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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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Kyle Larson wins A main on opening night of Chili Bowl Nationals

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Kyle Larson continued his winning ways in a midget car, capturing the A main on the opening night of the Chili Bowl Nationals and qualifying for Saturday night’s feature race.

Larson recently returned from New Zealand where he won three of four midget races.

Tuesday night, Larson finished ahead of brother-in-law Brad Sweet and Tyler Courtney. All three advance to Saturday night’s A main on the quarter-mile clay oval inside the River Spirit Expo Center at Tulsa’s Expo Square.

Justin Allgaier finished 12th in Tuesday night’s race.

Racing continues Wednesday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Among those scheduled to compete are Rico Abreu, who has made 26 career Camping World Truck Series starts, and Donny Schatz, who competes in the World of Outlaws for Tony Stewart Racing.

Earlier in the night, Chad Boat won the Race of Champions exhibition race. Larson was second and Tanner Thorson was third. Sweet finished fifth. Also in the race, Abreu was 10th, reigning Chili Bowl champion Christopher Bell placed 11th, Kasey Kahne 14th and JJ Yeley was last in the 19-car field.

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Instant replay: Get all of NASCAR Talk’s 2017 season-in-review driver capsules right here

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Editor’s note: From December 20th through December 31st, NASCAR Talk has recapped the best of the best in NASCAR’s three premier series with our season-in-review driver capsules.

 In case you missed any in the series, here’s your chance to read all of them in one sitting. Here’s the:

  • Top-10 finishing drivers in NASCAR Cup
  • Top-four finishers in the Xfinity Series
  • Champion of the Camping World Truck Series.

Click on each name to read that respective driver’s 2017 Season in Review capsule:

Top 10 finishing drivers in NASCAR Cup

2017 Season in Review: No. 1 Martin Truex Jr.

2017 Season in Review: No. 2 Kyle Busch

2017 Season in Review: No. 3 Kevin Harvick

2017 Season in Review: No. 4 Brad Keselowski

2017 Season in Review: No. 5 Chase Elliott

2017 Season in Review: No. 6 Denny Hamlin

2017 Season in Review: No. 7 Matt Kenseth

2017 Season in Review: No. 8 Kyle Larson

2017 Season in Review: No. 9 Ryan Blaney

2017 Season in Review: No. 10 Jimmie Johnson

Top 4 finishing drivers in NASCAR Xfinity Series 

2017 Xfinity Season in Review: No. 1 William Byron

2017 Xfinity Season in Review: No. 2 Elliott Sadler

2017 Xfinity Season in Review: No. 3 Justin Allgaier

2017 Xfinity Season in Review: No. 4 Daniel Hemric

 

 

Top finishing driver in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

2017 Truck Series Season in Review: No. 1 Christopher Bell

 

 

2017 Xfinity Season in Review: Justin Allgaier

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Justin Allgaier

CREW CHIEF: Jason Burdett

TEAM: JR Motorsports

POINTS: 3rd in Xfinity Series

WINS: 2 (Phoenix 1, Chicago)

LAPS LED: 495

TOP 5s: 10

TOP 10s: 17

POLES:  (Charlotte 1)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Allgaier earned the most wins (two) in a single season in his Xfinity career. 
 After leading just 34 laps in 2016, Allgaier also led a single season high of 495 laps (his previous best was 222 laps led in 2010). 
 While he had a good chance to win the championship, Allgaier finished third for the second consecutive season. He has never finished lower than sixth in his seven full-time Xfinity seasons to date.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Very little went wrong for Allgaier in 2017. However, there were a few points to note. First, he earned 17 top-10 finishes in 33 races, 10 top-10 showings less than the 27 he had in 2016. 
 He couldn’t finish higher than 12th in the championship deciding race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as JR Motorsports teammates William Byron (won the championship) and Elliott Sadler (finished second) ended up ahead of Allgaier in the final standings.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2018: Allgaier is one of the most consistent drivers in the Xfinity Series. He’s carved out a very comfortable home in the series, but he still hasn’t been able to finish higher than third in a season. With William Byron promoted to NASCAR Cup, 2018 may be Allgaier’s best shot at an Xfinity championship.

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Watch: Championship 4 drivers share thoughts on Miami outcome

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After 200 laps Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, William Byron claimed the Xfinity Series championship in his rookie year by finishing third in the Ford EcoBoost 300.

He finished ahead of his JR Motorsports teammates, Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier, and Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric.

Watch the above video for Byron’s first interview as a NASCAR champion.

Below are interviews with the remaining Championship 4 drivers.

Elliott Sadler

Sadler placed eighth in the race after contact with Ryan Preece with less than 10 laps to go cut a tire on his No. 1 Chevrolet. It Sadler’s fourth runner-up result in the points in his Xfinity career.

Justin Allgaier

Allgaier finished 12th in the race after struggling for most 300-mile event. He was competing without his primary crew chief, who had been suspended for the race. Chad Knaus, the seven-time champion crew chief in the Cup Series with Jimmie Johnson, helped out on the pit box for the No. 7 Chevrolet.

Daniel Hemric

Hemric finished last among the Championship 4 drivers in 34th after his No. 21 Chevrolet experienced battery problems early in Stage 2. Hemric spent 12 laps on pit road before returning to the race.