BOAT TAKES CHILI BOWL TITLE By John Rittenoure Billy Boat of Phoenix, Arizona added his name to the growing list Chili Bowl champions Saturday night. Boat drove his way to victory in the 50-lap to become the 1997 Chili Bowl Midget ...
BOAT TAKES CHILI BOWL TITLE
By John Rittenoure
Billy Boat of Phoenix, Arizona added his name to the growing list Chili Bowl champions Saturday night. Boat drove his way to victory in the 50-lap to become the 1997 Chili Bowl Midget National champion before a crowd of over 10,000 inside the Expo Square Exposition Center. Boat earned $6,000 for his win to become the ninth different winner in eleven years. Boat was able to pass Danny Lasoski of Dover, Mo. on lap 41 and stayed out front the remaining nine laps. "It just went our way," said Boat in victory lane. "It could run anywhere I wanted to. At first I went up to the top." Boat was chased to the finish by Lasoski, pole sitter Dave Blaney and Donnie Beechler. Tulsa fans were smelling a home victory early on as Andy Hillenburg of Broken Arrow passed Beechler on lap 12 for the lead. But he pulled out with engine problems on lap 28 and Lasoski took over. Jeremy Sherman of Phoenix, Ariz. moved past early leader John Starks of Puyallup, Wash. on lap 12 and hung on to win the first 20 lap B feature. Sherman actually passed Starks on lap 10 when he slid underneath entering turn one. He then slid high and grazed the wall and nearly stopped when a yellow flag waved for another incident. On the restart Starks again had the lead but Sherman tried again on lap 12 and this time it worked as went on to victory. World of Outlaws driver Jac Haudenschild moved into second on lap 16, and C feature winner Brett Hearn of Vernon, N.J. picked up third on the final lap dropping Starks to fourth. The top four finishers in each B feature transfered to the back of the A feature. Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calf. got the best of leader Robert Dolacki of LaPuente, Calf. on lap 12 and he stayed out front to win the second B feature. Dolacki held on to second. Brett Hearn of Vernon, N.J. went low to pass Shane Carson of Oklahoma City with two laps remaining to win the first C feature. Hearn used the low groove to catch the high flying Carson and pulled past in turn two. Yellow flags hurt Carson late in the race as he was sporting a good lead till a series of three yellow flags from laps 11 to 14 allowed Hearn to catch up. It was all Brad Weber of Juneau, Wis. in the second C feature. Weber started outside front row and shot round pole sitter Edwin Wilson of Oklahoma City for the lead. John Cofer of Macdoel, Calf. and Steve Knepper from Belleville, Ill. followed closely in second and third. Five yellow flags and a red delayed the finish of the first 12-lap D feature, but Bob Harr of Arvada, Colo. made his pole position stand to post the win. Frankie Kerr of Fremont, Ohio took second away from E feature winner Bob Cicconi on the final lap for second. Jimmy May of Oxnard, Calf. nearly had the second D feature won when he stalled in turn four on lap ten. Brian Gerster of Indianapolis, Ind. inherited the lead on the restart and picked up the win. Brian Tuey of Bakersfield, Calf. finished second. Bob Cicconi of Propect Park, Ill. moved off the pole and led all 10 laps to win the opening E feature. Steve Newman of Lakewood, Colo. followed in second. Barry Reed of Mooresville, Ind. took over third on lap 5 when Scott Weyant of Springfield, Ill. pulled out, and Roland Ayo of Houston rounded out the top four finishers. All four drivers moved up to the back of the D features.
CHILI BOWL MIDGET NATIONALS A FEATURE (50 laps) - 1, Billy Boat, Phoenix, Ariz. 2, Danny Lasoski, Dover, Mo. 3, Dave Blaney, Cortland, Oh. 4, Donnie Beechler, Springfield, Ill. 5, Lou Cicconi, Jr., Aston, Penn. 6, Jeremy Sherman, Phoenix, Ariz. 7, Sammy Swindell, Bartlett, Tenn. 8, Ron Shuman, Phoenix, Ariz 9, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, Oh. 10, Billy Pauch, Frenchtown, N.J. 2ND B FEATURE (20 laps) - 1, Jay Drake, Val Verde, Calf. 2, Robert Dolacki, LaPuente, Calf. 3, Marty Davis, Racine, Ill. 4, Dean Erfurth, Oregon, Wis. 5, Kevin Olson, Rockford, Ill. 6, Bill Willburn, Mooresville, N.C. 7, Dean Billings, Greenfield, Wis. 8, Richard Griffin, Silver City, NM. 9, Steve Knepper, Belleville, Ill. 10, Larry Brown, Bakersfield, Calf. 1ST B FEATURE (20 laps) - 1, Jeremy Sherman, Phoenix, Ariz. 2, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, Oh. 3, Brett Hearn, Vernon, N.J. 4, John Starks Puyallup, Wash. 5, Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, Wis. 6, Boyd Calvert, Mt. Horreb, Wis. 7, Daryn Pittman, Owasso. 8, Jack Hewitt, Troy, Oh. 9, Kevin Doty, Milan, Ill. 10, Shane Carson, Oklahoma City. 2ND C FEATURE (15 laps) - 1, Brad Weber, Juneau, Wis. 2, John Cofer, Macdoel, Calf. 3, Steve Knepper, Belleville, Ill. 4, Ricky Johnson, Phoenix, Ariz. 5, Brian Gerster, Indianapolis, Ind. 6, Coy White, Friendswood, Tex. 7, Shane Carson, Oklahoma City. 8, Doc Parsons, Tulsa. 9, Roger Miller, Milan, Ill. 10, Tim Lewis, Gas, Kans. 1ST C FEATURE (15 laps) - 1, Brett Hearn, Vernon, N.J. 2, Shane Carson, Oklahoma City. 3, John Lucas, Lebanon, Ind. 4, Bob Cicconi, Prospect Park, Penn. 5, Frankie Kerr, Fremont, Oh. 6, Ron Kuhn, Lees Summit, Mo. 7, Jackie Burke, Friendswood, Tex. 8, David Watkins, Houston. 9, Jeff Jackson, Houston. 10, Steve Frisell, Holdridge, Neb. 2ND D FEATURE (12 laps) - 1, Brian Gerster, Indianapolis, Ind. 2, Brian Tuey, Bakersfield, Calf. 3, Rick Elllis, Englewood, Colo. 4, Bill Baue, Indianapolis, Ind. 5, Roland Ayo, Houston. 6, Bryan Walters, Beaver Dam, Wis. 7, Rick Longenecker, Independence, Mo. 8, Bill Allen, Independence, Mo. 9, Jimmy May, Oxnard, Calf. 10, Bob Cicconi, Prospect Park, Penn. 1ST D FEATURE (12 laps) - 1, Bob Harr, Arvada, Colo. 2, Frankie Kerr, Fremont, Oh. 3, Bob Cicconi, Prospect Park, Penn. 4, Barry Reed, Mooresville, Ind. 5, Walt Stearly, Collegville, Penn. 6, Gary McNabb, Edmond. 7, Terry Holliman, Hamburg, Ia. 8, A.J. Felker, Jeffersonville, Ind. 9, Bud DeSelle, Dane, Wis. 10, Ricky Shelton, Huntington Beach, Calf. E FEATURE (10 laps) - 1, Bob Cicconi, Prospect Park, Penn. 2, Steve Newman, Lakewood, Colo. 3, Barry Reed, Mooresville, Ind. 4, Roland Ayo, Houston. 5, Rich Camfield, Decatur, Ill. posted by Len in Indy