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Armstrong Too Strong For Swindell At Chili Bowl

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 16 2014

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Indiana’s Caleb Armstrong edged five-time Chili Bowl champion Sammy Swindell to score his first preliminary victory during Wednesday’s River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night, highlighting Day 2 of the 28th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire.

The second first-time winner on the quarter-mile clay surface at Tulsa Expo Center in as many nights, Armstrong began the 25-lap feature from the outside of the front row while Swindell started 13th.

Barging into second with two laps to run, Swindell set his sights on Armstrong, pulling even with the No. 7c down the back straightaway with Armstrong maintaining the point. Swindell again applied pressure at the white flag.

Committed to the cushion, Armstrong surrendered the lead through Turn 1. Swindell was working on a half-car advantage when Armstrong pulled around him entering the final two turns. Nearly missing the line entering Turn 3, Armstrong pitched hard off the cushion exiting the final turn, edging Swindell at the line by 0.441-seconds.

“I saw him (Swindell) stick his nose in there and I didn’t want to push the issue at first,” said Armstrong, of New Castle, Ind. “Then I started pushing it, but I didn’t want to jump the curb. It was easy, too, as I did it earlier in the race. I just kept on going and ended up winning.”

Slowed for a caution on Lap 2, Armstrong’s restart relegated the No. 7c to fourth behind Brad Loyet and Alex Sewell. Working back to the runnerup spot by Lap 4, the cushion served the C&A Motorsports driver well as he chased down leader Chris Andrews by the seventh circuit as the pair approached the tail of the field.

Into traffic on Lap 10, it was Andrews and Armstrong in a race of their own. Completing the 12th lap, the Baker Crop Insurance No. 7c worked around Tulsa’s Andrews for the top spot. Clear of traffic, Andrews went for the slide job two laps later but spun instead, bringing out the caution on Lap 14.

Back underway with Chris Windom now in pursuit, the RFMS Racing shoe tried for the lead on Lap 19, but was unable to finish the move. Coming around for Lap 21, fifth-place Nick Knepper blew through the cushion in Turn 3, bouncing the No. 55 off the wall as his engine expired down the front straightaway, pouring oil onto the bottom of Turns 1 and 2.

With the caution displayed, track crews brought the tiller out to work the nearly engine’s-worth of oil into the bottom groove. Aligned single-file for the restart with five laps remaining, Knepper’s departure brought Swindell into the top-five.

Swindell said he did not feel the track repairs made necessary by Knepper’s blown engine factored into the result. “I thought I could slip out there off of Turn 2 in front of him (Armstrong) there on the last lap,” Swindell said. “I got there and it wasn’t the grip I thought was going to be there. I should’ve stayed on the bottom. I heard him coming, I just let it go. He ran a good race and I wasn’t going to mess that up.”

Windom, meanwhile, earned the final pass into Saturday’s championship event. “We had a really good car,” Windom said. “We were on Caleb there before that last yellow and I knew Sammy was coming plus I knew J.J. (Yeley) was good. They dug that track up in (Turns) 1 and 2, and I made probably the wrong move staying on the top and Sammy got around me on the bottom. I just wasn’t sure what to do there.”

Racing with Rico Abreu for fourth, Yeley ended his night upside down after the two made contact exiting Turn 4, resulting in a split finish with the caution displayed along with the checkered flag. A very angry Yeley was OK, but scored 18th. Abreu was credited with fourth with Loyet rounding out the top-five.

Fifteenth starter Shane Golobic crossed sixth with Brad Kuhn coming from 14th to seventh. Jerry Coons Jr. moved from 18th to eight with Payton Peirce advancing from 21st to ninth after transferring from the first B-Feature. Travis Berryhill completed the top-10.

Of 72 drivers scheduled for Wednesday night, 70 made the draw. Like Tuesday, two Chili Bowl rookies made the call for the A-Feature, with Andrews and Parker Price-Miller in the lineup.

Chili Bowl prelims continue with Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night. Races begin at 6 p.m. (CST) with Hot Laps at 5. For additional information on the Chili Bowl, log onto http://www.chilibowl.com.

