Chili Bowl Nationals Thursday report

Kuhn Dogs Chili Bowl Foes in Thursday's Warren CAT Qualifier TULSA, Okla. (January 10, 2008) -- A two-time National Midget Driver of the Year, Brad Kuhn perhaps ranks amongst the most underrated Midget chauffeurs in the country. But...

Kuhn Dogs Chili Bowl Foes in Thursday's Warren CAT Qualifier

TULSA, Okla. (January 10, 2008) -- A two-time National Midget Driver of the Year, Brad Kuhn perhaps ranks amongst the most underrated Midget chauffeurs in the country.

But the Avon, IN, racer wasted little time making his presence known at Tulsa Expo Raceway's 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals in the QuikTrip Center, solidly establishing himself as one of the favorites to win this year's event by wiring the field in Thursday night's 25-lap Warren CAT Qualifying feature event.

Starting from the pole position, Kuhn outgunned Shane Cottle for the lead at the outset and paced the field throughout in a race that featured just one quick caution period to score his first Chili Bowl preliminary feature win aboard Dr. Kenneth Love's Stanton Mopar-powered Hoosier/Simpson/Barnes Oil Systems No. 71x Spike chassis.

"I know the right people are here tonight, it's the right time to shine," Kuhn commented at the post-race press conference.

Jon Stanbrough made a late move to snare runner-up honors, with Cottle giving Hoosier State racers a sweep of the podium by finishing third. Sixteen-year-old California native Cole Whitt made a lap 20 pass of defending Chili Bowl champion Tony Stewart to snare the fourth and final lock-in position to Saturday night's 50-lap Chili Bowl championship main event.

Stewart rounded out the top five and will start from the front row of one of Saturday night's "B" Main events as he tries to become the first back-to-back winner in Chili Bowl history.

Kuhn dazzled the capacity crowd early on, treading about the top side of the track to climb from fourth in the final laps to win the night's ninth and final heat race. A quick charge from sixth to second in his qualifier assured him the pole position for the feature event.

Kuhn took off at the outset of the main event, with fellow front row starter Cottle giving chase as fourth-starter Stewart battled past Stanbrough for third on the second lap. With Cottle staying within several car-lengths of the leader, Stanbrough reclaimed third from Stewart by the time lapped traffic came into play on the tenth round.

Kuhn made just one bobble along the way when he got loose in turn two on the 16th lap, allowing Cottle to close to his tail tank. But when the race's only caution appeared one lap later for a turn three tangle involving Chad DeSelle and Matt Sherrell, Kuhn once again had open track.

"I was trying to run 25 laps with no mistakes," Kuhn explained after one mistake cost him a win in last year's preliminary action. "I did mess up one time in the middle of the race and I thought Shane was gonna get me, it was one mistake but it didn't cost me."

Kuhn once again opened up a several car-length advantage on the restart, as Cottle was left to fend off Stanbrough for second with the lapped car of Shane Stewart in the mix as well. Finding the top side to his liking, Stewart made his way past Cottle and tried to reel in the leader in an effort to unlap himself.

Meanwhile, Stanbrough battled past Cottle for second on the 23rd lap and tried to mount a charge on Kuhn. That charged was derailed by the lapped car and Stanbrough settled for second aboard the Loyet Motorsports Esslinger Ford-powered Loyet Landscape Maintenance No. 05s Spike.

"He should have got out of the way, his race was over," Stanbrough commented. "I love coming here and I'm really excited to be in the show, but I'm gonna have to go back to the pits and control myself because I really want to go punch him in the mouth."

"I don't know if I could have had anything for Brad," the winner of 30 Sprint Car features in 2008 continued. "I don't know how many times I've finished second in a Midget and I'm dying to get a win and I think we might have had an opportunity tonight."

Cottle, a preliminary feature winner at last year's Chili Bowl, settled for third aboard Daryl Saucier's Chevy-powered DSR Fuel Systems No. 1st Beast.

A runner-up finisher in his Chili Bowl debut in 2000, Cottle explained that, "I guess it (Tulsa Expo Raceway) kinda suits my driving style, back in 2000 it was kinda neat to be a rookie here and finish second and ever since then I've liked it here."

Running eighth at the lap 17 caution, Whitt took to the top side and needed just one lap to dispose of Garrett Hansen, Nathan High and Sammy Swindell to climb to fifth. Whitt reeled in Stewart two laps later and took the fourth position for keeps aboard the Keith Kunz Motorsports Esslinger-powered Red Bull No. 71 Bullet.

