Chili Bowl Nationals Thursday report

Hagen Tops Bully Dog Qualifier at the Chili Bowl Defending Race Winner Sammy Swindell Crashes While Leading... TULSA, Okla. (January 14, 2010) -- The 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals started out in unpredictable fashion ...

Hagen Tops Bully Dog Qualifier at the Chili Bowl
Defending Race Winner Sammy Swindell Crashes While Leading...

TULSA, Okla. (January 14, 2010) -- The 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals started out in unpredictable fashion on Tuesday night. That trend continued to escalate with Thursday night's Bully Dog Qualifying main event as the leader got tangled up in traffic two laps shy of the checkered flag and then three drivers ending up on the podium that each locked into a first career Chili Bowl championship main event.

After sweeping into the lead on the ninth round, five-time and defending Chili Bowl king Sammy Swindell appeared to be well on the way to another checkered flag when he was collected by a flipping car along the frontstretch just as the two laps to go signal was indicated.

Taking full advantage was Riverside, California's Darren Hagen, who paced the final three laps atop the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway clay oval to top Thursday night's 25-lap Bully Dog Qualifying main event at the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.

Chasing Hagen to the stripe was the unheralded Tony Roney of Herculaneum, MO, with New Zealand's Brad Mosen taking the third lock-in position to Saturday night's main event. With all three locking into a Chili Bowl finale for the first time, it will be a new experience for five of the nine drivers locked into Saturday's 50-lapper as Tuesday winner Zach Daum and third-place runner Shane Golobic will also embark upon new territory.

After starting Thursday night's feature inside the fourth row, Hagen was up to fourth within the initial pair of circuits before making his way past front row outside starter Shane Cottle for third on the fifth round.

"I told the guys after the qualifier that was my fault, I got schooled by Sammy," Hagen explained of a qualifying race that put him mid-pack in the feature. "I told 'em I won't waste any more time this time."

While Hagen worked his way up to third, 2005 Chili Bowl champ Tracy Hines paced the opening eight circuits before third-starting Swindell stepped up the pace and slid into the lead through turns one and two on the ninth round.

With Swindell and Hines leading the way into traffic by the 16th round, Hagen held third through the race's middle stages in front of Cottle and Mosen.

"To be honest, I thought I was just going to be blessed to run third," Hagen commented afterward.

Hagen closed the gap on Hines in traffic though, and took over second on the 19th lap after the pair swapped positions the previous round.

Sitting in second proved the perfect place to be as the closing laps clicked off.

With Swindell just two laps away from matching his son Kevin's victory just one night earlier, disaster struck for the Germantown, TN, veteran shoe in the form of a wildly-flipping Jonathan Hendrick down the frontstretch. Swindell was unable to avoid the melee that also collected Billy Pauch, Jr., and rejoined the field at the tail to salvage a 13th place finish in the final rounds.

"When I saw that, he must have had nowhere to go," Hagen explained of the incident that happened just ahead of him. "A guy with that much talent and that good of reaction time, I thought he had it wrapped up tonight."

At the head of the field, Hagen paced the final three circuits aboard the Esslinger-powered RFMS Racing RFMS Liberty Village/McGladrey & Pullen No. 3 Spike to secure the prominent win.

In Hagen's wake, the complexion of the field changed drastically when second runner Hines jumped the turn two cushion and fell back in the field.

Mosen immediately moved into second only to have Tony Roney slip by on the low side on the final lap to snare runner-up honors in the Fontana-powered Simpson/Saldana No. 1T Stealth.

"I am a little in shock," Roney commented afterward. "I never expected to do this; my goal was to get into a 'C' Main (Saturday night), which you had to make the 'A' tonight to do that. At the end, I thought I might get third if I played my cards right. A little luck and it happened, it was awesome."

Mosen settled for the show position in Simon Longdill's Synergy V8-powered CRC/Transitainer No. 19nz Aggressor, joining Kiwi teammate Michael Pickens in Saturday night's championship feature field.

Pickens posted a second-place run on Tuesday night.

"Running against those guys, you've just got to make every leap you can past the guys," Mosen explained. b^0x001cYou're not gonna give them any chances. Until Tony (Roney) turned up, I was pretty happy with second but third is good enough as well."

