McIntosh Sweeps Cummins Qualifying Night at the Chili Bowl

Cannon McIntosh with his family and the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team in victory lane Monday at the Chili Bowl Nationals. (Serena Dalhamer photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

TULSA, OK (January 13, 2020) — Cannon McIntosh completed a clean sweep of the program during his debut for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports at the 34th Chili Bowl Nationals by winning his heat race, qualifying race, and the preliminary feature during Cummins Qualifying Night Monday night at the the River Spirit Exposition Center.

McIntosh, from nearby Bixby, Oklahoma, held off repeated challenges from defending USAC National Midget Car Series champions Tyler Courtney for the victory.

Driving for one of the most successful teams in midget car racing in the sports biggest event for the first time could be a pressure situation, but McIntosh felt all of the pressure was coming from himself.

“Coming in here I knew there would be a little pressure, but these guys didn’t put any pressure on me,” McIntosh said about the Kunz team. “If anyone was putting pressure on me, it was myself. They were behind me the whole time just telling me to do my thing and race my own race. That’s what I did, and they gave me an amazing car and we’re sitting here in victory lane.”

McIntosh started on the front row for the 30-lap preliminary feature and led the opening lap while Courtney and Reutzel raced for the runner up spot. Courtney held the position the first three laps until Reutzel started to roll the top and drove around Courtney for second.

Ruetzel quickly closed in on McIntosh, driving around the outside to take the lead. As the top four drivers pulled away from the field the leaders entered lapped traffic on lap nine. Reutzel’s lead ended up lap 10 when he got swept up by Dustin Golobic flipping in front of him. Reutzel was able to restart at the tail of the field.

Reutzel’s misfortune put McIntosh back into the lead as Courtney, Pickens, and Paul Ninehiser diced for second on back. Pickens and Ninehiser swapped third before Pickens took the position back off turn four before the caution appeared for Kevin Thomas Jr, Gary Taylor, Tony Bruce Jr, and Riley Kreisel were stacked up in the corner to bring out the caution.

McIntosh pulled way after the restart as Courtney and Pickens exchanged slide jobs on each end of the racetrack before Courtney held the position. After a caution on lap 17 for Ryan Leavitt stopping McIntosh pulled away. The race for second on back became larger with Courtney and Pickens joined by Daum and Ninehiser.

After the restart McIntosh continued to lead with Courtney and Pickens in pursuit. Further back in the field Reutzel was charging through the field into the top 10 just past the halfway point.

Ninehiser started to fall back after Zach Daum moved him back to fourth spot on lap 22.

Two laps later a red flag came out when Trey Marcham and Reutzel got together with Marcham flipping into the catch fence. Marcham climbed from the car under his own power. The fence repairs allowed for an open red for teams to adjust their cars. This allowed Courtney to take another shot at the lead, but McIntosh was up for the challenge threading the needle between Courtney and Pickens to maintain the lead.

“I did not want to see that red, especially when they opened it up,” said McIntosh. “I knew some of the drivers and crews were going to make some changes. Tyler (Courtney) made a good run at the end. I was afraid he was going to get us. I just stayed in it and prayed for the best. I couldn’t have done this without this entire Keith Kunz crew, my Dad and the whole Dave Mac Motorsports group. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

McIntosh was up for the challenge holding off Courtney after the red flag and a caution for Brady Bacon slowing to win the main event. Courtney also locked into Saturday’s main event with his second-place finish while Reutzel edges Pickens for third on the final lap. Daum rounded out the top five.

34th Annual Chili Bowl Nationals
Cummins Qualifying Night
River Spirit Expo Center
Tulsa, OK
Monday January 13, 2020

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[3]
2. 57W-Dustin Golobic[2]
3. 1NZ-Michael Pickens[7]
4. 77W-Joey Wirth[4]
5. 5X-Tyson Hall[5]
6. 7RS-Christopher Larson[6]
7. 75M-Corey Ballard[8]
8. 44C-Blake Carrier[1]
DNS: 74R-Slater Helt

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 22S-Sean McClelland[2]
2. 5-Chase Briscoe[7]
3. 86C-David Camfield Sr[1]
4. 47K-Kevin Brewer[4]
5. 155-Ryan Truitt[3]
6. 1B-Anton Hernandez[5]
7. 5F-Danny Frye III[8]
8. 8-Alex Sewell[6]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel[7]
2. 11J-Justin Melton[4]
3. 17E-Blake Edwards[3]
4. 17Z-Zac Moody[1]
5. 2N-Weston Gorham[8]
6. 98B-Joe Boyles[5]
7. 67O-Kyle O’Gara[2]
8. 9H-Emilio Hoover[6]

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 56A-Riley Kreisel[2]
2. 20S-Shon Deskins[1]
3. 32-Gary Taylor[4]
4. 91K-Kevin Bayer[3]
5. 27Z-Zane Hendricks[8]
6. 8M-Kade Morton[5]
7. 116-Claud Estes III[6]
8. 17D-Ryan Ellis[7]

Heat Race #5 (8 Laps)
1. 7C-Tyler Courtney[5]
2. 44X-Wesley Smith[2]
3. 2S-John Kilmer[3]
4. 3T-Taylor Peterson[1]
5. 91W-Cody Hays[7]
6. 74-Drew Rader[8]
7. 15K-Andrew Carlson[4]
8. GO-Eddie Martin[6]

Heat Race #6 (8 Laps)
1. 9X-Paul Nienhiser[3]
2. 7S-Kory Schudy[5]
3. 5D-Zach Daum[6]
4. P1-Paul White[1]
5. 96-Cody Brewer[8]
6. 15X-Carson Garrett[2]
7. 7F-Travis Ashwood[7]
8. 19N-Nick O’Neal[4]

