Grant Holds Off Stenhouse to Win Friday Night at the Chili Bowl

Justin Grant (Serena Dalhamer photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

TULSA, OK (January 14, 2022) — TULSA, OK (January 14, 2022) – Justin Grant took advantage of a timely caution that showed him the preferred line on his way to victory Friday night during Drive 2 Save Lives qualifying night at the 36th Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.

In another action-packed preliminary feature Grant and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled side by side for the lead in the closing laps of the main event. Stenhouse appeared to have Grant setup to take the lead using the bottom of the track when a caution flag appeared with six laps to go. Grant used that knowledge after the restart to keep Stenhouse a bay, including a last lap charge on the high side that saw Stenhouse nearly take the victory.

“If that yellow doesn’t come out. I’m pretty sure Ricky (Stenhouse) wins that race,” Grant said of the timely caution. “We caught a really big break there getting back to the lead and then and then knowing that the bottom was there. I knew it was cleaning off, but I just didn’t feel that great down there. I kept trying to circle the top one and two, and then finally, he rolled up alongside me into two and we had to hustle down the backstretch and get the door closed into three kind of same thing you saw the other night with (Kevin Thomas Jr.) Ricky was good we need to be better, but we keep finding our way to victory lane here this week”

The win capped off an eventful night of miscues that Grant was able to overcome.

I made a lot of mistakes tonight,” said Grant. “I didn’t finish the qualifier. I thought I thought that was over on the white flag, so I lifted. Then my donut was poorly executed I flipped her over. So, we’re going to make sure we run all the laps tomorrow and make sure our doughnuts on point.” ‘

Stenhouse and Sam Johnson were on the front row for the 30-lap feature. Johnson drove to the lead early on when Stenhouse putting pressure on Johnson for the lead. Johnson held onto the top position while Grant slid past Stenhouse for the second position on lap four.

Grant and Stenhouse continued to race side by side for second until Stenhouse slipped off the bottom of the track on lap seven. This allowed Johnson to build up a sizeable advantage until entering slower traffic. This allowed Grant to quickly close in. On lap 16 Grant was able to slide by Johnson to take the lead.

The first caution flag of the event was for Kasey Kahne stopped backwards on the inside berm in turn two. During that caution Tom Harris, who had been running in the fifth position, stopped on the track, and had to go to the tail of the field for requiring another push start.

After the restart Stenhouse and Johnson raced for the second position with Stenhouse taking the position on lap 18. Further back in the field Zeb Wise as making his presence felt entering the top five after starting in 17th position.

Another caution flag with seven laps to go for Wayne Johnson’s stopped car followed by another caution for Daryn Pittman and Donovan Peterson tangling that collected Casey Shuman, who flipped in turn three.

After the restart Stenhouse ambushed Grant using the bottom of the track and appeared to be heading for the lead into turn three when the red flag appeared for Harris flipping in turn four. That reset the running order with Grant back out front.

Knowing the bottom line had more grip through turns one and two Grant was able to thwart Stenhouse going through turns three and four after the restart and protect the lead. Stenhouse did not give up though and went to the top of the track and appeared to have enough momentum on the top of the track to catch Grant. Both Grant and Stenhouse stumbled coming off turn four, but Grant had built up enough distance to hold on for the win. Stenhouse also locked into Saturday’s Chili Bowl finale based on second place finish. Wise capped off his charge taking the final podium position and hard charger honors. Bryan Wiedeman and Johnson rounded out the top five.

Afterwards Stenhouse knew he had shown Grant the preferred line when the caution came out but felt like he still had a car that would win.

“I thought we had it obviously, but then showing him the line down here and three and four,” said Stenhouse. “I still felt like I had a shot. I was hitting one and two well and (Grant) was kind of cheating and kind of saving himself. Just searching and I felt like our car was getting a little bit better down there and wanting to and so I made a run there that last lap I figured he was going to stop it pretty slow on the bottom so gave it one last ditch effort on the top and came up a little bit short”

36th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Driven 2 Save Lives Qualifying Night
Tulsa Expo Raceway
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Thursday, January 14, 2022

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 84-Michael Faccinto[2]
2. 77X-Wayne Johnson[9]
3. 31B-Kyle Beilman[1]
4. 21-Daryn Pittman[10]
5. 19F-Frank Flud[7]
6. 57A-Jack Routson[5]
7. 44D-Ty Hulsey[4]
8. 50S-Rocky Silva[8]
9. 14S-Presley Truedson[3]
10. 79M-Cruz Pedregon[6]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 97W-Zeb Wise[2]
2. 11A-Andrew Felker[3]
3. 95-Chris Andrews[4]
4. 51Z-Zach Boden[6]
5. 6X-Jesse Denome[1]
6. 0Z-Landon Crawley[5]
7. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr[9]
8. 47D-Conor Daly[8]
9. 16X-Dave Axton[7]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 32W-Casey Shuman[5]
2. 08M-Jace McIntosh[1]
3. 31M-David Budres[6]
4. 87F-Johnny Kent[7]
5. 75J-Jett Hays[8]
6. 8B-Colby Deming[4]
7. 56M-Garrett Thomas[2]
8. 46-Kenney Johnson[3]
DNS: 53-Brett Wilson