After slipping as far back as eighth, Cottle rallied in the final three rounds to finish fourth in Daryl Saucier's Chevy-powered DSR Fuel Systems No. 1st Beast, with California youngster Kyle Larson rounding out the top five in the Corey Tucker Racing/BCI Esslinger-powered Stadelhofer Construction No. 39i Spike.

NASCAR star Kasey Kahne mixed it up among the top-ten the entire distance before crossing the stripe in sixth, with Thomas Meseraull in seventh.

Hines' late race miscue relegated him to eighth at the line, with Jesse Hockett and 2008 Chili Bowl champion Damion Gardner completing the top ten.

Cottle, Mosen, Michelle Decker, Hines, Hagen, Terry McCarl, David Gough and Garrett Hansen topped heat race action for Thursday night's 67-car field, with McCarl, Kahne, Roney and Swindell winning the qualifying races.

Cody Darrah and Donnie Ray Crawford won the twin "C" Mains, with Shane Hollingsworth and Hansen winning the "B" Mains. Jimmy Light climbed from a fourth place "C" Main finish to claim third in a "B" Main before finishing out the night 12th in the "A" Main.

Mosen established himself as this year's leading Chili Bowl rookie contender with his third-place finish. Mosen was the only rookie contender to make Thursday night's feature cut and just the fifth rookie this week to race into preliminary night "A" Main action.

While Hendrick's wild ride down the frontstretch was the most notable, nine other drivers took tumbles during the night including Billy Lawhead in hot laps, Ted Kirkpatrick and Joe Bob Lee in heat race action, Riley Adair and Ron Bach in "C" Main competition, Decker and Austin Brown in the first "B" Main and Justin Melton and Steve Knepper in the second "B" Main.

Action at the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals resumes with Friday night's E3 Spark Plugs Qualifier, with racing action set to go green at 6:00 p.m. Friday's action fills in the final pieces of the puzzle for Saturday's Rockstar Energy Drink slate of championship feature events.

Thursday Night's Bully Dog Qualifier Results from the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals:

Heat Races (Top 40 in passing points to A Qualifiers; Balance to twin C Mains)

Heat 1: 1. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 2. #39I Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA; 3. #23T Tanner Swanson, Kingsburg, CA; 4. #91J P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 5. #0 Glenn Styres, Ohsweken, ONT; 6. #19K Klint Angelette, Thibodaux, LA; 7. #87B Stuart Snyder, Lincoln, NE; 8. #2R Riley Adair, Tulsa, OK; 9. #50 Ted Kirkpatrick, Waterloo, IL

Heat 2: 1. #19NZ Brad Mosen, Auckland, NZ; 2. #91X Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 3. #1T Tony Roney, Herculaneum, MO; 4. #71X Henry Clarke, Villa Park, CA; 5. #5K Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA; 6. #89JR Todd McVay, Lees Summit, MO; 7. #61 Chad Pitts, Little Rock, AR; 8. #14AJ Wayne Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK; 9. #51X Ronnie Gardner, Norco, CA

Heat 3: 1. #7D Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 2. #05H Jesse Hockett, Warsaw, MO; 3. #37X Jason Grady, Farmington, NM; 4. #7E Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN; 5. #2X Nic Faas, Huntington Beach, CA; 6. #0Z Johnny Murdock, Dallas, TX; 7. #11B Scotty Weir, Marion, IN; 8. #111 Ryan Durst, Lincoln, NE; 9. #7 Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL

Heat 4: 1. #11 Tracy Hines, New Castle, IN; 2. #75P Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, IN; 3. #17E Tanner Berryhill, Tulsa, OK; 4. #39L Billy Lawhead, Tulsa, OK; 5. #4B Ronnie Burke, League City, TX; 6. #99J Eric Todd, Falcon, MO; 7. #31V Victor Davis, Ventura, CA; 8. #90 Toni Lutar, Richmond, BC

Heat 5: 1. #3 Darren Hagen, Riverside, CA; 2. #118 Kyle Steffans, St. Charles, MO; 3. #75 Billy Pauch Jr.; 4. #45C Chris Coker, Greenville, TX; 5. #25K Steve Knepper, Belleville, IL; 6. #89 Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA; 7. #8X Donnie Ray Crawford, Broken Arrow, OK; 8. #76K Michael Koontz, Bloomington, IN

