Photos by Reitz Motorsports Photography
By: Lucas Halbert – Grassroots Racing News
Du Quoin, Illinois (12/18/2021)… Christopher Bell (Norman, Oklahoma) came, saw, and conquered the 8th Annual Jason Leffler Memorial presented by Fatheadz Eyewear on Saturday night in the Southern Illinois Center.
Less than a week before the 8th Annual Jason Leffler Memorial was to be held, it was announced NASCAR Cup Series driver and three-time Chili Bowl Nationals champion Christopher Bell would be making his RMS Racing debut in the Walkapedia sponsored #7XT.
The announcement sent shockwaves through the open-wheel dirt racing community and made the Leffler a must-see event once again on FloRacing, with Chase Briscoe making a surprise appearance as well. FloRacing streams were started, with eyes and ears tuned in to see what magic could take place on the “Mini Magic Mile”. A mysitical race-winning move may not have been made by the end, but something magical seemed to possess Christopher Bell in the fifty-lap feature race.
Cannon McIntosh looked like he had been shot out of a cannon in the early going leading the opening ten laps with ease. Hot on his heels was Christopher Bell, waiting for his chance to pounce. As the two neared lap traffic was when Bell’s motor began to jingle in McIntosh’s ear. After three laps of heavy pressure, Bell was finally able to sneak through to take the lead.
From there chaos ensued from about second through fifth with McIntosh, Chase Briscoe, and Rudeen Racing’s Chance Crum and Cory Eliason. Not long after Bell when to the lead, bad luck struck two drivers in the top five.
Cory Eliason was the first to go around, then just a few laps later, second-place running Chase Briscoe went around as well nearly halfway.
From lap thirty to forty-four was the longest green-flag run of the race. Bell said adios as McIntosh chased after.
McIntosh’s final chance at Bell on restart came with six laps to go. The Dave Mac-Dalby Motorsports was not able to capitalize on the opportunity as Christopher Bell drove away to win the 8th Annual Jason Leffler Memorial. The eighth different Leffler Memorial winner in eight years.
The $8,000 win was Bell’s first career Jason Leffler Memorial win. Previously his best Leffler Memorial finish was second in 2014. Bell also picked up his second career win in the Southern Illinois Center, his first was the Junior Knepper 55 in 2017. With the victory, Bell ended his USAC Midget winless streak at three years and twenty-seven days.
Cannon McIntosh held on to finsish second in the newly formed Dave Mac-Dalby Motorsports #08. Chance Crum placed third, Sam Johnson fourth, and Mitchel Moles rounds out the top five.
Feature Results (50 Laps):
- (7XT) Christopher Bell , 2. (08) Cannon McIntosh , 3. (26R) Chance Crum , 4. (72) Sam Johnson , 5. (08M) Mitchel Moles , 6. (5K) Jordan Kinser , 7. (14X) Chad Boespflug , 8. (91) Zach Daum , 9. (37X) Chett Gehrke , 10. (5) Chase Briscoe , 11. (88) Terry Babb , 12. (001) Greg Mitchell , 13. (5o) Chase Howard , 14. (36D) Rylan Gray , 15. (3N) Jake Neuman , 16. (26) Cory Eliason , 17. (37T) Max Adams , 18. (51) Zach Boden , 19. (4A) Dillon Silverman , 20. (37) Daniel Robinson