Boorse Blasts to Bud Shootout Qualifying Chili Bowl Prelim Win. Lonnie Wheatley - TULSA, Okla. (January 8, 2003) - Dan Boorse kicked off the 17th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals by slipping underneath race-long leader Jimmy Sills exiting turn...
Boorse Blasts to Bud Shootout Qualifying Chili Bowl Prelim Win.
Lonnie Wheatley - TULSA, Okla. (January 8, 2003) - Dan Boorse kicked off the 17th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals by slipping underneath race-long leader Jimmy Sills exiting turn four on the 15th round en route to winning Wednesday night's Bud Shootout Qualifying 25-lap feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway.
"It was fairly difficult to pass tonight, so I knew the best chance to get around him would be on a restart" stated Boorse in the post-race press conference. "Fortunately he hooked a rut and I just happened to be in the right place."
Sills, who displayed why he's the "professor" of a dirt track driving school, explained, "The car was getting tighter and tighter as the race went on, and I finally caught the ledge in turn four and Dan was there to take advantage."
Jerry Coons, Jr., who earned the pole position for the feature by charging from sixth starting position to win the third of nine qualifying heat races, led the 22-car field to the green flag with Sills alongside. Coons got loose exiting turn two on the opening round and fell to mid-pack as Sills assumed command.
Sills paced the early rounds with Boorse and Troy Rutherford in pursuit, while Jason Meyers passed Chad DeSelle for fourth on the fifth lap. Sills held a narrow four car-length advantage over Boorse and Rutherford until lapped traffic came into play on the 11th circuit.
With Sills blocked behind a dueling pair of backmarkers, Boorse and Rutherford quickly closed the gap, with Rutherford getting around Boorse for second on the 12th lap. With Sills on the high side, Rutherford made a bid for the lead entering the third turn on the 13th round, momentarily nosing ahead of Sills before hitting the berm and spinning, bringing out the race's first caution.
With Rutherford relegated to the rear, Sills held off Boorse on the ensuing restart, only to have the caution fly two rounds later for a John Wolfe spin in turn two. Sills set sail on the restart in Murray Erickson's Budweiser Gaerte-powered TCR, however when he hooked the turn four cushion, Boorse ducked underneath into a lead he wouldn't relinquish.
Boorse's charge to the checkered flag was briefly interrupted by a three-car tangle in turn two after 18 laps. The 1999 Chili Bowl champion had the field covered over the final seven circuits as he charged to the checkered flag unchallenged aboard his Weiland Race Enterprise Gaerte Ford-powered Stealth to secure the Bud Shootout Qualifying triumph.
Sills held second to the line, while Meyers made a strong Midget racing debut aboard Dallen McKenney's Gowens-powered TCR, posting a solid third place finish. Danny Lasoski passed Teddy Beach for fourth on the lap 15 restart and held the fourth and final Chili Bowl Nationals main event transfer position to the line.
2001 Chili Bowl winner Jay Drake came from 10th to round out the top five, with Matt Westfall charging from 18th to claim sixth. Jeff Flesher crossed the stripe in seventh, with Nick Lundgreen, DeSelle and Bobby East completing the top ten.
Sixty-five cars signed in for Wednesday night's Bud Shootout Qualifying action, with Rutherford, Beach, Coons, Flesher, Meyers, Lasoski, Justin Allgaier, Aaron Fiscus and Mathew Neely topping heat race action. Lundgreen and East topped the twin 15-lap B Features, with Dino Tomassi and Billy Wease winning the 12-lap C Mains.
John Wolfe, who led the first half of his heat race before mechanical problems sent him pitside, came from 7th to finish second in the first C Feature, then charged from 16th to second in the first B Main, earning a transfer to the main event.
There were four flip victims during the evening's racing action, with Jimmy Kite's turn four endo in the second B Feature the most spectacular. Kite walked away unscathed. Other flip victims included Alex Coonan in heat race action, with A.J. Fike and Shane Cottle each turning over during B Main action.