Chili Bowl Nationals Tuesday report

SAMMY SWINDELL WINS RACE OF CHAMPIONS TULSA, Okla. (January 13, 2009) -- The 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire kicked off in the most dramatic of fashions at the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway on Tuesday...

SAMMY SWINDELL WINS RACE OF CHAMPIONS

TULSA, Okla. (January 13, 2009) -- The 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire kicked off in the most dramatic of fashions at the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway on Tuesday night as Brad Kuhn slipped around Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in the final pair of corners to win the 25-lap O'Reilly Qualifying feature event.

Collecting his second Chili Bowl preliminary feature win in as many years, Indiana's Kuhn locked himself into Saturday night's 50-lap Chili Bowl championship main event along with Memphis-area shoe Stenhouse and third-place finisher Steve Buckwalter of Royersford, PA.

"I didn't think I had the patience to do it 25 laps (run the bottom), thankfully Ricky didn't," Kuhn commented afterward.

While 67 drivers battled it out on the first of four Chili Bowl qualifying nights, four-time Chili Bowl king Sammy Swindell fought off a late bid from Tim McCreadie to win the 20-lap Race of Champions.

Kuhn's triumph in the nightcap main event, which assures him a starting berth among the front two rows of his fourth career Chili Bowl championship main event, came at the expense of open wheel grad and rising NASCAR star Stenhouse, who had paced 22 circuits and survived a scrape with fellow Memphis-area native Kevin Swindell along the way.

"When Kevin got up there on the outside and they got together, I think Ricky started searching more and that's what opened the door up," Kuhn commented.

After chasing Buckwalter to the stripe in his heat race after starting from the pole and then climbing from seventh to third in his qualifier, Kuhn gridded the feature field inside the fifth row aboard the Toyota-powered RW Motorsports No. 17b Beast.

The two-time National Midget Driver of the Year spent minimal mid-pack time though, cracking the top three by the time two laps were in the books. And after a rousing final set of ten laps, it was Kuhn's bold move to the inside of Stenhouse that netted the win.

Kuhn explained that, "I kept inching up on him, when we came off the backstretch I was kinda reserved to run second there and just be locked in to save our car but when I got such a good run off of two and I got in there, I decided, 'Well we're just gonna go for it and see what happens'."

Setting the stage for the electrifying finish, reigning Badger Midget champion Mike Hess gunned into the lead from the pole position and paced the initial two rounds before getting into turn three too hot and spinning to a stop.

Third-starter Stenhouse assumed the point and led the ensuing circuits in front of front row outside starter Casey Shuman and Kuhn, as the younger Swindell tried to make it an "All-Swindell" night after watching his father take Race of Champions honors.

Kevin Swindell's night had opened with a close heat race win over Chad McDaniel. But a qualifying race spin after contact with McDaniel sent last year's sixth-place Chili Bowl finisher to a "B" Main that he won to earn the 17th starting slot in the feature.

Swindell wasted little time racing through the field, advancing to eighth by the time Brady Short spun with three laps in the books and then having a nifty move from fourth to second on the seventh circuit negated by a Ricky Williams spin in turn four.

The young gun from Germantown, TN, soon battled his way past Shuman and Kuhn as he set his sights on the pacesetting Stenhouse, who hails from nearby Olive Branch, MS. The battle came to a premature end though when Stenhouse clipped the berm exiting turn four and skittered across the track with the resulting contact sending Swindell into the wall and onto the hook eleven laps short of the checkered flag.

"I just got into the berm there coming off of four and it shot me off the racetrack," Stenhouse explained of the incident. "I tried stopping, but I didn't even know he was out there and just got into him."

With Stenhouse treading the top side of turns one and two and the bottom of three and four aboard the Esslinger-powered RFMS Racing No. 132 Spike over the final circuits, Kuhn and Shuman rode right behind waiting for an opening. And then 11th-starting Buckwalter, who bounced back from a Race of Champions flip, rode the high side into lead contention to make it a four-way duel for the point as chief starter Roger Slack gave the five laps-to-go signal.

Kuhn finally established a grip on second and moved in on Stenhouse, setting up the picture perfect move that netted the win in front of a packed house.

"I pushed him as hard as I could and tried slowing him down, but there wasn't anything I could do," Stenhouse explained of the final corner. "I probably should of gone to the top all the way just to see what would happen."

