Christopher Bell’s bid for a fourth-career Chili Bowl Nationals A-Main victory will come from starting on the pole as Bell topped Tanner Thorson in Saturday evening’s Pole Shuffle.
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) January 16, 2022
Bell looked to have the Pole Shuffle won until Justin Grant went spinning to bring out the yellow. This resulted in a green-white-checkered finish, where Thorson threw a big time slide job on Bell for the lead.
But then Bell reached back into his bag of tricks and crossed Thorson over to retake the lead and the Pole Shuffle win.
This is the second epic duel between Bell and Thorson this week as both drivers battled each other tooth and nail for the qualifier A-Main win on Thursday. Bell emerged victorious in that battle, as well.
With Thursday’s win, Bell tied Sammy Swindell’s all-time record of eight Chili Bowl National Prelim wins.
With Saturday’s win, Bell very well could be in the driver’s seat for his fourth-career Chili Bowl Nationals overall victory.
Thorson, who started seventh in the overall Pole Shuffle, was able to move his way into the second-overall starting spot as he advanced to the final four-car Pole Shuffle heat race.
Rico Abreu came home third in the pole shuffle and Justin Grant, who came into the Pole Shuffle with the pole, ended up fourth.
While the top-10 starting spots have been decided in the Pole Shuffle, the remainder of the 24-car starting field for the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals will be decided at the conclusion of the C and B features.
Here are the official top-10 starters for the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals:
- Christopher Bell
- Tanner Thorson
- Rico Abreu
- Justin Grant
- Buddy Kofoid
- Tanner Carrick
- Kyle Larson
- Kevin Thomas Jr.
- Tyler Courtney
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.