Home » HEADLINE, Short Track

Grant Goes Wire-to-Wire At Chili Bowl

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, January 16 2021

Kyle Cummins, Justin Grant and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. filled the podium at the Chili Bowl on Friday.

Californian Justin Grant worked through traffic while holding off the late-race charges of Kyle Cummins and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to score a wire-to-wire A-Feature victory Friday night during Day 5 of the 35th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.

Grant posted his fourth career prelim win since 2017 on Driven2SaveLives Qualifying Night, which aims to raise awareness of organ donation programs nationwide. The 2020 USAC Silver Crown National Champion, Grant completed his 30-lap sweep 0.552-seconds in front of Cummins. Grant and Cummins both advanced into Saturday night’s Championship A-Feature around River Spirit Expo Center’s quarter-mile clay oval.  

“I had them side-by-side like six rows deep just trying to pick my way through and about had one guy slide me back on the last lap,” Grant said after exiting his NOS Energy No. 2J. Leading from the start, Grant kept several restart challengers in his rearview mirrors. Going caution-free from Lap 11 to the checkered flag, Grant entered traffic with a 3.213-second advantage on Lap 24. Mired in traffic through the closing five laps, Cummins began to close in his Glenn Styres/Jack Yeley Racing No. 3G.

“I knew we had a pretty good lead looking up at the board, and I felt good, then started getting tight on the curb,” Grant said. “Fortunately, traffic made me hustle, get the right rear tire stood back up and start hitting my marks. I saw Kyle coming on the board and knew it was time to stop being patient and start moving them out of the way.”

After suffering a DNF in the eighth Fatheadz Eyewear Heat Race, NASCAR Cup Series regular Stenhouse had elbows up on the wheel. Stenhouse, driver of the Driven2SaveLives No. 17S, tore through the field from the C-Feature to just miss a locked spot in Saturday’s A-Feature by 0.164-seconds after advancing 31 times.

Like Stenhouse, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson had to rebound from a DNF in the opening Heat Race. Emerging as the night’s Hard Charger in the A-Feature with 16 positions gained, Thorson advanced 29 times overall. Daryn Pittman crossed fifth after challenging for second early-on. Damion Gardner in sixth was chased by Chili Bowl rookie Jesse Love. Aaron Reutzel crossed eighth with J.J. Yeley, from the B-Feature, making up eight spots to ninth. After running as high as third through the Feature’s mid-point, the No. 68 of Ronnie Gardner ended up 10th.

Sixty-four drivers answered the starting call Friday for a total of 309 officially drawing-in out of 320 entries received.

Fatheadz Eyewear Heat Races went to Hunter Schuerenberg, Love, Anthony Nicholson, Kasey Kahne, Cummins, Brent Beauchamp and Justin Allgaier. C-Feature wins went to Chris Tarrant and Michelle Decker, with Team Toyota Qualifiers won by Ronnie Gardner, Love, Bill Balog and Damion Gardner. Dave.com B-Features were won by Yeley and Stenhouse.

On Thursday, Oklahoma favorite son Christopher Bell threw the iRacing/CB Industries No. 84X into high gear during the closing laps of John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night’s A-Feature to score a popular victory in Day 4 of the event.

A three-time Golden Driller Award winner (2017-19), Bell won a qualifier for the seventh time since 2014. Bell took the point from Spencer Bayston for good on Lap 10 of the 30-lapper to advance into Saturday night’s Championship A-Feature for the eighth time in as many years. Bell captured the win by 0.973-seconds over Michael Kofoid, who also advanced into Saturday’s finale.

Two-time event champion Rico Abreu christened a new Spike Chassis with a wire-to-wire win during Wednesday night’s Circle City Raceway Qualifying Night feature, capping Day 3. The Golden Driller Award winner in 2015-16, Abreu was forced to roll down the new No. 97 car for his qualifying run after bouncing through a massive flip during Tuesday night’s Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions. The Californian responded with his sixth consecutive victory at River Spirit Expo Center. Alex Bright, who finished second by 3.588-seconds, also advanced into Saturday’s finale.

On Tuesday night, NASCAR veteran Kyle Larson launched defense of his 2020 Golden Driller Award to headline Day 2. Larson’s fourth Warren CAT Qualifying Night victory in as many years punched the Californian’s ticket into Saturday’s Championship A-Feature for the 10th time since 2010. Larson posted his seventh prelim night win in the MAVTV No. 01, finishing 0.395-seconds in front of Thomas Meseraull.

Oklahoma teen-ager Cannon McIntosh opened the 35th annual program Monday night with a statement win, wheeling the Keith Kunz Motorsports-Curb-Agajanian No. 71K to his second Cummins Qualifying Night victory in as many years. McIntosh handed car-owner Kunz his 30th A-Feature win at RSEX. Runnerup Tyler Courtney, who finished 1.466-seconds behind McIntosh, also punched his ticket into Saturday’s A-Feature.

