ARDC's Chili Bowl race report

ALPHABET SOUP AT THE CHILI BOWL & ARDC RESULTS Tulsa, OK - Racing your way through the "alphabet soup" of main events at the Chili Bowl can be extremely difficult, as many drivers found out on Saturday. A few of them, however, provided some...


Tulsa, OK - Racing your way through the "alphabet soup" of main events at the Chili Bowl can be extremely difficult, as many drivers found out on Saturday. A few of them, however, provided some tremendous excitement for the assembled throng of fans in the grandstands.

Finding the most success was Wayne Johnson, from Oklahoma City, OK. Johnson, piloting an F5 Chassis, lined up sixth in the second F-Main. He finished third in that one, earning a spot in E-Main number two, where he finished in the fourth and final transfer position. In the second D-Main, Johnson again weaved his way into the final qualifying slot, placing third. He finished fifth in C-Main number two, advancing to the second B-Main. His midget was up to the task once more, as Johnson took the checkered flag in fifth position to qualify for the 50-lap Championship race. Unfortunately, his long day ended prematurely, as mechanical ills forced him to the sidelines midway through the event.

After the races on Saturday, Johnson sold his car, minus the engine, to Doug Rose of Reading, PA. Rose plans to campaign the car on the ARDC Midget tour.

Joe Walker, from Harrisonville, MO, competed in the day's first race, the K-Main. Walker transferred from K-1 to the first J-Main, followed by the initial I-Main, the H, and the G-Main. His Chili Bowl ended in the first F-Main, but it was quite a run for the driver of no. 31x.

The first J-Main is where Tyler Brown's Saturday of racing began. Brown, utilizing an exciting, rim-riding style, advanced all the way to the first of two G-Mains. He flipped in that one, but not before he rocketed into a qualifying spot. The large crowd gave Brown, of Norco, CA, a huge ovation in appreciation of his efforts.

Attesting to the strength of the 269-car Chili Bowl field, NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year contender J.J. Yeley, a former USAC triple crown champion, could not qualify for the 50-lap A-Main. Yeley, who flipped in his preliminary night feature, advanced from the first C-Main to B-Main number one. The handling on his Bondio no. 47x seemed to go away in the B-Main, and Yeley had to watch the Chili Bowl finale from the stands. ARDC COMPETITORS HAVE LIMITED SUCCESS

With Steve Buckwalter locked into Saturday's 50-lap Championship, the other ARDC teams tried their best to join him in the big race. Despite some limited success, no one was able to make it to the big dance with Buckwalter.

Dave Shirk and Kathy Kurtz did not make it out of the second J-Main. Both drivers felt they gained valuable experience during the week at the Tulsa Expo Center, and they are anxious to return next year.

Donnie Trent, a three-time winner on the ARDC trail in 2005, transferred out of the second I-Main to H-Main number two. His brand new Spike Chassis performed well, but Donnie did not make the cut in the H-Main (he finished seventh), ending his Chili Bowl adventure.

Brian Mater, from Pueblo, CO, was the successful bidder in the Miller Racing Team's Ebay auction to rent a ride for the Chili Bowl. Mater, who had never run on dirt before, handled himself well on the fast but tight oval. He did not transfer out of the second I-Main, but loved his experience in Tulsa.

Carey Becker also concluded his Chili Bowl by finishing right behind Trent in the second H-Main.

Billy Pauch, Jr. took the checkered flag in the runner-up spot in F-Main number one. Pauch was bottled up in traffic throughout the first E-Main, though, and did not advance to the D's.

Tracy Miller did not make it out of the second E-Main.

Michele Miller and Dave Ely were entered in the second C-Main. Michele took a nasty flip in turn three during that event, ending her week at the Bowl. Ely finished 11th and did not transfer into one of the B-Mains.

Andy Martin continued to struggle at his first Chili Bowl. Fuel mixture problems knocked him out of Friday's prelim, and a faulty coil ruined his day on Saturday. Martin was scheduled to start the second F-Main on the outside of the front row, but his engine was sputtering and popping due to the faulty coil, forcing Martin to the pit area before the green waved. Six-time ARDC Champion Ray Bull got pinched into the backstretch wall during the first B-Main. Bull continued on, but could not advance through the star-studded field. He finished 17th in the B.

Late Model hot shoe Rick Eckert buckled into Mike Miller's no. 1x for this year's Chili Bowl. Eckert won the first H-Main, but he did not transfer out of the G.

That left Buckwalter as the lone ARDC member to start the 20th Annual O'Reilly's Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. By virtue of his fourth place finish on Thursday night, the Royersford Rocket started 11th in Saturday's A-Main. Buckwalter ran as high as fifth in the early stages, then slipped back to ninth. He worked his way back up to seventh before a fuel line came off in the cockpit of his Ray's Yamaha/All Seasons Motorsports no. 5m. Buckwalter had to drop out at that point, and was left to wonder what he has to do in order to finish this great event. This was Buckwalter's second A-Main start at the Bowl.

K-MAINS: Joe Walker and Jesse Hockett
J-MAINS: Jay Mounce and Terry Tarditi
I-MAINS: Jonathan Henry and Stevie Sussex III
H-MAINS: Ron Kuhn and Rick Eckert
G-MAINS: Audra Sasselli and Bryan Gard
F-MAINS: Levi Jones and Damion Gardner
E-MAINS: John Wolfe and Damion Gardner
D-MAINS: Daniel Adler and Trey Robb
C-MAINS: Josh Wise and Donnie Lehman
B-MAINS: Justin Allgaier and Mike Goodman


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Series Midget
Drivers Rick Eckert , J.J. Yeley , Joe Walker , Mike Miller , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Billy Pauch , Justin Allgaier , Donnie Trent , Tracy Miller , Ray Bull , Jesse Hockett , Jonathan Henry , Damion Gardner , Jay Mounce , Daniel Adler , Wayne Johnson , Stevie Sussex III