Bell, Keller win main events
Appeal Sports Writer
Kris Keller sped to his first main event victory of the season in the Hornet class and Mackena Bell won her second Legends race in three weeks during local action at Champion Speedway on Saturday night.
Keller ended a string of five consecutive wins by Bad Girls Racing teammate Kim Robbins, who finished second in the 20-lap Hornet main event. Meanwhile, the 15-year-old Bell worked her way through a 13-car field to win the 30-lap Legends main on an unseasonably cold summer night.
For Bell, this was even more impressive than her winning performance on June 4, when she started seventh and worked through the field and took the lead for good on Lap 17 of a 40-lap race. This time, the Carson High student started 10th and came through the field to take the lead by Lap 11 of a 30-lapper.
So, is she improving?
“I think I am,” Bell said. “I think I’m getting more aggressive and I’m learning I can take the high line and hold it. Instead of waiting, I can go for it.”
Bell got past Gary Hale to take a lead she never gave up the rest of the way. Hale finished second, ahead of Terry Madjeski, Bill Brown and Jason Anderline to round out the top five.
This marked the third week in a row that Madjeski, an Incline Village resident, has posted a top-three finish. Madjeski came into the evening holding a six-point lead over Bell and Hale in a highly competitive Legends season race.
An indication of that competitiveness was evident in qualifying when the top four times came in within .11 of a second of each other – Jason Anderline at 14.78, Jack Randall and Bell at 14.88 and Denny Hadler at 14.89.
Also of interest, the father/son combo of Henry and Bobby Hodges combined to win the two heat races.
While the Hornet class has belonged to Robbins all season, Keller took the lead from Greg Schmidt on Lap 11 and went on to outdistance the 12-car field.
Robbins worked through the field and overtook Greg Schmidt for second-place on Lap 16, but she didn’t have enough time to catch Keller.
Earlier in the evening, 15-year-old Chris Walton held off Keller at the finish to win the trophy dash for his first Hornet class victory.
Notes: Staff Sgt. Shawn Chaufty, a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, took his re-enlistment oath during the trophy presentation, then later in the evening, came out for his first Hornet main event and finished 12th. … Sun Valley Legends driver Robert Humphreys, who had won his first main event ever at Champion the previous Saturday night, took a week off from racing to attend the Formula I United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis.
Main event (30 laps): 1, Mackena Bell; 2, Gary Hale; 3, Terry Madjeski; 4, Bill Brown; 5, Jason Anderline, 6, Bobby Hodges, 7, Lester Mitchell, 8, Todd Thompson, 9, Jack Randall, 10, Charlene Baron, 11, Fred Handley, 12, Michelle Argetsinger, 13, Henry Hodges (17 laps).
First heat: 1, Henry Hodges, 2, Hadler, 3, Argetsinger, 4, Brown.
Second heat: 1, Bobby Hodges, 2, Hale, 3, Mitchell, 4, Bell.
Trophy dash: (6 laps) 1, Fred Handley, 2, Randall, 3, Bell, 4, Madjeski.
Fast time: Anderline 14.78.
Main event (20 laps): 1, Kris Keller; 2, Kim Robbins; 3, Greg Schmidt; 4, Andy McCool, 5, Jason Flores, 6, Chris Walton, 7, Sandy Clark, 8, Tiffany Mans (19 laps), 9, Bill Bernard (19), 10, Justin Myers (19), 11, Matt Collier, 12, Shawn Chaufty (18 laps), 13, Harris Heller (3 laps). Yellow: 1.
First heat: 1, Clark, 2, Robbins, 3, Heller, 4, Bernard.
Second heat: 1, Keller, 2, McCool, 3, Walton, 4, Schmidt.
Trophy dash: (6 laps) 1, Walton, 2, Keller, 3, McCool, 4, Heller.
Fast time: Robbins 16.84.