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Grant Snaps Kunz Prelim Win Streak in Tulsa

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, January 15 2022

Justin Grant celebrates Friday prelim win at the Chili Bowl.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Justin Grant withstood the relentless pursuit of NASCAR Cup Series regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to register his fifth Driven2SaveLives Preliminary Night victory in the past six years Friday during the 36th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway.

Advancing into his sixth career A-Feature, Grant gave the RMS/NOS Energy Drink Team its first win of the week while snapping Keith Kunz Motorsports’ prelim victory streak at four. Grant, a 31-year-old resident of Ione, Calif., scored the fourth victory in five nights for Cali-based drivers during “The Super Bowl of Midget Racing.” Native Oklahoman and NASCAR Cup Series regular Christopher Bell, a three-time Golden Driller Award winner as event champion, prevailed in Thursday night’s program.

With preliminary night racing complete, the official count of competitors reached a record 381 _ including entries for two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion Cruz Pedregon; IndyCar Series regulars Conor Daly and Santino Ferrucci and former Cup regulars Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman. Officially, 395 entries were turned-in without cancellation before the event.

Grant and Stenhouse secured starting spots in Saturday night’s 55-lap championship A-Feature around the quarter-mile clay oval. MAVTV will broadcast three hours of live coverage Saturday beginning with opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. (CST). Kyle Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion from Hendrick Motorsports, will attempt to add a third consecutive Golden Driller Award trophy to his collection.

Working past early leader Sam Johnson on Lap 16, Grant sailed the cushion in P1 until a restart on Lap 24 saw Stenhouse charge the hub into the top spot _ only to have a caution negate the pass.

“That yellow doesn’t come out, I’m pretty sure Ricky wins that race,” said Grant, the 2020 USAC Silver Crown National Champion. “We caught a big break there getting back to the lead. Knowing that the bottom was there, and it was cleaning off, I still didn’t feel that great down there so I kept trying to circle the top of (Turns) 1 and 2. He finally rolled-up alongside me and I had to hustle down the backstretch and get that door closed.”

Adjusting to the bottom on the restart, Grant and Stenhouse slammed tires several times trying to up the other with Grant finally getting the advantage. Stenhouse returned to the cushion through Turns 3 and 4 on the white flag lap, but Grant held position to win the 30-lapper by 0.504-seconds.

A 34-year-old native of Memphis, Tenn., Stenhouse will contest the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule in the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro as the lone entry fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. Stenhouse was the 2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year and went on to win back-to-back series championships in 2011 and 2012. Stenhouse added Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2013.

Stenhouse was followed across the line Friday night by third-place Zeb Wise, who tore a path through the field from 17th. Bryant Wiedeman was fourth with Johnson posting a career-high fifth-place finish. Michael Faccinto crossed sixth, with Clinton Boyles rolling to seventh from 11th. Spinning on Lap 16, Kahne made a massive rebound to finish eighth with Chase McDermand ninth. Ethan Mitchell made up five spots to complete Friday’s top-10.

The World Wide Technology Raceway Flip Count rose to 46 Friday, with everyone able to walk away.

Setting the stage for Saturday’s traditional run through “The Alphabet Soup,” the SageNet Center opened at 7 a.m. (CST) with Hot Laps to begin at 9. Saturday’s program is slated to start with double Q-Features.

Lineups for each event are online at https://www.chilibowl.com/news/?i=103209&clk=featureNews. General admission pit passes are available and never sell-out.

Live coverage can be found on http://www.floracing.com until the event switches to MAVTV after opening ceremonies. Continued updates on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire can be accessed by fans via Social Media (@cbnationals) and at http://www.chilibowl.com.

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36th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals

Friday’s Results/Drive2SaveLives Qualifying Night

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

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 84-Michael Faccinto[2]; 2. 77X-Wayne Johnson[9]; 3. 31B-Kyle Beilman[1]; 4. 21-Daryn Pittman[10]; 5. 19F-Frank Flud[7]; 6. 57A-Jack Routson[5]; 7. 44D-Ty Hulsey[4]; 8. 50S-Rocky Silva[8]; 9. (DNF) 14S-Presley Truedson[3]; 10. (DNF) 79M-Cruz Pedregon[6].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 97W-Zeb Wise[2]; 2. 11A-Andrew Felker[3]; 3. 95-Chris Andrews[4]; 4. 51Z-Zach Boden[6]; 5. 6X-Jesse Denome[1]; 6. 0Z-Landon Crawley[5]; 7. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr.[9]; 8. 47D-Conor Daly[8]; 9. 16X-Dave Axton[7].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 32W-Casey Shuman[5]; 2. 08M-Jace McIntosh[1]; 3. 31M-David Budres[6]; 4. 87F-Johnny Kent[7]; 5. 75J-Jett Hays[8]; 6. 8B-Colby Deming[4]; 7. (DNF) 56M-Garrett Thomas[2]; 8. (DNF) 46-Kenney Johnson[3]; 9. (DNS) 53-Brett Wilson.