Heat 6: 1. #F5 Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; 2. #86 Shane Hollingsworth, Lafayette, IN; 3. #71K Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 4. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 5. #6R Jody Rosenboom, Rock Rapids, IA; 6. #19S Patrick Stasa, Kingman, KS; 7. #27B Joe Bob Lee, Cache, OK; 8. #8E Murray Erickson, Odessa, TX

Heat 7: 1. #6 David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 2. #44D Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 3. #68 Jonathan Hendrick, Fortville, IN; 4. #40 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, CA; 5. #25A Aaron Ott, York Springs, PA; 6. #04 Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH; 7. #71T Tim Pyle, Portland, OR; 8. #83 Kurt Blackaby, Bentonville, AR

Heat 8: 1. #47 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 2. #2T Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA; 3. #11J Justin Melton, Flower Mound, TX; 4. #37M Johnny Rodriguez, Elk Grove, CA; 5. #22 Brian Camarillo, Camarillo, CA; 6. #47JR Ron Bach, Santa Paula, CA; 7. #12 Nathan High, Goodyear, AZ; 8. #73E Billy Balog, Chippewa Falls, WI JC Mains (Top 4 in each transfer to back of corresponding B Main)

C Main 1: 1. #89 Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA; 2. #7 Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL; 3. #11B Scotty Weir, Marion, IN; 4. #5K Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA; 5. #89JR Tim McVay, Lees Summit, MO; 6. #90 Toni Lutar, Richmond, BC; 7. #19K Klint Angelette, Thibodaux, LA; 8. #71T Tim Pyle, Portland, OR; 9. #0Z Johnny Murdock, Dallas, TX; 10. #61 Chad Pitts, Little Rock, AR; 11. #2R Riley Adair, Tulsa, OK; DNS -- #27B Joe Bob Lee, Cache, OK; #76K Michael Koontz, Bloomington, IN; #50 Ted Kirkpatrick, Waterloo, IL

C Main 2: 1. #8X Donnie Ray Crawford, Broken Arrow, OK; 2. #12 Nathan High, Goodyear, AZ; 3. #87B Stuart Snyder, Lincoln, NE; 4. #99J Eric Todd, Falcon, MO; 5. #19S Patrick Stasa, Kingman, KS; 6. #47JR Ron Bach, Santa Paula, CA; 7. #04 Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH; 8. #73E Billy Balog, Chippewa Falls, WI; 9. #31V Victor Davis, Ventura, CA; 10. #83 Kurt Blackaby, Bentonville, AR; 11. #51X Ronnie Gardner, Norco, CA; 12. #111 Ryan Durst, Lincoln, NE DNS -- #8E Murray Erickson, Odessa, TX

A Qualifiers (Top 16 in combined passing points to A Main; Balance to twin B Mains)

A Qualifier 1: 1. #F5 Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; 2. #44D Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 3. #11 Tracy Hines, New Castle, IN; 4. #05H Jesse Hockett, Warsaw, MO; 5. #86 Shane Hollingsworth, Lafayette, IN; 6. #0 Glenn Styres, Ohsweken, ONT; 7. #23T Tanner Swanson, Kingsburg, CA; 8. #4B Ronnie Burke, Jr., League City, TX; 9. #40 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, CA; 10. #68 Jonathan Hendrick, Fortville, IN

A Qualifier 2: 1. #91 Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 2. #19NZ Brad Mosen, Auckland, NZ; 3. #14AJ Wayne Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK; 4. #6 David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 5. #39I Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA; 6. #71K Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 7. #6R Jody Rosenboom, Rock Rapids, IA; 8. #25K Steve Knepper, Belleville, IL; 9. #37X Jason Grady, Farmington, NM; 10. #75P Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, IN

A Qualifier 3: 1. #1T Tony Roney, Herculaneum, MO: 2. #91J P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 3. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 4. #118 Kyle Steffans, St. Charles, MO; 5. #11J Justin Melton, Flower Mound, TX; 6. #75 Billy Pauch Jr., Frenchtown, NJ; 7. #47 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 8. #2X Nic Faas, Huntington Beach, CA; 9. #22 Brian Camarillo, Camarillo, CA; 10. #39L Billy Lawhead, Tulsa, OK