With the lapped car in play, Whitt didn't even realize he had reached the fourth position. "I was so far back on that yellow, and coming through the field I didn't know that we had lapped traffic. I thought they were pointing me to the infield just for running top five then Keith (Kunz) came over and said, 'Hey, we're locked in!' He points up at the leader board and we're in fourth, so this is the first Chili Bowl that we've been locked in on Saturday so I'm excited."

Tony Stewart rounded out the top five, with Hansen in sixth. Bobby Michnowicz claimed seventh, with four-time Chili Bowl winner Sammy Swindell, SMRS Midget champion Gary Taylor and AMRA Midget champion Nathan High completing the top ten.

Teamed with Stanbrough, Brad Loyet turned in the feature's top passing performance by climbing from 18th to eleventh.

A pair of Chili Bowl rookies made the feature cut, with Dennis Rodriguez in 18th and George White the race's first of two casualties, credited with 24th.

Transferring from Tuesday night's Pre-Qualifying event, Austin Brown raced his way into Thursday night's feature and posted a 14th-place finish.

Chris Rahe, Tony Stewart, Cottle, Michnowicz, Brady Bacon, Scott Pierovich, Billy Pauch, Jr., Jerry Higbie, Jr., and Kuhn topped heat race action for Thursday night's 72-car field.

Loyet, Michelle Decker, Frank Polimeda and Jonathan Beason claimed Last Chance Race wins, with Stanbrough, Cottle, High and Hansen winning the Qualifying Races.

Rahe and Loyet took "B" Main honors.

Garry Lee Maier tipped over in heat race action, with Cruz Pedregon and Tadd Holliman getting upside down in the Last Chance races.

Qualifying race action featured seven flips, with Pierovich, Pauch, Decker, Justin Allgaier, Sherrell, Joe Cleveland and Kenny Brown all turning over.

There were no injures.

Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts Qualifying event, the third and final qualifying night at the 22nd Chili Bowl Nationals, fires off with the first heat race set to go green at 5:45 p.m.

Thursday Night's Warren CAT Qualifying Event Results from the 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Midget Nationals

Heat Races (Top 40 in passing points to four A Qualifiers; Balance to four Last Chance races)

Heat 1: 1. #3C Chris Rahe, Placentia, CA; 2. #191 Ryan Durst, Lincoln, NE; 3. #22S Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK; 4. #47X J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 5. #91K Kevin Bayer, Broken Arrow, OK; 6. #42 Mike Leslie, Litchfield Park, AZ; 7. #19N Nick O'Neal, Wagoner, OK; 8. #7W Brandon Waelti, Sun Prairie, WI

Heat 2: 1. #20 Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN; 2. #7 Critter Malone, Speedway, IN; 3. #05S Jon Stanbrough, Avon, IN; 4. #51 Mike Hess, Riverton, IL; 5. #09 Russ Harper, Indianapolis, IN; 6. #23J Jimmy Light, Indianapolis, IN; 7. #D1 Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD; 8. #132 Thomas Meseraull, Fresno, CA

Heat 3: 1. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 2. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 3. #10W Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 4. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA; 5. #3T Tony Beaber, Gibsonburg, OH; 6. #2A Tommy Bryant, Montgomery, TX; 7. #1T Tony Roney, Herculaneum, MO; 8. #18 Floyd Alvis, San Carlos, CA

Heat 4: 1. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 2. #12JR Nathan High, Goodyear, AZ; 3. #86 Justin Allgaier, Springfield, IL; 4. #37J Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO; 5. #57K Nick Lundgreen, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #6Z Jessica Zemken, Sprakers, NY; 7. #97A Alan Ballard, Bakersfield, CA; 8. #6X Jody Rosenboom, Rock Rapids, IA

Heat 5: 1. #99 Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK; 2. #95 Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 3. #7A Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL; 4. #07 Gary Wright, Hooks, TX; 5. #78J Nick Wean, Phillipsburg, NJ; 6. #44F Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ; 7. #13AU Stewart Friesen, Niagara on the Lake, ONT; 8. #57B Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, IN

