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Caleb Armstrong holds off Sammy Swindell for Chili Bowl Prelim Victory

Thursday January 16, 2014


Caleb Armstrong held off Sammy Swindell to claim victory on night two of qualifying for the Chili Bowl.
Photo by Patrick Grant

By Bryan Hulbert

TULSA, Okla. (January 15, 2014) Drama was plenty when the checkered flag dropped on the second night of the 28th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, as Indiana’s Caleb Armstrong edged out Sammy Swindell for his first Chili Bowl prelim victory on Wednesday’s River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night.

The second first time winner in as many nights, Armstrong began the night’s 25 lap feature from the outside of the front row. Slowed for a caution on Lap 2, Armstrong’s restart relegated the No. 7c to fourth behind Brad Loyet and Alex Sewell.

Working back to the runner up spot by Lap 4, the cushion served the C&A Motorsports driver well, chasing down leader Chris Andrews by the seventh round as the pair approached the tail of the field.

Into traffic on Lap 10, it was Andrews and Armstrong in a race all their own.

Completing the twelfth circuit, the Baker Crop Insurance No. 7c worked around Tulsa’s Chis Andrews for the top spot. Clear from traffic, Andrews went for the slide job two laps later, but instead spun, bringing out the caution on Lap 14.

Back underway with Chris Windom now in pursuit, the RFMS Racing shoe tried for the lead on Lap 19, but was unable to finish the move.

Coming around for the twenty-first time, fifth running Nick Knepper blew through the cushion in turn-three, bouncing the No. 55 off the wall as the engine expired down the front straight-a-way, pouring oil on the bottom of turns one and two.

With the caution displayed, track crews assessed the situation and brought the tiller out to work the nearly engine’s worth of oil into the bottom groove.

Aligned single file for the restart with five laps remaining, Knepper’s departure brought thirteenth starting, Sammy Swindell, into the top five.

Into second with two laps to run, Swindell set his sights on the lead, pulling even with the No. 7c down the back-straight-away with Armstrong maintain the point. Swindell again applied pressure at the white flag.

Committed to the cushion, Armstrong surrendered the lead through the first turn. Giving Swindell just over a half car advantage, Armstrong pulled around the five-time Chili Bowl champion entering the final two turns. Nearly missing the line entering three, Armstrong pitched hard off the cushion exiting the final turn, edging Swindell at the line by 0.441 seconds.

Asked about the final laps, the New Castle, Ind. driver replied, “I saw him (Sammy Swindell) stick his nose in there and I didn’t want to push the issue at first, but then I started pushing it, but I didn’t want to jump the curb. It was easy too, as I did it earlier in the race. I just kept on going and ended up winning.”

On the subject of crews having to till the bottom of the track following the blown engine by Knepper, Swindell responded, “I don’t know if it made a lot of difference. I thought I could slip out there off of two in front of him (Armstrong) there on the last lap. I got there and it wasn’t the grip I thought was going to be there. I should’ve stayed on the bottom. I heard him coming, I just let it go. He ran a good race and I wasn’t going to mess that up.

Chris Windom earned the final pass into Saturday’s championship event.

“We had a really good car,” commented Windom. “We were on Caleb there before that last yellow and I knew Sammy was coming plus I knew JJ (Yeley) was good. They dug that track up in (Turns) one and two, and I made probably the wrong move staying on the top and Sammy got around me on the bottom. I just wasn’t sure what to do there.”

Racing with Rico Abreu for fourth, J.J. Yeley ended his night upside down after the two made contact exiting the fourth turn; resulting in a split finish with the caution displayed with the checkered flag. A very angered Yeley was okay and was scored eighteenth.

Abreu was credited with fourth with Brad Loyet rounding out the top five.

Fifteenth starting Shane Golobic crossed sixth with Brad Kuhn coming from fourteenth to seventh. Jerry Coons, Jr. from eighteenth to eight with Payton Peirce advancing from twenty-first to ninth after transferring from the first B-Feature. Travis Berryhill completed the top ten.

Of the 72 drivers scheduled for Wednesday night, 70 made the draw. Like Tuesday, two Chili Bowl rookies made the call for the A-Feature with Chris Andrews and Parker Price-Miller in the lineup.

