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Clauson Tops Chili Bowl On Friday

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, January 18 2014

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Breaking a streak of three, first-time preliminary night winners, Bryan Clauson “railroaded” the field en route to his second career prelim victory during Friday’s Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night at the 28th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire.

“The thing was on a rail, and has been on a rail since the time we unloaded on Monday,” Clauson said of his Curb No. 63 entry after winning the 25-lapper. “It was probably as good as I’ve felt in a race car in the 10 years I’ve been coming here.” Clauson, who led laps 10 to 25, finished 3.204-seconds ahead of Tim McCreadie, with Dave Darland third.

The week-long event on the quarter-mile clay surface at Tulsa Expo Center will conclude Saturday. Races begin at noon (CST) with Hot Laps at 11 a.m. Grandstands will open at 9 a.m. In addition, grassroots racing’s “Super Bowl” will be aired on live, primetime television via MAVTV American Real. Starting at 7:30 p.m. (CDT) and scheduled for three hours, the national broadcast will be the first for the event that is not pay-per-view.

Amid questions about his car and the race, Clauson also was asked to describe the Chili Bowl to someone who never has attended. “Maybe the only thing close to it is walking onto the grid for the Indy 500,” Clauson said. “The crowd, the beach balls, the craziness that’s going on is the Chili Bowl.”

Driving a car purposely tooled for the Chili Bowl by 1996 co-owner champion Rusty Kunz, Clauson gridded the Dooling Machine/Rusty Kunz No. 63 to the outside of the front row. However, the Bondio- built No. 47x of McCreadie jumped into the lead for the first nine laps.

Working the inside groove, the 2008 Chili Bowl champion roared to a half-straightaway advantage in the first five laps. But pushing the cushion, Clauson slowly adjusted to begin keeping pace with McCreadie. As the gap between the pair closed with slower traffic looming, Clauson’s disadvantage began disappearing as the bottom line began to slow. Working Lap 9, Clauson pulled alongside McCreadie as the caution flew for Trevor Kobylarz, who rolled to a stop exiting Turn 2.

The restart saw McCreadie again roll the low-line as the Curb No. 63 sailed into the lead the following lap. “The one nice thing about running with Tim is that he’s going to stay on the bottom as long as possible,” Clauson said. “I felt like we had a pretty good car early-on. I kind of watched the track as the night went on and it seemed to always take five or six laps to even-out. When I jumped up and didn’t really go backwards I was pretty happy.”

Abandoning the bottom after losing the lead, McCreadie was forced to contend with Darland as the Indiana ace felt pressure from Daryn Pittman, who grabbed fourth from Ryan Bernal on Lap 13.

McCreadie _ one of the country’s top Late Model drivers _ said there was little he could do to adjust on the fly. “I just don’t know the cars well enough to know what to do all the time in the seat,” McCreadie said. “It’s no secret I run the bottom here because I just feel like I’m going to wheelie too much up there and that’s what we focus on. All my other stuff, I’m probably the first guy to the cushion.”

Another caution flew on Lap 15 just as Clauson was beginning to work slower traffic. The field ran single- file to the cone, with McCreadie trying low for the lead to no avail. With Clauson quickly moving out of reach, McCreadie had his hands full with Darland again mounting a charge.

With all challengers out of site, Clauson crossed the stripe with that comfortable margin of 3.204- seconds followed by McCreadie and Darland in the final transfer spot.

“I knew the red No. 21 car, Pittman, was right behind me; he showed his nose a couple of times,” Darland said. “On the very last enter into Turn 3, he slid up almost into the side of me, almost in front of me. I was glad and kind of lucky to hang onto third place there at the end. I am happy with a third place finish at this point.”

Running fifth entering the final turns, Tanner Thorson looped the Toyota No. 67k. Collecting sixth- running Ronnie Gardner in the process, Ryan Bernal scrambled by to complete the top-five. The split finish put Thorson 17th and Gardner 18th.

Thorson, Terry Babb and Jeffery Newell were the only rookies scheduled for Friday night to earn a spot in the A-Feature. Qualifying concluded with 72 drivers drawing, tying the event record for driver attendance at 281 set in 2009. The possibility of establishing a record remains if drivers who drew, but were unable to compete, make the call for Saturday’s opening features.

Stacking all the way to the L-Main, the top three from each qualifying night’s A-Feature drew for their starting spot in Saturday’s 55-lap feature. Caleb Armstrong drew pole position for the championship event, with Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell staring front row, outside.