The 35th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire will conclude Saturday, with River Spirit Expo Center opening at 8 a.m. (CST). Hot Laps are scheduled on-track beginning at 10 a.m. First event on the “Alphabet Soup” program will be a pair of M-Features. A limited number of pit passes will be available to the general public, who are reminded that all attending are required to wear masks inside the arena.

Fans can follow the action live on http://www.floracing.com. Continued updates also are available on Social Media (@cbnationals) and at http://www.chilibowl.com.

Meanwhile, MAVTV Motorsports Network will provide coverage of Saturday’s closing program starting at 5:30 p.m. (CST). Additionally, fans can tune in to MAVTV at 6:30 a.m. Saturday for a special Tulsa Shootout and Chili Bowl Nationals Marathon leading into the live SPEED SPORT broadcast from River Spirit Expo Center at 6:30 p.m. Racing is scheduled through 10:30 p.m. 

Friday Results/Driven2SaveLives Qualifying Night

Fatheadz Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 19S-Hunter Schuerenberg[2]; 2. 18-Travis Welpott[1]; 3. 37X-Bill Balog[5]; 4. 4CM-Cody Jessop[8]; 5. 101-Chuck McGillivray[3]; 6. 19R-Gage Rucker[4]; 7. (DNF) 08-Tanner Thorson[7]; 8. (DNF) 44D-Evan Turner[6].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 97K-Jesse Love[1]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 3. 7JR-JD Black[2]; 4. 88N-Tim Estenson[7]; 5. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[4]; 6. (DNF) 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[3]; 7. (DNF) 35T-Casey Schmitz[8]; 8. (DNF) 99-Anthony Macri[6].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 2J-Justin Grant[4]; 2. 56I-Luke Icke[6]; 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner[3]; 4. 61-Kenny Koelsch[2]; 5. 2G-JJ Yeley[5]; 6. 88W-Dustin Weland[1]; 7. (DNS) 715-Robert Bell; 8. (DNS) 11Y-Travis Young.

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 9J-Anthony Nicholson[1]; 2. 73B-Tyler Edwards[2]; 3. 72J-Sam Johnson[3]; 4. 11H-Harli White[4]; 5. 80-Josh Hawkins[7]; 6. 44W-Eric Wilkins[5]; 7. 15L-Luke Howard[8]; 8. 11W-Aaron Werner[6].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 57W-Kasey Kahne[1]; 2. 14-Jesse Colwell[3]; 3. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[5]; 4. 32W-Casey Shuman[8]; 5. 96-Cody Brewer[7]; 6. 14R-Jake Nail[2]; 7. 1K-Brayton Lynch[4]; 8. 36-Kevin Reed[6]. Brewer docked two positions at the end of the race for advancing before the cone on the single-file restart.

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 3G-Kyle Cummins[6]; 2. 15F-Kinzer Edwards[3]; 3. 44X-Wesley Smith[2]; 4. 81G-Chase Jones[1]; 5. 10J-Lane Goodman[4]; 6. 27S-Austin Wood[5]; 7. 0-Johnny Murdock[7]; 8. (DNS) 19U-Pierce Urbanosky.

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 2X-Brent Beauchamp[4]; 2. 28-Ace McCarthy[6]; 3. 71G-Damion Gardner[7]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel[8]; 5. 22L-Lucas Scherb[1]; 6. 72X-Chris Tarrant[5]; 7. 60-Earl McDoulett Jr[3]; 8. 20Y-Austin Yarbrough[2].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 1A-Justin Allgaier[4]; 2. 7G-Jimmy Glenn[3]; 3. 14B-Jonathan Halford[1]; 4. 27B-AJ Burns[6]; 5. (DNF) 1X-Anthony Esberg[2]; 6. (DNF) 7-Michelle Decker[5]; 7. (DNF) 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[7]; 8. (DNF) 0T-Alex Schriever[8].

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 72X-Chris Tarrant[2]; 2. 44W-Eric Wilkins[1]; 3. 19R-Gage Rucker[4]; 4. 35T-Casey Schmitz[3]; 5. 14R-Jake Nail[5]; 6. 60-Earl McDoulett Jr.[8]; 7. 88W-Dustin Weland[7]; 8. 20Y-Austin Yarbrough[11]; 9. 0-Johnny Murdock[6]; 10. 44D-Evan Turner[9]; 11. 11W-Aaron Werner[10]; 12. (DNS) 19U-Pierce Urbanosky.

