After a full week of heat racing on a quarter-mile indoor dirt oval, the A-Main for the Chili Bowl Nationals was underway on January 13th and provided some of the most exciting racing that could be seen as NASCAR star Kyle Larson and future NASCAR star Christopher Bell continually traded the lead during the 55 lap race. Other notable drivers who competed in the Chili Bowl Nationals this year include the likes of Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Justin Allgaier, and Rico Abreu.
It’s not unusual to see this many NASCAR drivers go dirt racing, as this is how many of them started their careers in racing. Legends such as Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, a two-time Chili Bowl winner, both made their names while dirt racing long before they ever drove a stock car. One reason as to why dirt racers make such good stock car drivers merely is due to the sheer amount of car control that a dirt racer has to have to be successful. Kyle Larson is the most recent example of this, as he has caught the attention of many due to his success and unique driving style in NASCAR in which he always races near the outside wall. Due to him regularly racing this way and making it work, it’s now referred to as the Larson Line.
Larson, who described the Chili Bowl Nationals as being more important to him than the Daytona 500, unfortunately, blew his engine in the A-Main race while he was leading with only 15 laps to go. Christopher Bell was then able to go on and take his second win in as many years, with Rico Abreau, the 2015 and 2016 winner, finishing in 2nd place. After the race, Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson both sent each other a tweet complimenting the other on their driving ability, and while neither driver has said anything yet, I’m sure both of them will be back at the Chili Bowl Nationals next year to duel it out again.