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Bryan Clauson Storms to Vacuworx Qualifier Victory

Saturday January 18, 2014


Bryan Clauson wins fourth and final qualifier for the Chili Bowl.
Photo by Patrick Grant

By Bryan Hulbert

TULSA, Okla. (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 http://www.chilibowl.com/profile/schedule/results.aspx?r=43347&rt=sch

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 http://www.chilibowl.com.

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 Boat6; 2. 7B-Austin Brown4; 3. 2$-Stuart Snyder1; 4. 94-Darren Kingston3; 5. 35H-Tyson Hall2; 6. 14-Tony Rossi5; 7. 10B-Thomas Briggs8; 8. (DNF) 19C-Rusty Carlile7

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson3; 2. 71X-Jac Haudenschild2; 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner6; 4. 80-Josh Hawkins7; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson8; 6. 5S-Kyle Steffens5; 7. 24K-Bradley Morris1; 8. (DNF) 69M-Mike Miller4

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson1; 2. 73N-Nic Faas2; 3. 51S-Mike Spencer4; 4. 37X-Michael Faccinto3; 5. 91-Dereck King8; 6. 95-Jim Radney6; 7. 24L-C.J. Leary7; DNS 75-Justin Grant

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas1; 2. 43B-Brent Beauchamp4; 3. 21K-Cory Kruseman7; 4. 20-Tadd Holliman5; 5. 22AZ-Rick Shuman3; 6. 19W-Dan Parker8; 7. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock2; 8. (DNF) 3E-Kody Swanson6….19W penalized at the finish for hitting the cone on a restart.

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 56J-Darren Hagen4; 2. 2ST-Jon Stanbrough5; 3. 52C-Isaac Chapple6; 4. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins2; 5. 11XS-Donovan Peterson1; 6. 59-Kaley Engstrom7; 7. 6M-Justin Mallo3; 8. 6C-Matt Fox8

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 17R-Dave Darland3; 2. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth5; 3. 88-Terry Babb1; 4. 83P-Wes McIntyre2; 5. 57M-Matt Mitchell8; 6. 4F-Chad Frewaldt4; 7. 12J-Jay Mounce6; 8. 11F-Floyd Alvis7

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 56R-Ryan Bernal3; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman6; 3. 59E-Dex Eaton1; 4. 32D-Danny Jennings5; 5. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz7; 6. 5A-Peter Palazzolo2; 7. 05H-Justin Hendricks4; 8. 05P-Ryan Pace8

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie4; 2. 13AU-Matt Hunter1; 3. 1K-Trevor Kobylarz8; 4. 71-Kasey Kahne7; 5. 19R-Randy Woodside3; 6. 31-David Budres5; 7. 9M-Cory Mallo2; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal6

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 39R-Dillon Welch1; 2. 5N-Jeffrey Newell3; 3. 17K-Alex Schutte6; 4. 8C-Kris Schudy7; 5. 25M-Derrick Myers4; 6. 4X-Shawn Petersen8; 7. 14R-John Klabunde2; 8. (DNF) 2-Kevin Thomas Jr5

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

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 5S-Kyle Steffens2; 2. 11XS-Donovan Peterson5; 3. 24L-C.J. Leary9; 4. 59-Kaley Engstrom3; 5. 19W-Dan Parker1; 6. 24K-Bradley Morris14; 7. 10B-Thomas Briggs7; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal15; 9. 5A-Peter Palazzolo8; 10. (DNF) 05P-Ryan Pace11; 11. (DNF) 19C-Rusty Carlile13; 12. (DNF) 19R-Randy Woodside4; 13. (DNF) 14-Tony Rossi6; 14. (DNF) 9M-Cory Mallo12; 15. (DNF) 6M-Justin Mallo10; DNS 69M-Mike Miller