With Kuhn, Stenhouse and Buckwalter enjoying podium festivities, Shuman was the odd-man out as he finished one spot shy of a lock-in position by taking the checkered flag in fourth, with Bobby East rounding out the top five.

Chad Kemenah got a dose of Chili Bowl alphabet soup activity by racing to a "C" Main win, a "B" Main win and then charging to sixth in the feature event from 18th to boost his total of cars passed in Tuesday feature action to 25.

Running sixth in the early stages, Danny Lasoski rebounded from a lap eight spin in turn three to post a seventh-place showing, with Gary Taylor, USAC/CRA champion Mike Spencer and 19th-starter Terry McCarl completing the top ten.

A pair of Chili Bowl Rookie of the Year contenders made the feature cut on Tuesday night with POWRi Midget shoe Daniel Robinson claiming 14th and Pennsylvania teen Cody Darrah credited with 23rd after an opening lap tangle that forced him pitside along with Hunter Schuerenberg.

Stenhouse, Shuman, Brady Short and Caleb Armstrong all doubled up with heat race and qualifying race wins, with other heat races topped by P.J. Gargiulo, Buckwalter, Kellen Conover, Taylor and K. Swindell.

After a cut left rear tire derailed an apparent heat race victory drive, Danny Stratton won the first "C" Main before once again becoming an early casualty in the "B" Main won by K. Swindell.

Davey Ray held down a transfer position in the first "B" Main until a battery came off his mount and he lost power on the white flag lap.

After drawing the pole position for the Chili Bowl Race of Champions, Sammy Swindell gunned into the lead at the outset and held a commanding lead much of the way. It took a late caution after Steve Buckwalter's turn two flip to give his chasers hope.

Tim McCreadie briefly slid in front of Swindell to lead lap 17, but Swindell charged back by and paced the final three circuits to score the win in front of Dave Darland, McCreadie, Jay Drake and J.J. Yeley.

There were thirteen flips over the course of the night, with a Doug McCune-Chris Zrinski double tumble exiting turn four in the night's first "C" Main the most spectacular as Zrinski put the fence repair crew to work in short order. There were no injuries.

Tuesday Night's O'Reilly Qualifying Results from the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire

Heat Races (8 Laps - Top 40 in passing points to A Qualifiers; Balance to twin C Mains)

Heat 1: 1. #51G P.J. Gargiulo, Morton, PA; 2. #11X Ricky Williams, Clinton, OH; 3. #89C Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA; 4. #11T Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; 5. #18A Floyd Alvis, San Carlos, CA; 6. #86J Jim Donley, Yuma, AZ; 7. #39H Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO; 8. #22S Brandon Spithaler, Evans City, PA.

Heat 2: 1. #25 Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 2. #17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 3. #10E Eli Deshaies, N. Kingstown, RI; 4. #7R Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN; 5. #1W Paul White, Temple, TX; 6. #63N Rex Norris III, Spiceland, IN; 7. #81X Shane Carson, Yukon, OK; 8. #4R Robby Ross, St. Joseph, MO.

Heat 3: 1. #76 Kellen Conover, Sumner, IL; 2. #82 Mike Hess, Riverton, IL; 3. #71S Mike Spencer, Temecula, CA; 4. #85B Jerry Bell, Sachse, TX; 5. #12Z Drew Heistand, Wrightsville, PA; 6. #8K Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH; 7. #5T Randy Timms, Wheatland, OK; 8. #14T Tony Rossi, Brighton, CO.

Heat 4: 1. #37K Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 2. #75R Davey Ray, Loves Park, IL; 3. #5D Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL; 4. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA; 5. #94 Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 6. #29 Nick Smith, Broken Arrow, OK; 7. #45 Aaron Kirk, Conroe, TX; 8. #14K Henry Clarke, Villa Park, CA.

Heat 5: 1. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 2. #02 Matthew Rossi, Peoria, AZ; 3. #70X Andrew Elson, Carmel, IN; 4. #36F Frank Flud, Pryor, OK; 5. #2G Terry Goodwin, Phoenix, AZ; 6. #67X Landon Simon, Tipp City, OH; 7. #98 Curtis Bailey, Bartlesville, OK; 8. #F5 Danny Stratton, Indianapolis, IN.