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 7-Michelle Decker[2]; 2. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[4]; 3. 08-Tanner Thorson[5]; 4. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[6]; 5. 1K-Brayton Lynch[7]; 6. 15L-Luke Howard[3]; 7. 0T-Alex Schriever[8]; 8. 36-Kevin Reed[10]; 9. 715-Robert Bell[11]; 10. 99-Anthony Macri[9]; 11. 27S-Austin Wood[1]; 12. (DNF) 11Y-Travis Young[12].

Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 68-Ronnie Gardner[7]; 2. 3G-Kyle Cummins[6]; 3. 4CM-Cody Jessop[3]; 4. 56I-Luke Icke[5]; 5. 10J-Lane Goodman[10]; 6. 19S-Hunter Schuerenberg[4]; 7. 14B-Jonathan Halford[8]; 8. 88N-Tim Estenson[1]; 9. 61-Kenny Koelsch[9]; 10. (DNF) 15F-Kinzer Edwards[2].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 97K-Jesse Love[4]; 2. 2J-Justin Grant[6]; 3. 73B-Tyler Edwards[1]; 4. 32W-Casey Shuman[3]; 5. 28-Ace McCarthy[5]; 6. 7G-Jimmy Glenn[2]; 7. (DNF) 80-Josh Hawkins[8]; 8. (DNF) 72J-Sam Johnson[7]; 9. (DNF) 101-Chuck McGillivray[10]; 10. (DNF) 81G-Chase Jones[9].

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 37X-Bill Balog[2]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel[3]; 4. 2G-JJ Yeley[9]; 5. 2X-Brent Beauchamp[6]; 6. 9J-Anthony Nicholson[4]; 7. 96-Cody Brewer[8]; 8. 7JR-JD Black[7]; 9. 18-Travis Welpott[1]; 10. 1X-Anthony Esberg[10].

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 71G-Damion Gardner[5]; 2. 14-Jesse Colwell[3]; 3. 57W-Kasey Kahne[4]; 4. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[2]; 5. 44X-Wesley Smith[7]; 6. 11H-Harli White[8]; 7. 27B-AJ Burns[1]; 8. 22L-Lucas Scherb[10]; 9. (DNF) 1A-Justin Allgaier[6]; 10. (DNF) 14X-Jody Rosenboom[9].

Dave.com B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 2G-JJ Yeley[1]; 2. 10J-Lane Goodman[2]; 3. 15F-Kinzer Edwards[10]; 4. 44X-Wesley Smith[3]; 5. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[12]; 6. 80-Josh Hawkins[6]; 7. 35T-Casey Schmitz[16]; 8. 11H-Harli White[5]; 9. 88N-Tim Estenson[8]; 10. 101-Chuck McGillivray[11]; 11. 44W-Eric Wilkins[14]; 12. 27B-AJ Burns[7]; 13. (DNF) 19R-Gage Rucker[15]; 14. (DNF) 7G-Jimmy Glenn[4]; 15. (DNF) 72X-Chris Tarrant[13]; 16. (DNF) 22L-Lucas Scherb[9].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[15]; 2. 08-Tanner Thorson[13]; 3. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[1]; 4. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[14]; 5. 9J-Anthony Nicholson[3]; 6. 72J-Sam Johnson[7]; 7. 7-Michelle Decker[11]; 8. 96-Cody Brewer[6]; 9. 14B-Jonathan Halford[5]; 10. 7JR-JD Black[8]; 11. 1X-Anthony Esberg[12]; 12. 19S-Hunter Schuerenberg[2]; 13. (DNF) 1A-Justin Allgaier[4]; 14. (DNF) 61-Kenny Koelsch[10]; 15. (DNF) 18-Travis Welpott[9]; 16. (DNS) 81G-Chase Jones.

A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature

A-Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2J-Justin Grant[2]; 2. 3G-Kyle Cummins[1]; 3. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[18]; 4. 08-Tanner Thorson[20]; 5. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 6. 71G-Damion Gardner[3]; 7. 97K-Jesse Love[6]; 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel[14]; 9. 2G-JJ Yeley[17]; 10. 68-Ronnie Gardner[4]; 11. 32W-Casey Shuman[15]; 12. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[22]; 13. 28-Ace McCarthy[13]; 14. 57W-Kasey Kahne[11]; 15. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[24]; 16. 4CM-Cody Jessop[12]; 17. 37X-Bill Balog[7]; 18. 44X-Wesley Smith[23]; 19. 73B-Tyler Edwards[16]; 20. 15F-Kinzer Edwards[21]; 21. 2X-Brent Beauchamp[10]; 22. 10J-Lane Goodman[19]; 23. (DNF) 56I-Luke Icke[8]; 24. (DNF) 14-Jesse Colwell[9].

Lap Leader(s): Justin Grant, 1-30

Hard Charger: Tanner Thorson, plus-16


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, January 16 2021
No Comment