Chili Bowl Nationals

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Christopher Bell wins Chili Bowl Nationals for second year in a row

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Christopher Bell took the lead from Kyle Larson with less than 15 laps to go when Larson’s engine blew and Bell went on to win the Chili Bowl Nationals for the second consecutive year.

Rico Abreu finished second in the 55-lap race on the quarter-mile track in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Spencer Bayston finished third. Larson finished 19th in the 24-car field.

“To win the Chili Bowl last year was something I’ll never forget,” said Bell, the reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, 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.”

Earlier, Kasey Kahne finished ninth in the first B main and did not advance to the A main (the top six advanced). JJ Yeley was 12th in that race. Justin Allgaier was 18th. C.J. Leary, driving a car owned by Alex Bowman finished last in the 20-car field.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. failed to advance to the A main. He was hit and flipped at the start of the second B main and was eliminated.

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Kasey Kahne finishes fifth in Friday’s A main at Chili Bowl Nationals

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Kasey Kahne placed fifth in Friday night’s A main at the Chili Bowl Nationals in a race won by Justin Grant. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 11th in the 24-car field.

Grant, along with runner-up Spencer Bayston and third-place finisher Andrew Felker advanced to Saturday night’s main event at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Both Kahne and Stenhouse will have to race their way into the main event Saturday night.

Reigning Camping World Truck Series champion Christopher Bell seeks a second consecutive Chili Bowl title Saturday night. Also contending for the title will be Kyle Larson. Both Bell and Larson are locked into the main event.

Victory sends Rico Abreu into Saturday night’s Chili Bowl Nationals A main

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Rico Abreu held off a spirited challenge from Tyler Thomas to win Wednesday night’s A main and advance to Saturday night’s Chili Bowl Nationals feature.

Kevin Thomas finished third. All three advanced to Saturday night’s finale.

Abreu has made 26 career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He drove the entire season in 2016 but made only one Truck start last season. He won the Chili Bowl Nationals main event in 2015 and 2016.

JJ Yeley placed eighth in Wednesday’s A main. Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart‘s World of Outlaws team, placed 23rd in the 24-car field.

Action continues Thursday. Among those scheduled to compete are 2017 Truck Series champ Christopher Bell, C.J. Leary in a car owned by Cup driver Alex Bowman, and Tanner Thorson in a car that features the partnership of Richard Childress Racing and Dooling Hayward Motorsports.

Tony Stewart set for more than 70 races in multiple series this year

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With his NASCAR racing days behind him, Tony Stewart is looking forward to more than 70 races this year.

During the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Stewart is helping prepare the track, the three-time Cup Series champion shared his tentative racing plans for 2017 with RacinBoys.com.

“Going to run a lot of different things at a lot of different places,” Stewart told RacinBoys.com. “There are some tracks that I’ve never been to that I’m going to get a chance to go to on our schedule. We’re up to 71 races, and I’m guessing we’re going to get another 10 to 15 more races on the schedule before it’s all said and done.”

Stewart said he will compete in late model and sprint car races and is building a three-quarter midget to run at a “couple of (county) fair races.”

Stewart has not announced his full schedule yet or where his first race will be. He is already confirmed to compete in sprint car races at the dirt track located at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7-8.

Offseason plans vary for many NASCAR drivers

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At the conclusion of Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet in Las Vegas, the 2016 offseason will officially begin.

That means it’s time to relax, right? Not so for some drivers.

Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott had a simple answer when asked about his plans: “Get away.”

Kyle Busch hopes to do the same. With his son, Brexton, still not old enough to completely understand Christmas, Busch hopes the family has at least one more year to get away.

“Stay away from home, not necessary set up a tree, all that,” Busch said. “Next year, that will be a big Christmas year.”

Austin Dillon will be going away, and soon. After making his first Chase for the Sprint Cup and participating in Champion’s Week activities in Las Vegas, Dillon said next weekend he’ll be taking his No. 3 team hunting in Texas.

Another driver who also enjoys the outdoors, Martin Truex Jr., also has some trips planned.

“I went and did a little bit of boat racing this past weekend, that’s one of my hobbies, so I got to do that,” Truex said. “Got some hunting trips planned, and looking forward to Christmas, my favorite time of the year. Hopefully spend a few days back home with the family and enjoy all that.”

Of course, racing won’t be completely forgotten this offseason.

Kyle Larson has already been back to victory lane and will have many more chances. Larson is gearing up for sprint car races in Australia as well as the 2017 Chili Bowl.

“I ran a dirt midget race last week and won (the Turkey Night Grand Prix), that was good,” Larson said. “Looking forward to all that and kind of also looking forward to relaxing.”

A few drivers, however, are looking forward to staying home.

Joey Logano said he’s going to have a “normal person Christmas” and is looking forward to seeing his family. He jokingly apologized for not having anything exciting going on because he’s not big into going out.

“I think most people stay home and see their family, or if not, they probably should see their family at some point,” Logano continued.

As for the championship team from Hendrick Motorsports, crew chief Chad Knaus is also looking forward to the downtime. Mostly so he can let the accomplishment of winning seven championships sink in.

“I’m looking forward to this winter,” Knaus said. “I’m going to spend some time with my wife. Go do some snowboarding, maybe hit a vacation spot or two and I’m thinking at that point I’ll really start to enjoy it.”

Knaus and the rest of the NASCAR community have 85 days to enjoy their free time before engines fired for the 2017 Daytona 500.

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