Heat 6: 1. #35P Scott Pierovich, Alamo, CA; 2. #17B Kenny Brown, Millstadt, IL; 3. #1D Dennis Rodriguez, Camarillo, CA; 4. #51S Danny Sheridan, Santa Maria, CA; 5. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 6. #31L Lee Grosz, Harwood, ND; 7. #23 Tadd Holliman, Beaver Lake, NE; 8. #0 Johnny Murdock, Kaufman, TX

Heat 7: 1. #49 Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, NJ; 2. #67K Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 3. #37 Matt Mitchell, Yorba Linda, CA; 4. #37B Tyler Brown, Norco, CA; 5. #5C Joey Montgomery, Fredericktown, MO; 6. #8K Bud Kaeding, Campbell, CA; 7. #7T Eric Todd, Falcon, MO; 8. #73S Garry Lee Maier, Cimarron, KS

Heat 8: 1. #39J Jerry Higbie Jr., Slate Hill, NY; 2. #75X David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 3. #70 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 4. #93C Chett Gehrke, Broken Arrow, OK; 5. #71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, CA; 6. #36 Jonathan Beason, Broken Arrow, OK; 7. #71C Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, IN; 8. #68 Jonathan Hendrick, Fortville, IN

Heat 9: 1. #71X Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 2. #10 George White, Fort Worth, TX; 3. #17 Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 4. #11C Joe Cleveland, Delphos, KS; 5. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 6. #7MX Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 7. #75H Bart Hartman, Zanesville, OH; 8. #87D Brent Rees, Arvada, CO

Last Chance Races (Top 2 in each transfer to back of corresponding A Qualifier)

Last Chance 1: 1. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 2. #91K Kevin Bayer, Broken Arrow, OK; 3. #132 Thomas Meseraull, Fresno, CA; 4. #6Z Jessica Zemken, Sprakers, NY; 5. #31L Lee Grosz, Harwood, ND; 6. #1T Tony Roney, Herculaneum, MO; 7. #0 Johnny Murdock, Kaufman, TX; DNS - #7T Eric Todd, Falcon, MO

Last Chance 2: 1. #7MX Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 2. #42 Mike Leslie, Litchfield Park, AZ; 3. #78J Nick Wean, Phillipsburg, NJ; 4. #8X Bud Kaeding, Campbell, CA; 5. #71C Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #97A Alan Ballard, Bakersfield, CA; 7. #73S Garry Lee Maier, Cimarron, KS; 8. #18 Floyd Alvis, San Carlos, CA

Last Chance 3: 1. #44F Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ; 2. #09 Russ Harper, Indianapolis, IN; 3. #13AU Stewart Friesen, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ONT; 4. #2A Tommy Bryant, Montgomery, TX; 5. #D1 Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD; 6. #75H Bart Hartman, Zanesville, OH; 7. #68 Jonathan Hendrick, Fortville, IN; 8. #6X Jody Rosenboom, Rock Rapids, IA

Last Chance 4: 1. #36 Jonathan Beason, Broken Arrow, OK; 2. #23J Jimmy Light, Indianapolis, IN; 3. #57B Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, IN; 4. #7W Brandon Waelti, Sun Prairie, WI; 5. #57K Nick Lundgreen, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #19N Nick O'Neal, Wagoner, OK; 7. #87D Brent Rees, Arvada, CO; 8. #23 Tadd Holliman, Beaver Lake, NE

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

A Qualifier 1: 1. #05S Jon Stanbrough, Avon, IN; 2. #71X Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 3. #37 Matt Mitchell, Yorba Linda, CA; 4. #7A Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL; 5. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 6. #22S Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK; 7. #37J Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO; 8. #191 Ryan Durst, Lincoln, NE; 9. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA; 10. #5C Joey Montgomery, Fredericktown, MO; 11. #91K Kevin Bayer, Broken Arrow, OK; 12. #35P Scott Pierovich, Alamo, CA

A Qualifier 2: 1. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 2. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 3. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 4. #10 George White, Fort Worth, TX; 5. #7 Critter Malone, Speedway, IN; 6. #07 Gary Wright, Hooks, TX; 7. #93 Chett Gehrke, Broken Arrow, OK; 8. #10W Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 9. #7MX Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 10. #42 Mike Leslie, Litchfield Park, AZ; 11. #3T Tony Beaber, Gibsonburg, OH; 12. #49 Billy Pauch Jr., Frenchtown, N A Qualifier 3: 1. #12JR Nathan High, Goodyear, AZ; 2. #71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, CA; 3. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, IN; 4. #1D Dennis Rodriguez, Camarillo, CA; 5. #3C Chris Rahe, Placentia, CA; 6. #99 Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK; 7. #47X J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 8. #09 Russ Harper, Indianapolis, IN; 9. #51S Danny Sheridan, Santa Maria, CA; 10. #44F Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ; 11. #67K Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 12. #86 Justin Allgaier, Springfield, IL