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 72J-Sam Johnson[2]
2. 11X-Donovan Peterson[6]
3. 75B-Ryan Newman[9]
4. 14-Dylan Postier[5]
5. 14U-Austin Torgerson[7]
6. 97R-Ryan Ellis[3]
7. 101-Chuck McGillivray[1]
8. 10J-Lane Goodman[8]
9. 87W-Ryan Bernal[4]

Heat Race #5 (8 Laps)
1. 11B-Clinton Boyles[2]
2. 40M-Chase McDermand[4]
3. 01K-Bryant Wiedeman[5]
4. 3G-Kyle Cummins[1]
5. 1X-Anthony Esberg[3]
6. 73-Dylan Ito[7]
7. 12M-Jeff Champagne[9]
8. 75T-Tyler Ross[8]
9. 117-Ray Seeman[6]

Heat Race #6 (8 Laps)
1. 1UK-Tom Harris[1]
2. 26E-Cory Eliason[2]
3. 4T-Trey Gropp[7]
4. 68C-Jimmy Gardner[4]
5. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]
6. 45H-Logan Calderwood[8]
7. 39-Logan Seavey[5]
8. 33-Jackie Burke[3]
9. 27K-Tucker Klaasmeyer[9]

Heat Race #7 (8 Laps)
1. 28-Ace McCarthy[8]
2. 97K-Brenham Crouch[3]
3. 9C-Colten Cottle[4]
4. 20-Tadd Holliman[1]
5. 2B-Brett Becker[7]
6. 1H-Brad Wyatt[5]
7. 2-Ronny Howard[9]
8. 00J-Jamie Speers[6]
9. 20W-Shawn Wicker[2]

Heat Race #8 (8 Laps)
1. 7R-AJ Hopkins[2]
2. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[1]
3. 68-Ronnie Gardner[8]
4. 44X-Wesley Smith[4]
5. 11G-Mike Goodman[6]
6. 88W-Dustin Weland[3]
7. 3C-Bryon Walters[7]
8. 1F-Ryan Thomas[5]
DNS: 16-Santino Ferrucci

Heat Race #9 (8 Laps)
1. 47S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[8]
2. 19S-Kasey Kahne[4]
3. 2J-Justin Grant[7]
4. 1P-Terry Nichols[1]
5. 12-Corbin Gurley[2]
6. 14J-Jody Rosenboom[9]
7. 71H-Bob Schaeffer[3]
8. 0-Johnny Murdock[6]
9. 7Z-Wes Benson[5]

Qualifier #1 (10 Laps)
1. 72J-Sam Johnson[3]
2. 97K-Brenham Crouch[1]
3. 19S-Kasey Kahne[2]
4. 47S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[6]
5. 75B-Ryan Newman[5]
6. 4T-Trey Gropp[4]
7. 19F-Frank Flud[9]
8. 08M-Jace McIntosh[7]
9. 75J-Jett Hays[8]
10. 68C-Jimmy Gardner[10]

Qualifier #2 (10 Laps)
1. 01K-Bryant Wiedeman[1]
2. 2J-Justin Grant[4]
3. 11B-Clinton Boyles[3]
4. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[7]
5. 11X-Donovan Peterson[5]
6. 77X-Wayne Johnson[6]
7. 14U-Austin Torgerson[9]
8. 44X-Wesley Smith[10]
9. 9C-Colten Cottle[8]
10. 31M-David Budres[2]

Qualifier #3 (10 Laps)
1. 1UK-Tom Harris[2]
2. 84-Michael Faccinto[4]
3. 68-Ronnie Gardner[5]
4. 7R-AJ Hopkins[3]
5. 28-Ace McCarthy[6]
6. 87F-Johnny Kent[1]
7. 23S-Kyle Simon[10]
8. 14-Dylan Postier[8]
9. 2B-Brett Becker[9]
10. 95-Chris Andrews[7]

Qualifier #4 (10 Laps)
1. 40M-Chase McDermand[3]
2. 26E-Cory Eliason[1]
3. 11A-Andrew Felker[2]
4. 97W-Zeb Wise[4]
5. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]
6. 32W-Casey Shuman[6]
7. 14J-Jody Rosenboom[9]
8. 51Z-Zach Boden[7]
9. 31B-Kyle Beilman[8]
10. 11G-Mike Goodman[10]