The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire continues with Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night. Races begin at 6:00 P.M. (CT) with Hot Laps at 5:00 P.M. For additional information on the Chili Bowl, log onto http://www.chilibowl.com.

Thursday’s River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night Results

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

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 05-Brad Loyet2; 2. 11CA-Chris Andrews8; 3. 2X-Ryan Hall7; 4. 5$-Danny Smith5; 5. 96-Cody Brewer6; 6. (DNF) 37K-Steve Brown3; 7. (DNF) 28-Greg Fitzpatrick4; 8. (DNF) 32-Casey Shuman1….5$ penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 15W-Brandon Waelti4; 2. 31B-Travis Berryhill6; 3. 10-Brad Kuhn3; 4. 45X-Johnny Herrera8; 5. 55-Nick Knepper7; 6. 2M-Seth Motsinger2; 7. 2J-Zach Blurton1; 8. 71AU-Domain Ramsay5

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Sammy Swindell4; 2. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd2; 3. 5-Jerry Coons Jr5; 4. 14W-Matt Westfall6; 5. 33H-Cameron Hagin7; 6. 7K-Robby Parish8; 7. 16C-David Camfield3; 8. (DNF) 44D-Philip Dietz1

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 15B-Danny Burke1; 2. 5C-Colten Cottle4; 3. 37F-Chris Guinn3; 4. 91S-Jeff Stasa8; 5. 83-Hannah Adair7; 6. 5K-Tucker Klaasmeyer2; 7. (DNF) 69B-Randy Boyer5; 8. (DNF) 57X-Tim Kent6

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 67K-Rico Abreu2; 2. 26-Shane Golobic6; 3. 10J-John Hunt3; 4. 76M-Brad Noffsinger7; 5. 92-Brenden Bright4; 6. 1T-Tony Roney5; 7. 51X-Michael Curtis1; 8. 35L-Cody Ledger8….92 penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 9P-Parker Price-Miller2; 2. 6RR-Joe Liguori1; 3. 66-Shane Cockrum5; 4. 86-Chris Ennis4; 5. 14K-Kyle Bellm6; 6. 1OU-A.J. Burns8; 7. 44C-Clint Schubert3; 8. (DNF) 3F-Ned Fry7

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 1ST-J.J. Yeley1; 2. 3-Chris Windom4; 3. 8-Alex Sewell7; 4. 7JR-J.D. Black6; 5. 17J-Chase Johnson3; 6. 20S-Shon Deskins8; 7. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr2; 8. (DNF) 0C-Chris Stockham5

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 8K-Frank Flud2; 2. 15-Tim Siner1; 3. 39T-Payton Pierce3; 4. 73X-Trey Marcham7; 5. 6R-Jody Rosenboom4; 6. 93H-Harley Hollan5; 7. 71M-Brandon Matus6…6R penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong2; 2. 87R-Jeff Flesher4; 3. 82-Eric Johnson1; 4. 84-Scotty Smith3; 5. 7F-Sean McClelland7; 6. 25-Dylan Peterson5; 7. (DNF) 20X-Jimmy Harris6

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

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 96-Cody Brewer1; 2. 7K-Robby Parish2; 3. 1T-Tony Roney5; 4. 6R-Jody Rosenboom4; 5. 2M-Seth Motsinger7; 6. 20S-Shon Deskins3; 7. 35L-Cody Ledger11; 8. 25-Dylan Peterson6; 9. 16C-David Camfield10; 10. 51X-Michael Curtis13; 11. 71AU-Domain Ramsay14; 12. 71M-Brandon Matus8; 13. (DNF) 69B-Randy Boyer9; DNS 3F-Ned Fry; DNS 32-Casey Shuman

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 93H-Harley Hollan5; 2. 92-Brenden Bright3; 3. 17J-Chase Johnson4; 4. 37K-Steve Brown6; 5. 44C-Clint Schubert10; 6. 1OU-A.J. Burns2; 7. 2J-Zach Blurton12; 8. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr11; 9. 20X-Jimmy Harris8; 10. (DNF) 44D-Philip Dietz15; 11. (DNF) 5K-Tucker Klaasmeyer7; 12. (DNF) 14K-Kyle Bellm1; 13. (DNF) 0C-Chris Stockham14; 14. (DNF) 28-Greg Fitzpatrick9; DNS 57X-Tim Kent