Friday’s Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night Results

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

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 15X-Chad Boat [6]; 2. 7B-Austin Brown [4]; 3. 2$-Stuart Snyder [1]; 4. 94-Darren Kingston [3]; 5. 35H-Tyson Hall [2]; 6. 14-Tony Rossi [5]; 7. 10B-Thomas Briggs [8]; 8. (DNF) 19C-Rusty Carlile [7].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson [3]; 2. 71X-Jac Haudenschild [2]; 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner [6]; 4. 80-Josh Hawkins [7]; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson [8]; 6. 5S-Kyle Steffens [5]; 7. 24K-Bradley Morris [1]; 8. (DNF) 69M-Mike Miller [4].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson [1]; 2. 73N-Nic Faas 2]; 3. 51S-Mike Spencer [4]; 4. 37X-Michael Faccinto [3]; 5. 91-Dereck King [8]; 6. 95-Jim Radney [6]; 7. 24L-C.J. Leary [7]; DNS 75-Justin Grant.

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas [1]; 2. 43B-Brent Beauchamp [4]; 3. 21K-Cory Kruseman [7]; 4. 20-Tadd Holliman [5]; 5. 22AZ-Rick Shuman [3]; 6. 19W-Dan Parker [8]; 7. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock [2]; 8. (DNF) 3E-Kody Swanson [6]. (Note:) 19W penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 56J-Darren Hagen [4]; 2. 2ST-Jon Stanbrough [5]; 3. 52C-Isaac Chapple [6]; 4. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins [2]; 5. 11XS-Donovan Peterson [1]; 6. 59-Kaley Engstrom [7]; 7. 6M-Justin Mallo [3]; 8. 6C-Matt Fox [8].

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 17R-Dave Darland [3]; 2. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth [5]; 3. 88-Terry Babb [1]; 4. 83P-Wes McIntyre [2]; 5. 57M-Matt Mitchell [8]; 6. 4F-Chad Frewaldt [4]; 7. 12J-Jay Mounce [6]; 8. 11F-Floyd Alvis [7].

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 56R-Ryan Bernal [3]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman [6]; 3. 59E-Dex Eaton [1]; 4. 32D-Danny Jennings [5]; 5. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz [7]; 6. 5A-Peter Palazzolo [2]; 7. 05H-Justin Hendricks [4]; 8. 05P-Ryan Pace [8].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie [4]; 2. 13AU-Matt Hunter [1]; 3. 1K-Trevor Kobylarz [8]; 4. 71-Kasey Kahne [7]; 5. 19R-Randy Woodside [3]; 6. 31-David Budres [5]; 7. 9M-Cory Mallo [2]; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal [6].

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 39R-Dillon Welch [1]; 2. 5N-Jeffrey Newell [3]; 3. 17K-Alex Schutte [6]; 4. 8C-Kris Schudy [7]; 5. 25M-Derrick Myers [4]; 6. 4X-Shawn Petersen [8]; 7. 14R-John Klabunde [2]; 8. (DNF) 2-Kevin Thomas Jr. [5].

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

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 5S-Kyle Steffens [2]; 2. 11XS-Donovan Peterson [5]; 3. 24L-C.J. Leary [9]; 4. 59-Kaley Engstrom [3]; 5. 19W-Dan Parker [1]; 6. 24K-Bradley Morris [14]; 7. 10B-Thomas Briggs [7]; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal [15]; 9. 5A-Peter Palazzolo [8]; 10. (DNF) 05P-Ryan Pace [11]; 11. (DNF) 19C-Rusty Carlile [13]; 12. (DNF) 19R-Randy Woodside [4]; 13. (DNF) 14-Tony Rossi [6]; 14. (DNF) 9M-Cory Mallo [12]; 15. (DNF) 6M-Justin Mallo [10]; DNS 69M-Mike Miller.

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 2-Kevin Thomas Jr. [15]; 2. 35H-Tyson Hall [4]; 3. 12J-Jay Mounce [8]; 4. 31-David Budres [6]; 5. 14R-John Klabunde [12]; 6. 11F-Floyd Alvis [13]; 7. 6C-Matt Fox [10]; 8. (DNF) 4X-Shawn Petersen [1]; 9. (DNF) 95-Jim Radney [5]; 10. (DNF) 25M-Derrick Myers [2]; 11. (DNF) 4F-Chad Frewaldt [7]; 12. (DNF) 05H-Justin Hendricks [9]; 13. (DNF) 22AZ-Rick Shuman [3]; 14. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock [11]; DNS 3E-Kody Swanson; DNS 75-Justin Grant.