Thursday’s River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night Results

Heat Races _ 8 Laps, Top 40 in Passing Points advance to Qualifiers

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 05-Brad Loyet [2]; 2. 11CA-Chris Andrews [8]; 3. 2X-Ryan Hall [7]; 4. 5$-Danny Smith [5]; 5. 96-Cody Brewer [6]; 6. (DNF) 37K-Steve Brown [3]; 7. (DNF) 28-Greg Fitzpatrick [4]; 8. (DNF) 32-Casey Shuman [1]. (Note:) 5$ penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 15W-Brandon Waelti [4]; 2. 31B-Travis Berryhill [6]; 3. 10-Brad Kuhn [3]; 4. 45X-Johnny Herrera [8]; 5. 55-Nick Knepper [7]; 6. 2M-Seth Motsinger [2]; 7. 2J-Zach Blurton [1]; 8. 71AU-Domain Ramsay [5].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Sammy Swindell [4]; 2. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd [2]; 3. 5-Jerry Coons Jr. [5]; 4. 14W-Matt Westfall [6]; 5. 33H-Cameron Hagin [7]; 6. 7K-Robby Parish [8]; 7. 16C-David Camfield [3]; 8. (DNF) 44D-Philip Dietz [1].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 15B-Danny Burke [1]; 2. 5C-Colten Cottle [4]; 3. 37F-Chris Guinn [3]; 4. 91S-Jeff Stasa [8]; 5. 83-Hannah Adair [7]; 6. 5K-Tucker Klaasmeyer [2]; 7. (DNF) 69B-Randy Boyer [5]; 8. (DNF) 57X-Tim Kent [6].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 67K-Rico Abreu [2]; 2. 26-Shane Golobic [6]; 3. 10J-John Hunt [3]; 4. 76M-Brad Noffsinger [7]; 5. 92-Brenden Bright [4]; 6. 1T-Tony Roney [5]; 7. 51X-Michael Curtis [1]; 8. 35L-Cody Ledger [8]. (Note:) 92 penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 9P-Parker Price-Miller [2]; 2. 6RR-Joe Liguori [1]; 3. 66-Shane Cockrum [5]; 4. 86-Chris Ennis [4]; 5. 14K-Kyle Bellm [6]; 6. 1OU-A.J. Burns [8]; 7. 44C-Clint Schubert [3]; 8. (DNF) 3F-Ned Fry [7].

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 1ST-J.J. Yeley [1]; 2. 3-Chris Windom [4]; 3. 8-Alex Sewell [7]; 4. 7JR-J.D. Black [6]; 5. 17J-Chase Johnson [3]; 6. 20S-Shon Deskins [8]; 7. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr. [2]; 8. (DNF) 0C-Chris Stockham [5].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 8K-Frank Flud [2]; 2. 15-Tim Siner [1]; 3. 39T-Payton Pierce [3]; 4. 73X-Trey Marcham [7]; 5. 6R-Jody Rosenboom [4]; 6. 93H-Harley Hollan [5]; 7. 71M-Brandon Matus [6] (Note:) 6R penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [2]; 2. 87R-Jeff Flesher [4]; 3. 82-Eric Johnson [1]; 4. 84-Scotty Smith [3]; 5. 7F-Sean McClelland [7]; 6. 25-Dylan Peterson [5]; 7. (DNF) 20X-Jimmy Harris [6].

C-Features _ 12 Laps, Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 96-Cody Brewer [1]; 2. 7K-Robby Parish [2]; 3. 1T-Tony Roney [5]; 4. 6R-Jody Rosenboom [4]; 5. 2M-Seth Motsinger [7]; 6. 20S-Shon Deskins [3]; 7. 35L-Cody Ledger [11]; 8. 25-Dylan Peterson [6]; 9. 16C-David Camfield [10]; 10. 51X-Michael Curtis [13]; 11. 71AU-Domain Ramsay [14]; 12. 71M-Brandon Matus [8]; 13. (DNF) 69B-Randy Boyer [9]; DNS 3F-Ned Fry; DNS 32-Casey Shuman.

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 93H-Harley Hollan [5]; 2. 92-Brenden Bright [3]; 3. 17J-Chase Johnson [4]; 4. 37K-Steve Brown [6]; 5. 44C-Clint Schubert [10]; 6. 1OU-A.J. Burns [2]; 7. 2J-Zach Blurton [12]; 8. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr. [11]; 9. 20X-Jimmy Harris [8]; 10. (DNF) 44D-Philip Dietz [15]; 11. (DNF) 5K-Tucker Klaasmeyer [7]; 12. (DNF) 14K-Kyle Bellm [1]; 13. (DNF) 0C-Chris Stockham [14]; 14. (DNF) 28-Greg Fitzpatrick [9]; DNS 57X-Tim Kent.

