Kyle Larson Wins and Enters 2021 Chili Bowl Main Event, Christopher Bell Bags Race of Champions Win

Published 01/13/2021, 8:30 AM EST
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald’s Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


It may not be NASCAR season yet, but while the wait goes on for that, dirt racing events are in full flow elsewhere. The sport’s stars Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell, in particular, have created quite the buzz in their exploits in the ongoing Chili Bowl event.

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Participating among a host of other drivers from NASCAR, Larson leads the list considering his impressive dirt racing resume. He was involved in Tuesday’s heat and qualifying events, and dictated his car on the track with ease and control.

The likes of 2020 Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, and Brett Moffitt will take to the field as well in the coming days. Ahead of Saturday’s feature events, then, the NASCAR community will aim to make its mark in the competition to the fullest.

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Christopher Bell won the Invitational Race of Champions

The Joe Gibbs Driver was sensational in the flagship event, gripping and turning on the half-mile dirt track. Bell smoothly operated his machinery, drifting past his rivals to seal the race victory after starting the race in sixth.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Christopher Bell, driver of the #95 Procore Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

In the same event, meanwhile, Larson dropped down to fifth at one point in time. However, given his experience and skill, he finished third in the event behind Bell and McIntosh.

It should be noted that Larson is the reigning Chili Bowl Nationals champion, after winning the race in 2020. Rest assured, his strong start means the trophy would become quite difficult to prise away from him.

Kyle Larson won his heat, qualifier, and A-feature races in supreme fashion

The Hendrick Motorsports No.5 driver entered the fray in Heat 8, starting in fourth place on the grid. He cruised past his competitors and went through to his qualifier, which he once again aced.

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Finally, in Tuesday’s A-feature event that decided entry to the weekend’s main spectacle, Larson competed in the 30-laps race. Though he started in second, he eventually overtook Thomas Meseraull to win the event.

With Larson’s Cup Series teammate Elliott gracing his presence in the heat at a later stage, Larson and Bell look to be the men to beat as it stands. A Chili Bowl title win for either would certainly provide a huge morale boost prior to the start of the 2021 Cup Series campaign.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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