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

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson [2]; 2. 2ST-Jon Stanbrough [4]; 3. 57M-Matt Mitchell [8]; 4. 73N-Nic Faas [7]; 5. 88-Terry Babb [9]; 6. 94-Darren Kingston [10]; 7. 43B-Brent Beauchamp [3]; 8. 80-Josh Hawkins [1]; 9. (DNF) 15X-Chad Boat [6]; 10. (DNF) 1K-Trevor Kobylarz [5].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson [5]; 2. 68-Ronnie Gardner [3]; 3. 91T-Tyler Thomas [2]; 4. 71-Kasey Kahne [1]; 5. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth [4]; 6. 56J-Darren Hagen [6]; 7. 37X-Michael Faccinto [10]; 8. 13AU-Matt Hunter [7]; 9. 20-Tadd Holliman [8]; 10. (DNF) 59E-Dex Eaton [9].

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie [6]; 2. 17R-Dave Darland [5]; 3. 39R-Dillon Welch [2]; 4. 21K-Cory Kruseman [4]; 5. 51S-Mike Spencer [7]; 6. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins [10]; 7. 91-Dereck King [9]; 8. 52C-Isaac Chapple [3]; 9. 32D-Danny Jennings [8]; 10. (DNF) 8C-Kris Schudy [1].

Qualifier 4 (12 Laps): 1. 56R-Ryan Bernal [5]; 2. 17K-Alex Schutte [3]; 3. 21-Daryn Pittman [6]; 4. 7B-Austin Brown [4]; 5. 5N-Jeffrey Newell [2]; 6. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz [9]; 7. 2$-Stuart Snyder [8]; 8. 83P-Wes McIntyre [10]; 9. 57D-Daniel Robinson [7]; 10. (DNF) 71X-Jac Haudenschild [1].

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

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 51S-Mike Spencer [2]; 2. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth [1]; 3. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins [5]; 4. 5N-Jeffrey Newell [3]; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson [10]; 6. 37X-Michael Faccinto [6]; 7. 5S-Kyle Steffens [13]; 8. 32D-Danny Jennings [11]; 9. 24L-C.J. Leary [15]; 10. 83P-Wes McIntyre [9]; 11. 94-Darren Kingston [4]; 12. 11XS-Donovan Peterson 14]; 13. 2$-Stuart Snyder [7]; 14. 59-Kaley Engstrom [16]; 15. (DNF) 13AU-Matt Hunter [8]; 16. (DNF) 8C-Kris Schudy [12].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 88-Terry Babb [1]; 2. 15X-Chad Boat [3]; 3. 1K-Trevor Kobylarz [8]; 4. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz [4]; 5. 52C-Isaac Chapple [7]; 6. 31-David Budres [16]; 7. 59E-Dex Eaton [11]; 8. 2-Kevin Thomas Jr. [13]; 9. 20-Tadd Holliman [10]; 10. 35H-Tyson Hall [14]; 11. (DNF) 12J-Jay Mounce [15]; 12. (DNF) 80-Josh Hawkins [9]; 13. (DNF) 71-Kasey Kahne [2]; 14. (DNF) 43B-Brent Beauchamp [5]; 15. (DNF) 91-Dereck King [6]; 16. (DNF) 71X-Jac Haudenschild [12].

A-Feature _ 25 Laps, Top 3 lock into Saturday’s 55-lap Championship Feature

A-Feature (25 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson [2]; 2. 47X-Tim McCreadie [1]; 3. 17R-Dave Darland [4]; 4. 21-Daryn Pittman [5]; 5. 56R-Ryan Bernal [3]; 6. 17K-Alex Schutte [9]; 7. 15X-Chad Boat [20]; 8. 57M-Matt Mitchell [10]; 9. 51S-Mike Spencer [17]; 10. 56J-Darren Hagen [16]; 11. 39R-Dillon Welch [14]; 12. 91T-Tyler Thomas [13]; 13. 21K-Cory Kruseman [12]; 14. 7B-Austin Brown [15]; 15. 88-Terry Babb [18]; 16. 73N-Nic Faas [11]; 17. 67-Tanner Thorson [7]; 18. 68-Ronnie Gardner [8]; 19. 5N-Jeffrey Newell [23]; 20. (DNF) 85S-Shane Hollingsworth [19]; 21. (DNF) 2ST-Jon Stanbrough [6]; 22. (DNF) 84B-Bobby Michnowicz [24]; 23. (DNF) 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins [21]; 24. (DNF) 1K-Trevor Kobylarz [22].

Lap Leader(s): Tim McCreadie (1-9), Bryan Clauson (10-25).

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, January 18 2014
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