Bellm Ever so Close at LOS 360 Nationals
Lonnie Wheatley, NIXA, Mo. (September 7, 2018) – Sunday’s $10,000 payday at the Lake Ozark Speedway 360 Nationals was tantalizingly close to Kyle Bellm’s grasp.
After a strong third-place run in Saturday night’s preliminary feature event, Bellm drew the pole position for Sunday night’s 41-lap finale aboard the Greenworks Nursery/Landscapes Awarded No. 14k Sprint Car.
“We had too much time and we overthought it,” Bellm says. “We should have stuck with what we know works, but we threw some other stuff at it and missed it.”
Bellm displayed his mastery of the 1/3-mile Lake Ozark Speedway on Saturday aboard the Christian County Collision Repair/Bybee Lawn Care machine by winning his heat race and then climbing from sixth to fourth in qualifying race action to earn the sixth starting position in the feature.
From there, Bellm went forward in the PPG Automotive Finishes/Colorvision entry to snare a third-place finish that locked him into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win LOS 360 Nationals finale.
“Saturday was really good, we probably had a second place car,” Bellm says. “Getting locked in was the important thing though.”
Even after missing the setup for the 41-lap finale, Bellm battled amongst the top five most of the way before cutting a tire in the late going.
“We were fourth for about the first 27 laps or so,” Bellm recalls. “Then I smacked the wall and cut the right rear tire down.”
Bellm and the VP Racing Fuels/Schure Built Suspensions/Schaeffers Racing Oil team tried to make it back on track but ran short of time.
“We were trying to get back out, there were only about ten or 11 cars on the lead lap so we still could have got a decent finish out of it,” Bellm explains. “I thought we had it changed in time but they wouldn’t let us back out.”
Strong throughout the weekend, it was another learning experience for Bellm and crew.
“We overthought what we needed to do instead of sticking with the basics,” Bellm says. “We’ll learn from that and go on to the next one. It’s still encouraging to know that we can compete at that level, it’s just frustrating to make that mistake starting on the pole of a $10,000-to-win race.”
Bellm and crew will ready the Hockett/McMillin Memorial at Wheatland, Missouri’s Lucas Oil Speedway on September 20-22 while possibly mixing in another event or two along the way.
2018 Quick Stats: 27 races, 3 wins, 12 top-fives, 17 top-tens.
Up Next: TBD.
Keep Track: Keep track of Kyle Bellm’s on-track action including schedule and results at http://www.kylebellm.com/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KyleBellmRacing?fref=ts or on Twitter at @kylebellmracing.
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Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on www.sprintcarmania.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at email@example.com.