D-Main #1 (10 Laps)
1. 27K-Tucker Klaasmeyer[6]
2. 75T-Tyler Ross[3]
3. 47D-Conor Daly[2]
4. 71H-Bob Schaeffer[1]
5. 1F-Ryan Thomas[5]
6. 101-Chuck McGillivray[4]
7. 117-Ray Seeman[8]
8. 33-Jackie Burke[7]
9. 53-Brett Wilson[9]
DNS: 87W-Ryan Bernal
DNS: 20W-Shawn Wicker

D-Main #2 (10 Laps)
1. 10J-Lane Goodman[2]
2. 46-Kenney Johnson[6]
3. 14S-Presley Truedson[7]
4. 50S-Rocky Silva[1]
5. 56M-Garrett Thomas[3]
6. 7Z-Wes Benson[8]
7. 16X-Dave Axton[5]
8. 0-Johnny Murdock[4]
9. 00J-Jamie Speers[9]
10. 79M-Cruz Pedregon[10]
11. 16-Santino Ferrucci[11]

C-Main #1 (12 Laps)
1. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr[4]
2. 39-Logan Seavey[10]
3. 45H-Logan Calderwood[1]
4. 20-Tadd Holliman[2]
5. 12-Corbin Gurley[5]
6. 73-Dylan Ito[3]
7. 1H-Brad Wyatt[7]
8. 75T-Tyler Ross[12]
9. 8B-Colby Deming[8]
10. 88W-Dustin Weland[9]
11. 57A-Jack Routson[6]
12. 27K-Tucker Klaasmeyer[11]

C-Main #2 (12 Laps)
1. 0Z-Landon Crawley[6]
2. 3G-Kyle Cummins[1]
3. 12M-Jeff Champagne[4]
4. 1P-Terry Nichols[2]
5. 44D-Ty Hulsey[10]
6. 2-Ronny Howard[7]
7. 1X-Anthony Esberg[3]
8. 97R-Ryan Ellis[8]
9. 6X-Jesse Denome[5]
10. 3C-Bryon Walters[9]
11. 46-Kenney Johnson[12]
12. 10J-Lane Goodman[11]

B-Main #1 (15 Laps)
1. 97W-Zeb Wise[2]
2. 32W-Casey Shuman[1]
3. 11A-Andrew Felker[3]
4. 19F-Frank Flud[5]
5. 4T-Trey Gropp[4]
6. 39-Logan Seavey[14]
7. 08M-Jace McIntosh[7]
8. 31M-David Budres[10]
9. 75J-Jett Hays[9]
10. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr[13]
11. 45H-Logan Calderwood[15]
12. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]
13. 31B-Kyle Beilman[11]
14. 68C-Jimmy Gardner[12]
15. 20-Tadd Holliman[16]
16. 51Z-Zach Boden[8]

B-Main #2 (15 Laps)
1. 21-Daryn Pittman[3]
2. 26E-Cory Eliason[1]
3. 44X-Wesley Smith[7]
4. 7R-AJ Hopkins[2]
5. 14U-Austin Torgerson[5]
6. 9C-Colten Cottle[9]
7. 14J-Jody Rosenboom[6]
8. 12M-Jeff Champagne[13]
9. 14-Dylan Postier[8]
10. 0Z-Landon Crawley[11]
11. 87F-Johnny Kent[4]
12. 2B-Brett Becker[10]
13. 11G-Mike Goodman[12]
14. 3G-Kyle Cummins[14]
15. 1P-Terry Nichols[15]
DNS: 95-Chris Andrews

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 2J-Justin Grant[4]
2. 47S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[1]
3. 97W-Zeb Wise[17]
4. 01K-Bryant Wiedeman[9]
5. 72J-Sam Johnson[2]
6. 84-Michael Faccinto[5]
7. 11B-Clinton Boyles[11]
8. 19S-Kasey Kahne[14]
9. 40M-Chase McDermand[3]
10. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[15]
11. 68-Ronnie Gardner[6]
12. 11A-Andrew Felker[21]
13. 75B-Ryan Newman[13]
14. 77X-Wayne Johnson[10]
15. 28-Ace McCarthy[8]
16. 21-Daryn Pittman[18]
17. 26E-Cory Eliason[20]
18. 19F-Frank Flud[23]
19. 97K-Brenham Crouch[12]
20. 11X-Donovan Peterson[16]
21. 1UK-Tom Harris[7]
22. 32W-Casey Shuman[19]
23. 44X-Wesley Smith[22]
24. 7R-AJ Hopkins[24]