Clauson Wins Friday Prelminary Feature at the Chili Bowl

Bryan Clauson. - Serena Dalhamer Photo
Bryan Clauson in victory lane after winning the feature Friday night at the Chili Bowl Nationals. - James McDonald / Apexone Photo
Bryan Clauson in victory lane after winning the feature Friday night at the Chili Bowl Nationals. – James McDonald / Apexone Photo

From Bryan Hulbert

Tulsa, OK — (January 17, 2014) — Breaking a streak of first time preliminary night winners in the 28th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, Bryan Clauson blazed a trail to his second career prelim victory by topping Friday’s Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night.

“The thing was on rail, and has been on a rail since the time we unloaded on Monday. It was probably as good as I’ve felt in a race car here in the 10 years I’ve been coming,” was how Clauson summed up his Friday night run.

Amid questions about the car and the race, Clauson was also asked how he describes an event like the Chili Bowl to someone who has never attended. His reply placed the event in the highest regard.

“Maybe the only thing close to it is walking onto the grid for the Indy 500. The crowd, the beach balls, the craziness that’s going on is the Chili Bowl.”

In a car purposely tooled for the Chili Bowl by 1996 co-owner champion, Rusty Kunz, the Indiana driver gridded the Dooling Machine / Rusty Kunz No. 63 to the outside of the front row. Giving chase at the start, it would be the Bondio built No. 47x of Tim McCreadie getting the jump to the race lead.

Working the inside groove, the 2008 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Champion was able to advance to a half straight-a-way advantage in the first five laps. Pushing the cushion from the start, Clauson slowly adjusted how he attached the top, cheating the cushion more and more to begin keeping pace with McCreadie.

As the gap between the pair closed with slower traffic looming, Clauson’s disadvantage began disappearing rapidly as the bottom line began to slow. Working the ninth round, Clauson began pulling alongside McCreadie as the caution flew for Trevor Kobylarz who rolled to a stop exiting turn two.

With his line not revealed due to the caution, the restart saw McCreadie again roll the low-line as the Curb No. 63 sailed to the lead the following lap.

“The one nice thing about running with Tim is that he’s going to stay on the bottom as long as possible,” said Clauson. “I felt like we had a pretty good car early on. I kind of watched the track as the night went on and it seemed to always take five or six laps for the track to even out. When I jumped up and didn’t really go backwards I was pretty happy.”

Abandoning the bottom after losing the lead, McCreadie would have to contend with Dave Darland as the Indiana shoe felt the pressure from Daryn Pittman, who grabbed fourth away from Ryan Bernal on Lap 13.

Asked if there was anything he could have done to adjust as some point, the Late Model ace replied, “I don’t know, I just don’t know the cars well enough to know what to do all the time in the seat. It’s no secret I run the bottom here because I just feel like I’m going to wheelie too much up there and that’s what we focus on. All my other stuff, I’m probably the first guy to the cushion.”

Caution on Lap 15 just as Clauson was beginning to work slower traffic, the field ran single file to the cone with McCreadie trying low for the lead, but to no avail.

With Clauson quickly moving out of reach, McCreadie would have his hands full, with Dave Darland again mounting a charge. Taking a look on several occasions for the runner up spot, Darland would have to turn his attention elsewhere; holding off Daryn Pittman in the final laps.

With all challengers out of site, Bryan Clauson crossed the stripe with an advantage of 3.204 second.

Tim McCreadie took the second podium step with third coming into question as Pittman closed for a shot at third in the final corners. Edging out the Bob Hurley Ford No. 21, Darland kept a hold on the final transfer.

“I knew the red No. 21 car, Pittman, was right behind me, he showed his nose a couple of times,” said Darland. “On the very last enter in Turn three, he slid up almost into the side of me, almost in front of me. I was glad, and kind of lucky to hang onto third place there at the end. I am happy with a third place finish at this point.”

Running fifth entering the final turns, Tanner Thorson looped the Toyota No. 67k in the final turn. Collecting sixth running Ronnie Gardner in the process, Ryan Bernal was able to scramble by to complete the top five.

Forcing the caution after the leaders had taken the checkered flag, the split finish put the Thorson seventeenth, and Gardner eighteenth.

Tanner Thorson, Terry Babb, and Jeffery Newell were the only Rookies scheduled for Friday night to earn a spot in the A-Feature.

Bringing a close to qualifying nights for the 28th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, 72 drivers drawing means the record for driver attendance, set in 2009, has been tied at 281. The possibility of a new record remains if drivers who drew, but were unable to compete, are able to make the call for Saturday’s opening features.

Stacking all the way to the “L” Main, the top three from each qualifying night’s A-Feature drew for their starting spot in Saturday’s 55 lap feature. Caleb Armstrong drew the pole for the championship event with Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell staring front-row, outside.

