Chili Bowl Friday 97-01-10

BEECHLER PASSES P.J. JONES TO WIN FRIDAY NIGHT QUALIFIER By John Rittenoure Donnie Beechler of Springfield, Ill. shot inside of leader P.J. Jones following a lap 15 restart and went on to win a rough and tumble 25 lap A feature at the...


By John Rittenoure

Donnie Beechler of Springfield, Ill. shot inside of leader P.J. Jones following a lap 15 restart and went on to win a rough and tumble 25 lap A feature at the 11th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Friday night. A Expo Square Exposition Center crowd of 10,469 was on hand for the final night qualifying. The Chili Bowl wraps up Saturday with feature events starting 6:30 p.m. The win put Beechler on the outside front row next to Dave Blaney who won Thursday night. Both Beechler and Blaney will be looking to join Sammy Swindell who is the only driver to win the race more than once. Beechler hugged the inside of the track to take the lead.[EP "It was tough," said Beechler. "He (Jones) went up high and I could not run up there. I had to stay low." Jones led the first eight laps. Following a restart Jones jumped the cushion and Dean Erfurth of Oregon, Wis. slipped by. Erfurth led until a lap 13 restart when Jones went back around. Crashes took its toll on the 20-car field as three drivers took hard rides and two others rode the wall. On the first lap World of Outlaws driver Jac Haudenschild caught a wheel of a car as he entered turn three. Haudenschild went high into the air turning over twice and landing against the fence. He was not hurt. Only one lap was run after the restart when Larry Brown took a high ride in turn one and into the fence. Six more laps were reeled of before Josh Pelkey of Peoria, Ariz. went end over end at the start-finish line. On lap 13 Troy Hewitt of Troy, Ohio tangled with Randy Koch of Oregon, Wis. and the two slid against the wall with sparks flying from the contact. The left front wheel rom Hewitt's car caught a fence post and pushed its way through. No one was hurt in the incident. After a yellow flag on lap 15 the race ran to completion with 13 cars still running. Kevin Doty of Moline, Ill. moved from the pole and led all 15 laps to win the first semi over Josh Pelkey of Peoria, Ariz. Doty moved to a two-turn lead at the half way mark and was never challenged. The race was red flagged on lap 5 when Davey Camfield of Decatur, Ill took a hard flip in turn three. He was not hurt. Lou Ciccconi, Jr. of Aston, Penn. followed in Doty's footsteps with a flag to flag run in the second semi feature. Dean Billings of Greenfield, Wis. gave chase but settled for the second place transfer position into the A feature. The race opened with a red flag when Mark Dailey turned over in turn three. Following the restart the race only saw one more yellow which came on lap 11 for a spin by Craig Cropper of Franklin, Tenn. John Starks of Puyallup, Wash. passed Bill Berg of Arlington, Wis. following a lap 1 restart and sped to victory in the third 15-lap semi. Billy Wilburn of Mooresville, N.C., who races when not working as a crew mmber for NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, chased Starks to the checkered flag.

FRIDAY QUALIFYING A FEATURE - 1, Donnie Beechler, Springfield, Ill. 2 P.J. Jones, Torrence, Calf. 3, Don Lehmann, Springfield, Ill. 4, Lou Cicconi, Jr, Aston, Penn. 5, Jason Leffler, Long Beach, Calf. 6, Ron Shuman, Phoenix, Ariz. 7, Randy Koch, Oregon, Wis. 8, Richard Griffin, Silver City, NM. 9, John Starks, Puyallup, Wash. 10, Dean Billings, Greenfield, Wis. THIRD SEMI - 1, John Starks, Puyallup, Wash. 2, Billy Wilburn, Mooresville, N.C. 3, John Cofer, Macdoel, Calf. 4, Bill Berg, Arlington, Wis. 5, Rick England, Wichita. 6, Phil Shapel, Wichita. 7, Aaron Kirk, Conroe, Tex. 8, Rick Ellis, Englewood, Calf. 9, Frankie Kerr, Freemont, Oh. 10, Brian Tuey, Bakersfield, Calf. SECOND SEMI - 1, Lou Cicconi, Jr., Aston, Penn. 2, Dean Billings, Greenfield, Wis. 3, Ron Kuhn, Lees Summit, Mo. 4, Steve Knepper, Belleville, Ill. 5, Billy Mentgen, Golden, Colo. 6, Tim Lewis, Gas, Kans. 7, Roger Miller, Milan, Ill. 8, Jerry Marks, Miami. 9, Craig Cropper, Franklin, Tenn. 10, Terry Holliman, Hamburg, Ia FIRST SEMI - 1, Kevin Doty, Moline, Ill. 2, Josh Pelkey, Peoria, Ariz. 3, Edwin Wilson, Oklahoma City. 4, Tim McVay, Blue Springs, Mo. 5, Randy Polewczynski, Milwaukee, Wis. 6, Bryon Walters, Beaver Dam, Wis. 7, Randy Nigg, Colorado Springs, Colo. 8, Steve Frisell, Holdridge, Neb. 9, Davey Camfield, Decatur, Ill. 10, Dennis Miller, Galveston, Ind. HEAT 7 - 1, Dan Boorse. 2, Frankie Kerr. 3, Don Lehmann. 4, Ron Kuhn. 5, Rick Ellis. HEAT 6 - 1, Jack Hewitt. 2, Dean Erfurth. 3, Dean Billings. 4, Tim McVay. 5, Dennis Miller. HEAT 5 - 1, Ron Shuman. 2, Lou Cicconi, Jr. 3, Josh Pelkey. 4, Edwin Wilson. 5, Jerry Marks. HEAT 4 - 1, Larry Brown. 2, Jac Haudenschild. 3, Randy Pierce. 4, Bill Berg. 5, Randy Nigg. HEAT 3 - 1, Jason Leffler. 2, Richard Griffin. 3, Bryan Walters. 4, John Starks. 5, Phil Shapel. HEAT 2 - 1, P.J. Jones. 2, Robert Dolacki. 3, Bill Wilburn. 4, Steve Knepper. 5, Roger :Miller. HEAT 1 - 1, Donnie Beechler. 2, Randy Koch. 3, Kevin Doty. 4, Terry Holliman. 5, Brian Tuey.

posted by Len in Indy

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Series Midget
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jason Leffler , Donnie Beechler , Jack Hewitt , P.J. Jones , Sammy Swindell , Richard Griffin , John Starks , Tim Lewis , Bryan Walters , Aaron Kirk , Steve Knepper , Randy Po , Dave Blaney , Jac Haudenschild , Josh Pelkey , Roger Miller