Qualifiers _ 10 Laps, Top 16 in combined Heat Race and Qualifier Points advance to A-Feature

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 66-Shane Cockrum [1]; 2. 1ST-J.J. Yeley [2]; 3. 11CA-Chris Andrews [6]; 4. 10-Brad Kuhn [8]; 5. 26-Shane Golobic [5]; 6. 67K-Rico Abreu [4]; 7. 5C-Colten Cottle [3]; 8. 6RR-Joe Liguori [7]; 9. 5$-Danny Smith [9]; 10. 83-Hannah Adair [10].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 3-Chris Windom [3]; 2. 9P-Parker Price-Miller [4]; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera [2]; 4. 76M-Brad Noffsinger [1]; 5. 15W-Brandon Waelti [6]; 6. 15-Tim Siner [7]; 7. 2X-Ryan Hall [5]; 8. 82-Eric Johnson [9]; 9. 37F-Chris Guinn [8]; 10. (DNF) 7F-Sean McClelland [10].

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 73X-Trey Marcham [1]; 2. 8-Alex Sewell [5]; 3. 55-Nick Knepper [9]; 4. 8K-Frank Flud [4]; 5. 1-Sammy Swindell [6]; 6. 14W-Matt Westfall [7]; 7. 87R-Jeff Flesher [3]; 8. 91S-Jeff Stasa [2]; 9. 10J-John Hunt [8]; 10. 86-Chris Ennis [10].

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [4]; 2. 05-Brad Loyet [5]; 3. 5-Jerry Coons Jr. [2]; 4. 31B-Travis Berryhill [6]; 5. 39T-Payton Pierce [8]; 6. 33H-Cameron Hagin [9]; 7. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd [1]; 8. 7JR-J.D. Black [7]; 9. 15B-Danny Burke [3]; 10. 84-Scotty Smith [10].

B-Main _ 15 Laps, Top 4 advance to A-Feature

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 67K-Rico Abreu [3]; 2. 45X-Johnny Herrera [1]; 3. 39T-Payton Pierce [2]; 4. 15-Tim Siner [4]; 5. 14W-Matt Westfall [5]; 6. 6RR-Joe Liguori [7]; 7. 96-Cody Brewer [13]; 8. 83-Hannah Adair [11]; 9. 82-Eric Johnson [8]; 10. 1T-Tony Roney [15]; 11. 15B-Danny Burke [9]; 12. 86-Chris Ennis [12]; 13.10J-John Hunt [10]; 14. 7K-Robby Parish [14]; 15. 6R-Jody Rosenboom [16]; 16. (DNF) 87R-Jeff Flesher [6].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 5-Jerry Coons Jr. [1]; 2. 91S-Jeff Stasa [7]; 3. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd [6]; 4. 5C-Colten Cottle [5]; 5. 76M-Brad Noffsinger [2]; 6. 33H-Cameron Hagin [3]; 7. 93H-Harley Hollan [13]; 8. 7F-Sean McClelland [11]; 9. 17J-Chase Johnson [15]; 10. 2X-Ryan Hall [4]; 11. 37F-Chris Guinn [9]; 12. 5$-Danny Smith [10]; 13. 37K-Steve Brown [16]; 14. 92-Brenden Bright [14]; 15. (DNF) 7JR-J.D. Black [8]; 16. (DNF) 84-Scotty Smith [12].

A-Feature _ 25 Laps, Top 3 lock into Saturday’s Championship Feature

A-Feature (25 Laps): 1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [2]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell [13]; 3. 3-Chris Windom [4]; 4. 67K-Rico Abreu [17]; 5. 05-Brad Loyet [5]; 6. 26-Shane Golobic [15]; 7. 10-Brad Kuhn [14]; 8. 5-Jerry Coons Jr. [18]; 9. 39T-Payton Pierce [21]; 10. 31B-Travis Berryhill [7]; 11. 15W-Brandon Waelti [12]; 12. 66-Shane Cockrum [9]; 13. 8K-Frank Flud [16]; 14. 9P-Parker Price-Miller [6]; 15. 15-Tim Siner [23]; 16. 73X-Trey Marcham [10]; 17. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd [22]; 18. 1ST-J.J. Yeley [11]; 19. 5C-Colten Cottle [24]; 20. 91S-Jeff Stasa [20]; 21. (DNF) 55-Nick Knepper [8]; 22. (DNF) 11CA-Chris Andrews [1]; 23. (DNF) 8-Alex Sewell [3]; 24. (DNF) 45X-Johnny Herrera [19].

Lap Leaders: Chris Andrews (1-11), Caleb Armstrong (12-25).

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 16 2014
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