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

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 66-Shane Cockrum1; 2. 1ST-J.J. Yeley2; 3. 11CA-Chris Andrews6; 4. 10-Brad Kuhn8; 5. 26-Shane Golobic5; 6. 67K-Rico Abreu4; 7. 5C-Colten Cottle3; 8. 6RR-Joe Liguori7; 9. 5$-Danny Smith9; 10. 83-Hannah Adair10

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 3-Chris Windom3; 2. 9P-Parker Price-Miller4; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera2; 4. 76M-Brad Noffsinger1; 5. 15W-Brandon Waelti6; 6. 15-Tim Siner7; 7. 2X-Ryan Hall5; 8. 82-Eric Johnson9; 9. 37F-Chris Guinn8; 10. (DNF) 7F-Sean McClelland10

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 73X-Trey Marcham1; 2. 8-Alex Sewell5; 3. 55-Nick Knepper9; 4. 8K-Frank Flud4; 5. 1-Sammy Swindell6; 6. 14W-Matt Westfall7; 7. 87R-Jeff Flesher3; 8. 91S-Jeff Stasa2; 9. 10J-John Hunt8; 10. 86-Chris Ennis10

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong4; 2. 05-Brad Loyet5; 3. 5-Jerry Coons Jr2; 4. 31B-Travis Berryhill6; 5. 39T-Payton Pierce8; 6. 33H-Cameron Hagin9; 7. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd1; 8. 7JR-J.D. Black7; 9. 15B-Danny Burke3; 10. 84-Scotty Smith10

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

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 67K-Rico Abreu3; 2. 45X-Johnny Herrera1; 3. 39T-Payton Pierce2; 4. 15-Tim Siner4; 5. 14W-Matt Westfall5; 6. 6RR-Joe Liguori7; 7. 96-Cody Brewer13; 8. 83-Hannah Adair11; 9. 82-Eric Johnson8; 10. 1T-Tony Roney15; 11. 15B-Danny Burke9; 12. 86-Chris Ennis12; 13. 10J-John Hunt10; 14. 7K-Robby Parish14; 15. 6R-Jody Rosenboom16; 16. (DNF) 87R-Jeff Flesher6

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 5-Jerry Coons Jr1; 2. 91S-Jeff Stasa7; 3. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd6; 4. 5C-Colten Cottle5; 5. 76M-Brad Noffsinger2; 6. 33H-Cameron Hagin3; 7. 93H-Harley Hollan13; 8. 7F-Sean McClelland11; 9. 17J-Chase Johnson15; 10. 2X-Ryan Hall4; 11. 37F-Chris Guinn9; 12. 5$-Danny Smith10; 13. 37K-Steve Brown16; 14. 92-Brenden Bright14; 15. (DNF) 7JR-J.D. Black8; 16. (DNF) 84-Scotty Smith12

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

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong2; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell13; 3. 3-Chris Windom4; 4. 67K-Rico Abreu17; 5. 05-Brad Loyet5; 6. 26-Shane Golobic15; 7. 10-Brad Kuhn14; 8. 5-Jerry Coons Jr18; 9. 39T-Payton Pierce21; 10. 31B-Travis Berryhill7; 11. 15W-Brandon Waelti12; 12. 66-Shane Cockrum9; 13. 8K-Frank Flud16; 14. 9P-Parker Price-Miller6; 15. 15-Tim Siner23; 16. 73X-Trey Marcham10; 17. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd22; 18. 1ST-J.J. Yeley11; 19. 5C-Colten Cottle24; 20. 91S-Jeff Stasa20; 21. (DNF) 55-Nick Knepper8; 22. (DNF) 11CA-Chris Andrews1; 23. (DNF) 8-Alex Sewell3; 24. (DNF) 45X-Johnny Herrera19

Lap Leaders: Chris Andrews (1-11), Caleb Armstrong (12-25)

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.


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