – “Salt City 78”