Complete lineups are posted at

The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire continues with Saturday’s finale presented by Lucas Oil. Races begin at 12:00 P.M. (CT) with Hot Laps at 11:00 A.M. Grandstands will open at 9:00 A.M.

For additional information, and complete line-ups for Saturday’s “alphabet soup”, log onto

Friday’s Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night Results

Heat Races: 8 Laps – Top 40 in Passing Points advance to Qualifiers.

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 15X-Chad Boat[6]; 2. 7B-Austin Brown[4]; 3. 2$-Stuart Snyder[1]; 4. 94-Darren Kingston[3]; 5. 35H-Tyson Hall[2]; 6. 14-Tony Rossi[5]; 7. 10B-Thomas Briggs[8]; 8. (DNF) 19C-Rusty Carlile[7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson[3]; 2. 71X-Jac Haudenschild[2]; 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner[6]; 4. 80-Josh Hawkins[7]; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson[8]; 6. 5S-Kyle Steffens[5]; 7. 24K-Bradley Morris[1]; 8. (DNF) 69M-Mike Miller[4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson[1]; 2. 73N-Nic Faas[2]; 3. 51S-Mike Spencer[4]; 4. 37X-Michael Faccinto[3]; 5. 91-Dereck King[8]; 6. 95-Jim Radney[6]; 7. 24L-C.J. Leary[7]; DNS 75-Justin Grant

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas[1]; 2. 43B-Brent Beauchamp[4]; 3. 21K-Cory Kruseman[7]; 4. 20-Tadd Holliman[5]; 5. 22AZ-Rick Shuman[3]; 6. 19W-Dan Parker[8]; 7. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock[2]; 8. (DNF) 3E-Kody Swanson[6]….19W penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 56J-Darren Hagen[4]; 2. 2ST-Jon Stanbrough[5]; 3. 52C-Isaac Chapple[6]; 4. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins[2]; 5. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[1]; 6. 59-Kaley Engstrom[7]; 7. 6M-Justin Mallo[3]; 8. 6C-Matt Fox[8]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 17R-Dave Darland[3]; 2. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth[5]; 3. 88-Terry Babb[1]; 4. 83P-Wes McIntyre[2]; 5. 57M-Matt Mitchell[8]; 6. 4F-Chad Frewaldt[4]; 7. 12J-Jay Mounce[6]; 8. 11F-Floyd Alvis[7]

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 56R-Ryan Bernal[3]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[6]; 3. 59E-Dex Eaton[1]; 4. 32D-Danny Jennings[5]; 5. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz[7]; 6. 5A-Peter Palazzolo[2]; 7. 05H-Justin Hendricks[4]; 8. 05P-Ryan Pace[8]

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie[4]; 2. 13AU-Matt Hunter[1]; 3. 1K-Trevor Kobylarz[8]; 4. 71-Kasey Kahne[7]; 5. 19R-Randy Woodside[3]; 6. 31-David Budres[5]; 7. 9M-Cory Mallo[2]; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal[6]

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 39R-Dillon Welch[1]; 2. 5N-Jeffrey Newell[3]; 3. 17K-Alex Schutte[6]; 4. 8C-Kris Schudy[7]; 5. 25M-Derrick Myers[4]; 6. 4X-Shawn Petersen[8]; 7. 14R-John Klabunde[2]; 8. (DNF) 2-Kevin Thomas Jr[5]

C-Features: 12 Laps – Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 5S-Kyle Steffens[2]; 2. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[5]; 3. 24L-C.J. Leary[9]; 4. 59-Kaley Engstrom[3]; 5. 19W-Dan Parker[1]; 6. 24K-Bradley Morris[14]; 7. 10B-Thomas Briggs[7]; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal[15]; 9. 5A-Peter Palazzolo[8]; 10. (DNF) 05P-Ryan Pace[11]; 11. (DNF) 19C-Rusty Carlile[13]; 12. (DNF) 19R-Randy Woodside[4]; 13. (DNF) 14-Tony Rossi[6]; 14. (DNF) 9M-Cory Mallo[12]; 15. (DNF) 6M-Justin Mallo[10]; DNS 69M-Mike Miller

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 2-Kevin Thomas Jr[15]; 2. 35H-Tyson Hall[4]; 3. 12J-Jay Mounce[8]; 4. 31-David Budres[6]; 5. 14R-John Klabunde[12]; 6. 11F-Floyd Alvis[13]; 7. 6C-Matt Fox[10]; 8. (DNF) 4X-Shawn Petersen[1]; 9. (DNF) 95-Jim Radney[5]; 10. (DNF) 25M-Derrick Myers[2]; 11. (DNF) 4F-Chad Frewaldt[7]; 12. (DNF) 05H-Justin Hendricks[9]; 13. (DNF) 22AZ-Rick Shuman[3]; 14. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock[11]; DNS 3E-Kody Swanson; DNS 75-Justin Grant

Qualifiers: 10 Laps – Top 16 in combined Heat Race and Qualifier points advance to A-Feature.