Heat 6: 1. #132 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, MS; 2. #85J Matt Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK; 3. #81K Rob Kershaw, Oak Park, CA; 4. #11S Chris Sheil, Englewood, CO; 5. #61A Kevin Battles, Collinsville, OK; 6. #9m Doug McCune, Fort Worth, TX.

Heat 7: 1. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #1C Chad McDaniel, Concordia, KS; 3. #4 Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 4. #25K Eric Jacobsen, Santa Cruz, CA; 5. #33S Austin Smith, Chino Hills, CA; 6. #33 Scott Fennell, Littleton, CO; 7. #2 Mark Bush, Cumming, GA.

Heat 8: 1. #67S Brady Short, Bedford, IN; 2. #71R Keith Rauch, Thornton, CO; 3. #24D Daniel Robinson, Wayne City, IL; 4. #12H Rick Hendrix, Palmdale, CA; 5. #20R Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV; 6. #07 Billy Mentgen, Jamestown, IN; 7. #89 Todd McVay, Lees Summit, MO.

Heat 9: #55C Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN; 2. #05L Danny Lasoski, Higginsville, MO; 3. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 4. #73M Tanner Mullens, Andale, KS; 5. #25Z Chris Zrinski, Forked River, NJ; 6. #11H Garrett Hood, Concordia, KS; 7. #88 Johnathon Henry, Stockton, CA.

CMains (12 Laps - Top 4 in each transfer to back of corresponding B Main)

C Main 1: 1. #F5 Danny Stratton, Indianapolis, IN; 2. #20R Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV; 3. #81X Shane Carson, Yukon, OK; 4. #88 Johnathon Henry, Stockton, CA; 5. #11H Garrett Hood, Concordia, KS; 6. #14T Tony Rossi, Brighton, CO; 7. #86J Jim Donley, Yuma, AZ; 8. #94 Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 9. #9M Doug McCune, Fort Worth; 10. #25Z Chris Zrinski, Forked River, NJ; 11. #89 Todd McVay, Lees Summit, MO; 12. #18A Floyd Alvis, San Carlos, CA; 13. #4R Robby Ross, St. Joseph, MO. DNS - #2 Mark Bush, Cumming, GA.

C Main 2: 1. #8K Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH; 2. #39H Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO; 3. #33S Austin Smith, Chino Hills, CA; 4. #14K Henry Clarke, Villa Park, CA; 5. #22S Brandon Spithaler, Evans City, PA; 6. #67X Landon Simon, Tipp City, OH; 7. #98 Curtis Bailey, Bartlesville, OK; 8. #45 Aaron Kirk, Conroe, TX; 9. #63N Rex Norris III, Spiceland, IN; 10. #07 Billy Mentgen, Jamestown, IN; 11. #33 Scott Fennell, Littleton, CO; 12. #61A Kevin Battles, Collinsville, OK; DNS -- Randy Timms, Wheatland, OK.

A Qualifiers (10 Laps - Top 16 in combined passing points to A Main; Balance to twin B Mains)

A Qualifier 1: 1. #67S Brady Short, Bedford, IN; 2. #4 Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 3. #1C Chad McDaniel, Concordia, KS; 4. #5D Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL; 5. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 6. #12H Rick Hendrix, Palmdale, CA; 7. Davey Ray, Loves Park, IL; 8. #70X Andrew Elson, Carmel, IN; 9. #1W Paul White, Temple, TX; 10. #51G P.J. Gargiulo, Morton, PA.

A Qualifier 2: 1. #55C Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN; 2. #71R Keith Rauch, Thornton, CO; 3. #17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 4. #11X Ricky Williams, Clinton, OH; 5. #89C Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA; 6. #11T Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; 7. #02 Matthew Rossi, Peoria, AZ; 8. #2G Terry Goodwin, Phoenix, AZ; 9. #76 Kellen Conover, Sumner, IL; 10. #81K Rob Kershaw, Oak Park, CA.

A Qualifier 3: 1. #37x Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 2. #71S Mike Spencer, Temecula, CA; 3. #7R Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN; 4. #25 Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 5. #05L Danny Lasoski, Higginsville, MO; 6. #24D Daniel Robinson, Wayne City, IL; 7. #73M Tanner Mullens, Andale, KS; 8. #11S Chris Sheil, Englewood, CO; 9. #85J Matt Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK; 10. #29 Nick Smith, Broken Arrow, OK.

