Tanner Thorson Overpowers Christopher Bell for First Chili Bowl Championship

As the racing season begins to heat back up during the cold months of winter, one driver would use the fire inside of him to race to his first championship at the 2022 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Despite having to start alongside three-time Chili Bowl champion Christopher Bell in the start of Saturday night’s 55 Lap feature, Thorson continued to stalk Bell’s iRacing No. 71w until just the right moment gave him the chance of a lifetime.

Although his first attempt, when traffic slowed on Lap 17, didn’t go as planned, Thorson would finally see his chance to take the race lead. After pulling off a slide job on Lap 37, the driver of the Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports No. 19t took the lead off of turn four. Of course, former Chili Bowl victor Bell would not give up on racing to his fourth Golden Driller. As the two sliced through traffic, Bell retook the lead for a moment through the first and second turns with six laps to go. On the final laps, Bell’s iRacing ride would make contact with the wall, which left him falling back to third. The famed NASCAR driver would finally regroup and quickly gain ground. Despite Bell’s momentum on the final lap, time would run out as Thorson crossed with a 0.688-second advantage.

“This win was unreal,” said Thorson. “I knew that if I was going to see my dream come true I was going to have to step it up. Bell was obviously better than me, and I knew that if he and his team were going to bring the same car if not better than last year I was really going to have to give it everything that I had to overpower him for the win. I had to break Bell’s momentum a little bit because if not, it was going to be hard to beat him, so I just had to get going and this is just what I did. I will never forget this.”

Christopher Bell crossed second with Rico Abreu working back to third in the closing laps. Buddy Kofoid crossed fourth with Tanner Carrick fifth in his first A-Feature appearance. Last year’s victor Kyle Larson came home in sixth, followed by C.J. Leary from 16th.

Congrats go out to Thorson and his race team on their first Chili Bowl Championship. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com as the racing season heats up in 2022.

About Ellen Richardson 491 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for RacingJunk.com. This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at ellennrichardson.wordpress.com or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.

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