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 72J-Sam Johnson[2]; 2. 11X-Donovan Peterson[6]; 3. 75B-Ryan Newman[9]; 4. 14-Dylan Postier[5]; 5. 14U-Austin Torgerson[7]; 6. 97R-Ryan Ellis[3]; 7. 101-Chuck McGillivray[1]; 8. (DNF) 10J-Lane Goodman[8]; 9. (DNF) 87W-Ryan Bernal[4].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 11B-Clinton Boyles[2]; 2. 40M-Chase McDermand[4]; 3. 01K-Bryant Wiedeman[5]; 4. 3G-Kyle Cummins[1]; 5. 1X-Anthony Esberg[3]; 6. 73-Dylan Ito[7]; 7. 12M-Jeff Champagne[9]; 8. 75T-Tyler Ross[8]; 9. 117-Ray Seeman[6].

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 1UK-Tom Harris[1]; 2. 26E-Cory Eliason[2]; 3. 4T-Trey Gropp[7]; 4. 68C-Jimmy Gardner[4]; 5. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]; 6. 45H-Logan Calderwood[8]; 7. 39-Logan Seavey[5]; 8. 33-Jackie Burke[3]; 9. 27K-Tucker Klaasmeyer[9].

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 28-Ace McCarthy[8]; 2. 97K-Brenham Crouch[3]; 3. 9C-Colten Cottle[4]; 4. 20-Tadd Holliman[1]; 5. 2B-Brett Becker[7]; 6. 1H-Brad Wyatt[5]; 7. 2-Ronny Howard[9]; 8. (DNF) 00J-Jamie Speers[6]; 9. (DNF) 20W-Shawn Wicker[2].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 7R-AJ Hopkins[2]; 2. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[1]; 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner[8]; 4. 44X-Wesley Smith[4]; 5. 11G-Mike Goodman[6]; 6. 88W-Dustin Weland[3]; 7. 3C-Bryon Walters[7]; 8. (DNF) 1F-Ryan Thomas[5]; 9. (DNS) 16-Santino Ferrucci.

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 47S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[8]; 2. 19S-Kasey Kahne[4]; 3. 2J-Justin Grant[7]; 4. 1P-Terry Nichols[1]; 5. 12-Corbin Gurley[2]; 6. 14J-Jody Rosenboom[9]; 7. 71H-Bob Schaeffer[3]; 8. 0-Johnny Murdock[6]; 9. 7Z-Wes Benson[5].

D-Features: Top 2 advance to corresponding C-Feature

D-Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 27K-Tucker Klaasmeyer[6]; 2. 75T-Tyler Ross[3]; 3. 47D-Conor Daly[2]; 4. 71H-Bob Schaeffer[1]; 5. 1F-Ryan Thomas[5]; 6. 101-Chuck McGillivray[4]; 7. 117-Ray Seeman[8]; 8. 33-Jackie Burke[7]; 9. (DNF) 53-Brett Wilson[9]; 10. (DNS) 87W-Ryan Bernal; 11. (DNS) 20W-Shawn Wicker.

D-Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 10J-Lane Goodman[2]; 2. 46-Kenney Johnson[6]; 3. 14S-Presley Truedson[7]; 4. 50S-Rocky Silva[1]; 5. 56M-Garrett Thomas[3]; 6. 7Z-Wes Benson[8]; 7. 16X-Dave Axton[5]; 8. 0-Johnny Murdock[4]; 9. (DNF) 00J-Jamie Speers[9]; 10. (DNF) 79M-Cruz Pedregon[10]; 11. (DNF) 16-Santino Ferrucci[11].

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

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr.[4]; 2. 39-Logan Seavey[10]; 3. 45H-Logan Calderwood[1]; 4. 20-Tadd Holliman[2]; 5. 12-Corbin Gurley[5]; 6. 73-Dylan Ito[3]; 7. 1H-Brad Wyatt[7]; 8. 75T-Tyler Ross[12]; 9. 8B-Colby Deming[8]; 10. 88W-Dustin Weland[9]; 11. 57A-Jack Routson[6]; 12. 27K-Tucker Klaasmeyer[11].

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 0Z-Landon Crawley[6]; 2. 3G-Kyle Cummins[1]; 3. 12M-Jeff Champagne[4]; 4. 1P-Terry Nichols[2]; 5. 44D-Ty Hulsey[10]; 6. 2-Ronny Howard[7]; 7. 1X-Anthony Esberg[3]; 8. 97R-Ryan Ellis[8]; 9. 6X-Jesse Denome[5]; 10. 3C-Bryon Walters[9]; 11. (DNF) 46-Kenney Johnson[12]; 12. (DNF) 10J-Lane Goodman[11].

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

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 72J-Sam Johnson[3]; 2. 97K-Brenham Crouch[1]; 3. 19S-Kasey Kahne[2]; 4. 47S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[6]; 5. 75B-Ryan Newman[5]; 6. 4T-Trey Gropp[4]; 7. 19F-Frank Flud[9]; 8. 08M-Jace McIntosh[7]; 9. 75J-Jett Hays[8]; 10. 68C-Jimmy Gardner[10].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 01K-Bryant Wiedeman[1]; 2. 2J-Justin Grant[4]; 3. 11B-Clinton Boyles[3]; 4. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[7]; 5. 11X-Donovan Peterson[5]; 6. 77X-Wayne Johnson[6]; 7. 14U-Austin Torgerson[9]; 8. 44X-Wesley Smith[10]; 9. 9C-Colten Cottle[8]; 10. 31M-David Budres[2].