A Qualifier 4: 1. #70 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 2. #20 Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN; 3. #94 Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 4. #17 Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 5. #39J Jerry Higbie Jr., Slate Hill, NY; 6. #36 Jonathan Beason, Broken Arrow, OK; 7. #75X David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 8. #51 Mike Hess, Riverton, IL; 9. #37B Tyler Brown, Norco, CA; 10. #23J Jimmy Light, Indianapolis, IN; 11. #17B Kenny Brown, Millstadt, IL; 12. #11C Joe Cleveland, Delphos, KS

B Mains (Top 4 advance to A Main)

B Main 1: 1. #3C Chris Rahe, Placentia, CA; 2. #99 Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK; 3. #22S Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK; 4. #36 Jonathan Beason, Broken Arrow, OK; 5. #35P Scott Pierovich, Alamo, CA; 6. #7 Critter Malone, Speedway, IN; 7. #44F Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ; 8. #37B Tyler Brown, Norco, CA; 9. #09 Russ Harper, Indianapolis, IN; 10. #7MX Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 11. #51 Mike Hess, Riverton, IL; 12. #42 Mike Leslie, Litchfield Park, AZ; 13. #37J Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO; 14. #93C Chett Gehrke, Broken Arrow, OK; 15. #86 Justin Allgaier, Springfield, IL; 16. #23J Jimmy Light, Indianapolis, IN

B Main 2: 1. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 2. #75X David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 3. #191 Ryan Durst, Lincoln, NE; 4. #67K Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 5. #17T Justin Grant, Ione, CA; 6. #51S Danny Sheridan, Santa Maria, CA; 7. #39J Jerry Higbie Jr., Slate Hill, NY; 8. #49 Billy Pauch Jr., Frenchtown, NJ; 9. #3T Tony Beaber, Gibsonburg, OH; 10. #91K Kevin Bayer, Broken Arrow, OK; 11. #10W Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 12. #47X J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 13. #17B Kenny Brown, Millstadt, IL; 14. #07 Gary Wright, Hooks, TX; 15. #5C Joey Montgomery, Fredericktown, MO DNS - #11C Joe Cleveland, Delphos, KS

A Main (25 laps - Top 4 advance to Saturday Night's Main Event)

1. #71K Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 2. #05S Jon Stanbrough, Avon, IN; 3. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 4. #71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, CA; 5. #20 Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN; 6. #70 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, CA; 7. #49JR Bobby Michnowicz, Torrance, CA; 8. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 9. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 10. #12JR Nathan High, Goodyear, AZ; 11. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 12. #17 Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 13. #99 Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK; 14. #7A Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL; 15. #3C Chris Rahe, Placentia, CA; 16. #37 Matt Mitchell, Yorba Linda, CA; 17. #67K Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 18. #1D Dennis Rodriguez, Camarillo, CA; 19. #36 Jonathan Beason, Broken Arrow, OK; 20. Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 21. #22S Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK; 22. #191 Ryan Durst, Lincoln, NE; 23. #75X David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 24. #10 George White, Fort Worth, TX

-credit: cbn/lw

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About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Tony Stewart , Cruz Pedregon , Brad Kuhn , J.J. Yeley , Bud Kaeding , Sammy Swindell , Joe Walker , George White , David Gough , Jon Stanbrough , Shane Stewart , Nick Lundgreen , Billy Pauch , Ryan Durst , Chris Rahe , Shane Cottle , Justin Allgaier , Mike Leslie , Kenny Brown , Michelle Decker , Chad DeSelle , Brandon Waelti , Matt Mitchell , Scott Pierovich , Jimmy Light , Tony Roney , Chett Gehrke , Cole Whitt , Brad Loyet , Eric Todd , Kevin Bayer , Jonathan Beason , Chris Windom , Shane Golobic , Austin Brown , Nick O'Neal , Jody Rosenboom , Dennis Rodriguez , Floyd Alvis , Garrett Hansen , Matt Sherrell , Jonathan Hendrick , Danny Sheridan , Justin Grant , Bobby Michnowicz , Thomas Meseraull , Gary Taylor , Johnny Murdock