A Qualifier 4: 1. #132 Ricky Stenhouse, Olive Branch, MS; 2. #82 Mike Hess, Riverton, IL; 3. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 4. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 5. #12Z Drew Heistand, Wrightsville, PA; 6. #85B Jerry Bell Jr., Sachse, TX; 7. #25K Eric Jacobsen, Santa Cruz, CA; 8. #10E Eli Deshaies, N. Kingstown, RI; 9. #36F Frank Flud, Pryor, OK; 10. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA.

B Mains (15 Laps - Top 4 in each transfer to A Main)

B Main 1: 1. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #11T Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; 3. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA; 4. #88 Johnathon Henry, Stockton, CA; 5. #1C Chad McDaniel, Concordia, KS; 6. #11S Chris Sheil, Englewood, CO; 7. #02 Matthew Rossi, Peoria, AZ; 8. #20R Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV; 9. #1W Paul White, Temple, TX; 10. #81X Shane Carson, Yukon, OK; 11. #70X Andrew Elson, Carmel, IN; 12. #75R Davey Ray, Loves Park, IL; 13. #85B Jerry Bell, Sachse, TX; 14. #25K Eric Jacobsen, Santa Cruz, CA; 15. #85 J Matt Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK; 16. #F5 Danny Stratton, Indianapolis, IN.

B Main 2: 1. #8K Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH; 2. #24D Daniel Robinson, Wayne City, IL; 3. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 4. #39H Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO; 5. #81K Rob Kershaw, Oak Park, CA; 6. #29 Nick Smith, Broken Arrow, OK; 7. #12H Rick Hendrix, Palmdale, CA; 8. #12Z Drew Heistand, Wrightsville, PA; 9. #2G Terry Goodwin, Phoenix, AZ; 10. #51G P.J. Gargiulo, Morton, PA; 11. #33S Austin Smith, Chino Hills, CA; 12. #10E Eli Deshaies, N. Kingstown, RI; 13. #76 Kellen Conover, Sumner, IL; 14. #14K Henry Clark, Villa Park, CA; 15. #36F Frank Flud, Pryor, OK; 16. #73M Tanner Mullens, Andale, KS.

Chili Bowl Race of Champions (20 Laps)

1. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #5 Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 3. #11W Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY; 4. #67 Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 5. #1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 6. Kasey Kahne, Eunumclaw, WA; 7. #7C Tony Elliott, Warsaw, IN; 8. #15H Scott Hatton, Roscoe, IL; 9. #38 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, CA; 10. #21 Tracy Hines, Newcastle, IN; 11. #2S Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 12. #25 Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 13. #57B Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, IN; 14. #47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA.

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

1. #17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 2. #132 Ricky Stenhouse, Olive Branch, MS; 3. #25 Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 4. #37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 5. #4 Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #8K Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH; 7. #05L Danny Lasoski, Higginsville, MO; 8. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 9. #71S Mike Spencer, Temecula, CA; 10. #11T Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA; 11. #5D Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL; 12. #82 Mike Hess, Riverton, IL; 13. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 14. #24D Daniel Robinson, Wayne City, IL; 15. #88 Johnathon Henry, Stockton, CA; 16. #7R Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN; 17. #55C Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, IN; 18. #71R Keith Rauch, Thornton, CO; 19. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA; 20. #11X Ricky Williams, Clinton, OH; 21. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 22. #67S Brady Short, Bedford, IN; 23. #89C Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA; 24. #39H Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO.

-credit: cbn/lw

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Brad Kuhn , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Sammy Swindell , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Paul White , Davey Ray , Paul McMahan , Todd McVay , Matt Johnson , Aaron Kirk , Chad DeSelle , Brady Short , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Damion Gardner , Tim McCreadie , Zach Daum , Henry Clarke , Caleb Armstrong , Nick Smith , Josh Richards , Daniel Robinson , Mike Spencer , Kellen Conover , Floyd Alvis , Doug McCune , Scott Fennell , Scott Hatton , Garrett Hood , Rick Hendrix , Austin Smith , Justin Grant , Bobby Michnowicz , Hunter Schuerenberg , Casey Shuman , Danny Stratton , Gary Taylor , Chad Kemenah , Cody Darrah , P.J. Gargiulo , Chris Sheil
Teams Williams