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 2-Kevin Thomas Jr15; 2. 35H-Tyson Hall4; 3. 12J-Jay Mounce8; 4. 31-David Budres6; 5. 14R-John Klabunde12; 6. 11F-Floyd Alvis13; 7. 6C-Matt Fox10; 8. (DNF) 4X-Shawn Petersen1; 9. (DNF) 95-Jim Radney5; 10. (DNF) 25M-Derrick Myers2; 11. (DNF) 4F-Chad Frewaldt7; 12. (DNF) 05H-Justin Hendricks9; 13. (DNF) 22AZ-Rick Shuman3; 14. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock11; 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 Thorson2; 2. 2ST-Jon Stanbrough4; 3. 57M-Matt Mitchell8; 4. 73N-Nic Faas7; 5. 88-Terry Babb9; 6. 94-Darren Kingston10; 7. 43B-Brent Beauchamp3; 8. 80-Josh Hawkins1; 9. (DNF) 15X-Chad Boat6; 10. (DNF) 1K-Trevor Kobylarz5

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson5; 2. 68-Ronnie Gardner3; 3. 91T-Tyler Thomas2; 4. 71-Kasey Kahne1; 5. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth4; 6. 56J-Darren Hagen6; 7. 37X-Michael Faccinto10; 8. 13AU-Matt Hunter7; 9. 20-Tadd Holliman8; 10. (DNF) 59E-Dex Eaton9

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie6; 2. 17R-Dave Darland5; 3. 39R-Dillon Welch2; 4. 21K-Cory Kruseman4; 5. 51S-Mike Spencer7; 6. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins10; 7. 91-Dereck King9; 8. 52C-Isaac Chapple3; 9. 32D-Danny Jennings8; 10. (DNF) 8C-Kris Schudy1

Qualifier 4 (12 Laps): 1. 56R-Ryan Bernal5; 2. 17K-Alex Schutte3; 3. 21-Daryn Pittman6; 4. 7B-Austin Brown4; 5. 5N-Jeffrey Newell2; 6. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz9; 7. 2$-Stuart Snyder8; 8. 83P-Wes McIntyre10; 9. 57D-Daniel Robinson7; 10. (DNF) 71X-Jac Haudenschild1

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

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 51S-Mike Spencer2; 2. 85S-Shane Hollingsworth1; 3. 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins5; 4. 5N-Jeffrey Newell3; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson10; 6. 37X-Michael Faccinto6; 7. 5S-Kyle Steffens13; 8. 32D-Danny Jennings11; 9. 24L-C.J. Leary15; 10. 83P-Wes McIntyre9; 11. 94-Darren Kingston4; 12. 11XS-Donovan Peterson14; 13. 2$-Stuart Snyder7; 14. 59-Kaley Engstrom16; 15. (DNF) 13AU-Matt Hunter8; 16. (DNF) 8C-Kris Schudy12

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 88-Terry Babb1; 2. 15X-Chad Boat3; 3. 1K-Trevor Kobylarz8; 4. 84B-Bobby Michnowicz4; 5. 52C-Isaac Chapple7; 6. 31-David Budres16; 7. 59E-Dex Eaton11; 8. 2-Kevin Thomas Jr13; 9. 20-Tadd Holliman10; 10. 35H-Tyson Hall14; 11. (DNF) 12J-Jay Mounce15; 12. (DNF) 80-Josh Hawkins9; 13. (DNF) 71-Kasey Kahne2; 14. (DNF) 43B-Brent Beauchamp5; 15. (DNF) 91-Dereck King6; 16. (DNF) 71X-Jac Haudenschild12

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

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson2; 2. 47X-Tim McCreadie1; 3. 17R-Dave Darland4; 4. 21-Daryn Pittman5; 5. 56R-Ryan Bernal3; 6. 17K-Alex Schutte9; 7. 15X-Chad Boat20; 8. 57M-Matt Mitchell10; 9. 51S-Mike Spencer17; 10. 56J-Darren Hagen16; 11. 39R-Dillon Welch14; 12. 91T-Tyler Thomas13; 13. 21K-Cory Kruseman12; 14. 7B-Austin Brown15; 15. 88-Terry Babb18; 16. 73N-Nic Faas11; 17. 67-Tanner Thorson7; 18. 68-Ronnie Gardner8; 19. 5N-Jeffrey Newell23; 20. (DNF) 85S-Shane Hollingsworth19; 21. (DNF) 2ST-Jon Stanbrough6; 22. (DNF) 84B-Bobby Michnowicz24; 23. (DNF) 21AJ-A.J. Hopkins21; 24. (DNF) 1K-Trevor Kobylarz22

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

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


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