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson[2]; 2. 2ST-Jon Stanbrough[4]; 3. 57M-Matt Mitchell[8]; 4. 73N-Nic Faas[7]; 5. 88-Terry Babb[9]; 6. 94-Darren Kingston[10]; 7. 43B-Brent Beauchamp[3]; 8. 80-Josh Hawkins[1]; 9. (DNF) 15X-Chad Boat[6]; 10. (DNF) 1K-Trevor Kobylarz[5]

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson[5]; 2. 68-Ronnie Gardner[3]; 3. 91T-Tyler Thomas[2]; 4. 71-Kasey Kahne[1]; 5. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth[4]; 6. 56J-Darren Hagen[6]; 7. 37X-Michael Faccinto[10]; 8. 13AU-Matt Hunter[7]; 9. 20-Tadd Holliman[8]; 10. (DNF) 59E-Dex Eaton[9]

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie[6]; 2. 17R-Dave Darland[5]; 3. 39R-Dillon Welch[2]; 4. 21K-Cory Kruseman[4]; 5. 51S-Mike Spencer[7]; 6. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins[10]; 7. 91-Dereck King[9]; 8. 52C-Isaac Chapple[3]; 9. 32D-Danny Jennings[8]; 10. (DNF) 8C-Kris Schudy[1]

Qualifier 4 (12 Laps): 1. 56R-Ryan Bernal[5]; 2. 17K-Alex Schutte[3]; 3. 21-Daryn Pittman[6]; 4. 7B-Austin Brown[4]; 5. 5N-Jeffrey Newell[2]; 6. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz[9]; 7. 2$-Stuart Snyder[8]; 8. 83P-Wes McIntyre[10]; 9. 57D-Daniel Robinson[7]; 10. (DNF) 71X-Jac Haudenschild[1]

B-Main: 15 Laps – Top 4 advance to A-Feature.

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 51S-Mike Spencer[2]; 2. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth[1]; 3. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins[5]; 4. 5N-Jeffrey Newell[3]; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson[10]; 6. 37X-Michael Faccinto[6]; 7. 5S-Kyle Steffens[13]; 8. 32D-Danny Jennings[11]; 9. 24L-C.J. Leary[15]; 10. 83P-Wes McIntyre[9]; 11. 94-Darren Kingston[4]; 12. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[14]; 13. 2$-Stuart Snyder[7]; 14. 59-Kaley Engstrom[16]; 15. (DNF) 13AU-Matt Hunter[8]; 16. (DNF) 8C-Kris Schudy[12]

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 88-Terry Babb[1]; 2. 15X-Chad Boat[3]; 3. 1K-Trevor Kobylarz[8]; 4. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz[4]; 5. 52C-Isaac Chapple[7]; 6. 31-David Budres[16]; 7. 59E-Dex Eaton[11]; 8. 2-Kevin Thomas Jr[13]; 9. 20-Tadd Holliman[10]; 10. 35H-Tyson Hall[14]; 11. (DNF) 12J-Jay Mounce[15]; 12. (DNF) 80-Josh Hawkins[9]; 13. (DNF) 71-Kasey Kahne[2]; 14. (DNF) 43B-Brent Beauchamp[5]; 15. (DNF) 91-Dereck King[6]; 16. (DNF) 71X-Jac Haudenschild[12]

A-Feature: 25 Laps – Top 3 lock into Saturday’s Championship Feature.

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson[2]; 2. 47X-Tim McCreadie[1]; 3. 17R-Dave Darland[4]; 4. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 5. 56R-Ryan Bernal[3]; 6. 17K-Alex Schutte[9]; 7. 15X-Chad Boat[20]; 8. 57M-Matt Mitchell[10]; 9. 51S-Mike Spencer[17]; 10. 56J-Darren Hagen[16]; 11. 39R-Dillon Welch[14]; 12. 91T-Tyler Thomas[13]; 13. 21K-Cory Kruseman[12]; 14. 7B-Austin Brown[15]; 15. 88-Terry Babb[18]; 16. 73N-Nic Faas[11]; 17. 67-Tanner Thorson[7]; 18. 68-Ronnie Gardner[8]; 19. 5N-Jeffrey Newell[23]; 20. (DNF) 85S-Shane Hollingsworth[19]; 21. (DNF) 2ST-Jon Stanbrough[6]; 22. (DNF) 84B-Bobby Michnowicz[24]; 23. (DNF) 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins[21]; 24. (DNF) 1K-Trevor Kobylarz[22]

Lap Leader(s): Tim McCreadie (1-9), Bryan Clauson (10-25)