Christopher Bell wins to keep Toyota perfect at Chili Bowl

Toyota's Christopher Bell. (Colin E. Braley/AP)

TULSA, Okla. — Christopher Bell will have a chance to defend his Chili Bowl title after a dominating win in Thursday night’s qualifying event.

Bell won the Chili Bowl a year ago to start a breakthrough season in which he became one of NASCAR’s next stars. He won five races and the championship in the Truck Series, won once in the Xfinity Series and earned a promotion to a full-time ride with Joe Gibbs Racing.

His victory in the qualifier advanced Bell into the 55-lap Saturday night main event at the Tulsa Expo Center. Bell kept Toyota undefeated in the Chili Bowl — the manufacturer has won all three preliminary night races, and the Race of Champions.

There are 24 automatic berths into Saturday night’s main event.

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