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 1UK-Tom Harris[2]; 2. 84-Michael Faccinto[4]; 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner[5]; 4. 7R-AJ Hopkins[3]; 5. 28-Ace McCarthy[6]; 6. 87F-Johnny Kent[1]; 7. 23S-Kyle Simon[10]; 8. 14-Dylan Postier[8]; 9. 2B-Brett Becker[9]; 10. 95-Chris Andrews[7].

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 40M-Chase McDermand[3]; 2. 26E-Cory Eliason[1]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker[2]; 4. 97W-Zeb Wise[4]; 5. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 6. 32W-Casey Shuman[6]; 7. 14J-Jody Rosenboom[9]; 8. 51Z-Zach Boden[7]; 9. 31B-Kyle Beilman[8]; 10. 11G-Mike Goodman[10].

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

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 97W-Zeb Wise[2]; 2. 32W-Casey Shuman[1]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker[3]; 4. 19F-Frank Flud[5]; 5. 4T-Trey Gropp[4]; 6. 39-Logan Seavey[14]; 7. 08M-Jace McIntosh[7]; 8. 31M-David Budres[10]; 9. 75J-Jett Hays[9]; 10. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr.[13]; 11. 45H-Logan Calderwood[15]; 12. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]; 13. 31B-Kyle Beilman[11]; 14. 68C-Jimmy Gardner[12]; 15. 20-Tadd Holliman[16]; 16. 51Z-Zach Boden[8].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 21-Daryn Pittman[3]; 2. 26E-Cory Eliason[1]; 3. 44X-Wesley Smith[7]; 4. 7R-AJ Hopkins[2]; 5. 14U-Austin Torgerson[5]; 6. 9C-Colten Cottle[9]; 7. 14J-Jody Rosenboom[6]; 8. 12M-Jeff Champagne[13]; 9. 14-Dylan Postier[8]; 10. 0Z-Landon Crawley[11]; 11. 87F-Johnny Kent[4]; 12. 2B-Brett Becker[10]; 13. (DNF) 11G-Mike Goodman[12]; 14. (DNF) 3G-Kyle Cummins[14]; 15. (DNF) 1P-Terry Nichols[15]; 16. (DNS) 95-Chris Andrews.

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

A-Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2J-Justin Grant[4]; 2. 47S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.[1]; 3. 97W-Zeb Wise[17]; 4. 01K-Bryant Wiedeman[9]; 5. 72J-Sam Johnson[2]; 6. 84-Michael Faccinto[5]; 7. 11B-Clinton Boyles[11]; 8. 19S-Kasey Kahne[14]; 9. 40M-Chase McDermand[3]; 10. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[15]; 11. 68-Ronnie Gardner[6]; 12. 11A-Andrew Felker[21]; 13. 75B-Ryan Newman[13]; 14. 77X-Wayne Johnson[10]; 15. 28-Ace McCarthy[8]; 16. 21-Daryn Pittman[18]; 17. 26E-Cory Eliason[20]; 18. 19F-Frank Flud[23]; 19. 97K-Brenham Crouch[12]; 20. 11X-Donovan Peterson[16]; 21. 1UK-Tom Harris[7]; 22. 32W-Casey Shuman[19]; 23. (DNF) 44X-Wesley Smith[22]; 24. (DNF) 7R-AJ Hopkins[24].

Lap Leader(s): Sam Johnson 1-16; Justin Grant 17-30

Hard Charger: Zeb Wise plus-17

Chili Bowl Nationals Champions

1987_Rich Vogler

1988 _ Scott Hatton

1989 _ Sammy Swindell

1990 _ Johnny Heydenreich

1991 _ Lealand McSpadden

1992 _ Sammy Swindell (2)

1993 _ Dave Blaney

1994 _ Andy Hillenburg

1995 _ Donnie Beechler

1996 _ Sammy Swindell (3)

1997 _ Billy Boat

1998 _ Sammy Swindell (4)

1999 _ Dan Boorse

2000 _ Cory Kruseman

2001 _ Jay Drake

2002 _ Tony Stewart

2003 _ Dan Boorse (2)

2004 _ Cory Kruseman (2)

2005 _ Tracy Hines

2006 _ Tim McCreadie

2007 _ Tony Stewart (2)

2008 _ Damion Gardner

2009 _ Sammy Swindell (5)

2010 _ Kevin Swindell

2011 _ Kevin Swindell (2)

2012 _ Kevin Swindell (First 55-lap A-Feature) (3)

2013 _ Kevin Swindell (4)

2014 _ Bryan Clauson

2015 _ Rico Abreu

2016 _ Rico Abreu (2)

2017 _ Christopher Bell

2018 _ Christopher Bell (2)

2019 _ Christopher Bell (3)

2020 _ Kyle Larson

2021 _ Kyle Larson (2)

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, January 15 2022
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