Heat Race #7 (8 Laps)
1. 5T-Kevin Thomas Jr[1]
2. 76E-Brady Bacon[2]
3. 32T-Trey Marcham[3]
4. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[6]
5. 2-Ryan Hall[8]
6. 18L-Logan Scherb[4]
7. 44-Ryan Leavitt[7]
8. 5HX-Casey Hicks[5]

C-Main #1 (12 Laps)
1. 18L-Logan Scherb[2]
2. 75M-Corey Ballard[1]
3. 67O-Kyle O’Gara[5]
4. 116-Claud Estes III[4]
5. 8-Alex Sewell[6]
6. 7F-Travis Ashwood[3]
7. 74R-Slater Helt[8]
8. GO-Eddie Martin[7]
DNS: 19N-Nick O’Neal

C-Main #2 (12 Laps)
1. 15X-Carson Garrett[2]
2. 44-Ryan Leavitt[3]
3. 9H-Emilio Hoover[6]
4. 15K-Andrew Carlson[4]
5. 17D-Ryan Ellis[5]
6. 5HX-Casey Hicks[7]
7. 44C-Blake Carrier[8]
8. 5F-Danny Frye III[1]

Qualifier #1 (10 Laps)
1. 32-Gary Taylor[2]
2. 9X-Paul Nienhiser[5]
3. 87-Aaron Reutzel[6]
4. 32T-Trey Marcham[7]
5. 56A-Riley Kreisel[4]
6. 3T-Taylor Peterson[9]
7. 47K-Kevin Brewer[8]
8. 7RS-Christopher Larson[10]
9. 57W-Dustin Golobic[3]
10. 96-Cody Brewer[1]

Qualifier #2 (10 Laps)
1. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[2]
2. 7C-Tyler Courtney[6]
3. 2-Ryan Hall[1]
4. 44X-Wesley Smith[3]
5. 7S-Kory Schudy[5]
6. 91K-Kevin Bayer[8]
7. 11J-Justin Melton[4]
8. P1-Paul White[9]
9. 86C-David Camfield Sr[7]
DNS: 1B-Anton Hernandez

Qualifier #3 (10 Laps)
1. 1NZ-Michael Pickens[5]
2. 5-Chase Briscoe[6]
3. 5D-Zach Daum[4]
4. 76E-Brady Bacon[3]
5. 17E-Blake Edwards[1]
6. 2N-Weston Gorham[2]
7. 98B-Joe Boyles[10]
8. 5X-Tyson Hall[9]
9. 91W-Cody Hays[7]
10. 74-Drew Rader[8]

Qualifier #4 (10 Laps)
1. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[6]
2. 5T-Kevin Thomas Jr[4]
3. 27Z-Zane Hendricks[2]
4. 22S-Sean McClelland[5]
5. 2S-John Kilmer[1]
6. 8M-Kade Morton[10]
7. 17Z-Zac Moody[8]
8. 77W-Joey Wirth[7]
9. 20S-Shon Deskins[3]
10. 155-Ryan Truitt[9]

B-Main #1 (15 Laps)
1. 76E-Brady Bacon[1]
2. 11J-Justin Melton[2]
3. 91K-Kevin Bayer[3]
4. 57W-Dustin Golobic[8]
5. 86C-David Camfield Sr[10]
6. P1-Paul White[7]
7. 2N-Weston Gorham[5]
8. 17Z-Zac Moody[6]
9. 18L-Logan Scherb[13]
10. 67O-Kyle O’Gara[15]
11. 96-Cody Brewer[11]
12. 75M-Corey Ballard[14]
13. 116-Claud Estes III[16]
14. 20S-Shon Deskins[9]
15. 2S-John Kilmer[4]
16. 155-Ryan Truitt[12]

B-Main #2 (15 Laps)
1. 2-Ryan Hall[1]
2. 15X-Carson Garrett[13]
3. 44-Ryan Leavitt[12]
4. 98B-Joe Boyles[6]
5. 77W-Joey Wirth[7]
6. 91W-Cody Hays[10]
7. 8M-Kade Morton[4]
8. 3T-Taylor Peterson[2]
9. 7RS-Christopher Larson[9]
10. 47K-Kevin Brewer[5]
11. 9H-Emilio Hoover[15]
12. 15K-Andrew Carlson[14]
13. 74-Drew Rader[11]
14. 5X-Tyson Hall[8]
15. 1B-Anton Hernandez[16]

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[1]
2. 7C-Tyler Courtney[2]
3. 87-Aaron Reutzel[3]
4. 1NZ-Michael Pickens[5]
5. 5D-Zach Daum[10]
6. 9X-Paul Nienhiser[6]
7. 5T-Kevin Thomas Jr[7]
8. 44X-Wesley Smith[16]
9. 5-Chase Briscoe[4]
10. 91K-Kevin Bayer[21]
11. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[9]
12. 7S-Kory Schudy[13]
13. 32-Gary Taylor[8]
14. 76E-Brady Bacon[17]
15. 56A-Riley Kreisel[14]
16. 11J-Justin Melton[19]
17. 98B-Joe Boyles[22]
18. 32T-Trey Marcham[12]
19. 27Z-Zane Hendricks[15]
20. 2-Ryan Hall[18]
21. 44-Ryan Leavitt[20]
22. 22S-Sean McClelland[11]
23. 57W-Dustin Golobic[23]
DNS: 15X-Carson Garrett