A Qualifier 4: 1. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #2T Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA; 3. #3 Darren Hagen, Riverside, CA; 4. #37M Johnny Rodriguez, Elk Grove, CA; 5. #71X Henry Clarke, Villa Park, CA; 6. #7E Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN; 7. #25A Aaron Ott, York Springs, PA; 8. #7D Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 9. #45C Chris Coker, Greenville, TX; 10. #17E Tanner Berryhill, Tulsa, OK

B Mains (Top 4 in each transfer to A Main)

B Main 1: 1. #86 Shane Hollingsworth, Lafayette, IN; 2. #75 Billy Pauch Jr., Frenchtown, NJ; 3. #5K Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA; 4. #68 Jonathan Hendrick, Fortville, IN; 5. #0 Glenn Styres, Ohsweken, ONT; 6. #7 Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL; 7. #11B Scotty Weir, Marion, IN; 8. #4B Ronnie Burke Jr., League City, TX; 9. #71X Henry Clarke, Villa Park, CA; 10. #75P Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, IN; 11. #6R Jody Rosenboom, Rock Rapids, IA; 12. #37X Jason Grady, Farmington, NM; 13. #118 Kyle Steffens, St. Charles, MO; 14. #40 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, CA; 15. #89 Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA; 16. #7D Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK

B Main 2: 1. #47 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 2. #71K Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 3. #7E Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN; 4. #8X Donnie Crawford, Broken Arrow, OK; 5. #87B Stuart Snyder, Lincoln, NE; 6. #2X Nic Faas, Huntington Beach, CA; 7. #23T Tanner Swanson, Kingsburg, CA; 8. #17E Tanner Berryhill, Tulsa, OK; 9. #45C Chris Coker, Greenville, TX; 10. #22 Brian Camarillo, Camarillo, CA; 11. #12 Nathan High, Goodyear, AZ; 12. #25K Steve Knepper, Belleville, IL; 13. #11J Justin Melton, Flower Mound, TX; 14. #25A Aaron Ott, York Springs, PA; 15. #39L Billy Lawhead, Tulsa, OK DNS -- #99J Eric Todd, Falcon, MO

A Main (25 laps -- Top 3 advance to Saturday Night's Main Event)

1. #3 Darren Hagen, Riverside, CA; 2. #1T Tony Roney, Herculaneum, MO; 3. #19NZ Brad Mosen, Auckland, NZ; 4. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 5. #39I Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA; 6. #91X Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 7. #2T Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA; 8. #11 Tracy Hines, New Castle, IN; 9. #05H Jesse Hockett, Warsaw, MO; 10. #44D Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 11. #86 Shane Hollingsworth, Lafayette, IN; 12. #5K Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA; 13. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 14. #71K Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 15. #14AJ Wayne Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK; 16. #75 Billy Pauch, Frenchtown, NJ; 17. #6 David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 18. #37M Johnny Rodriguez, Elk Grove, CA; 19. #91J P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 20. #47 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 21. #68 Jonathan Hendrick, Fortville, IN; 22. #8X Donnie Ray Crawford, Broken Arrow, OK; 23. #F5 Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; DNS -- #7E Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN

-source: lw/cbn

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Series MIDGET
Drivers Jason Leffler , Scotty Weir , Cruz Pedregon , Kasey Kahne , Tracy Hines , P.J. Jones , Sammy Swindell , Jay Drake , Johnny Rodriguez , David Gough , Murray Erickson , Toni Lutar , Billy Pauch , Ryan Durst , Shane Cottle , Michael Pickens , Todd McVay , Michelle Decker , Steve Knepper , Shane Hollingsworth , Jesse Hockett , Darren Hagen , Jimmy Light , Tony Roney , Damion Gardner , Bob Lee , Zach Daum , Henry Clarke , Caleb Armstrong , Eric Todd , Justin Melton , Shane Golobic , Tanner Berryhill , Tanner Swanson , Michael Koontz , Austin Brown , Brad Mosen , Kurt Blackaby , Jody Rosenboom , Stuart Snyder , Chris Coker , Billy Lawhead , Kyle Steffens , Garrett Hansen , Ronnie Gardner , Jonathan Hendrick , Wayne Johnson , Thomas Meseraull , Donnie Ray Crawford , Nic Faas , Johnny Murdock , Kyle Larson , Cody Darrah , Patrick Stasa