On Tuesday night Bryan Clauson finished second in the Chili Bowl Race of Champions, but he felt that his performance showed that if someone wants to win the Chili Bowl they’d have to beat him to do it.  The defending Chili Bowl winner reaffirmed that notion on Friday night by completely dominating every race he ran.

 

Clausen celebrates a Chili Bowl victory.  (Speed51.com photo)

Clausen celebrates a Chili Bowl victory. (Speed51.com photo)

Clauson won his heat race, won his qualifying race, started on the pole for the A-Main, led every lap and won by a straightaway over Daryn Pittman in what was by far the most dominant performance seen so far this week at the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 

“It felt good out there,” said Clauson.  “I feel like we have a car that can win the race tomorrow night.”

 

The biggest hurdle Clauson faced on Friday night was heavy lapped traffic during the second half of the feature.  Everybody saw what happened when Zach Daum got collected in a crash with a lapped car while leading Tuesday night’s feature and Clauson said that was at the forefront of his mind while he was weaving in and out of traffic.

 

“I was trying to be patient in lapped traffic,” said Clauson.  “I obviously saw what happened to Zach earlier in the week there in traffic.  I was trying to leave myself an out no matter where we were.  I was trying to be as conservative as I could.  We won the race in the process, but it was more about not putting ourselves in a hole for tomorrow night.”

 

Pittman, the 2013 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion, finished second to Clauson at the end of a wild battle with Chad Boat, Tanner Thorson, and Darren Hagen for the final two transfer spots.

 

All four drivers duked it out while fighting through heavy lapped traffic.  Even on the race’s only restart they still had to deal with the traffic, because lapped cars are not moved to the rear of the field as per Chili Bowl race procedures.  And since no radio communication is allowed, often times these drivers don’t even know if they’re lapping a car or fighting for position.

 

“Honestly, I don’t have a clue who I’m racing with some of the time,” said Pittman.  “I obviously knew Bryan was checked out, but it’s hard to know who you’re racing with.”

 

“The lapped cars race us like they’re racing for position,” joked Boat, who got the final transfer spot.  “You just have to pass everyone you can.”

 

After the victory lane ceremony came to a close, the draw for Saturday night’s race took place on the stage among the drivers that are already locked in.  Clauson drew the second starting position, outside of Thursday night’s winner, Jerry Coons Jr.

 

That puts Clauson in a fantastic position to win back-to-back Chili Bowl championships, a feat only one other driver has accomplished.  That driver is Kevin Swindell.  He won four straight Chili Bowls from 2010-2013, and he told Clauson a secret to his success.

 

“I got to sit here next to Kevin last year and listen to him say how easy it is to win from the front row,” said Clauson.  “We’re on the front row this year, so hopefully it’s as easy as he says it is.”

 

But to be in a good position to win a second straight Golden Driller is something that has Clauson excited.

 

“It’s the biggest short track race in the world,” said Clauson.  “We’ve got World of Outlaws champions here, NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers; we cover the whole gamut.  To walk out of this building on top is a special feeling.”

By Rob Blount, Northeast Editor, speed51.com – Twitter: @robblount

-Photo Credit: Speed51.com OR Jon Lee/RacinBoys.com

Results:

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, Okla.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night

Car Count: 78
Official Event Count: 326 (New Record)

Budweiser Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson[5]; 2. 35X-Frank Flud[1]; 3. 17RW-Dave Darland[8]; 4. 2D-Steve Davis[6]; 5. 74-Jamie Speers[4]; 6. 12J-Jay Mounce[2]; 7. 31R-David Wheeler[7]; 8. 25-Marvin Mitchell[3]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 15X-Chad Boat[1]; 2. 19B-Jake Bubak[2]; 3. 4J-Tim Crawley[5]; 4. 8L-Austin Liggett[4]; 5. 83-Shane Weeks[3]; 6. 22AZ-Rick Shuman[6]; 7. (DNF) 35D-Dahne Lynn McKay[7]; 8. (DNF) 1OU-A.J. Burns[8]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 68-Ronnie Gardner[5]; 2. 15B-Danny Burke[3]; 3. 82H-Mike Hess[7]; 4. 1JR-Stevie Sussex III[8]; 5. 27H-Curt Michael[6]; 6. 27T-Tucker Klaasmeyer[4]; 7. 11F-Floyd Alvis[1]; 8. (DNF) 53-Aaron Schuck[2]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie[4]; 2. 17K-Alex Schutte[5]; 3. 3C-Raven Culp[6]; 4. 24X-Landon Simon[7]; 5. 10X-Ronnie Burns[2]; 6. 69X-Jeromy Hefler[1]; 7. 5H-Tyson Hall[8]; 8. (DNF) 32D-Danny Jennings[3]

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 7A-Darren Hagen[4]; 2. 98-Jarid Blondel[2]; 3. 22-John Heydenreich[1]; 4. 41-Jason Johnson[7]; 5. 20S-Shon Deskins[5]; 6. 6C-Cory Butler[3]; 7. 57M-Matt Mitchell[6]; 8. 00-Cole Custer[8]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 21K-Cory Kruseman[2]; 2. 17J-Chase Johnson[3]; 3. 21-Daryn Pittman[8]; 4. 6M-Pat McVicker[5]; 5. 313-Mitchell Frewaldt[4]; 6. 05H-Justin Hendricks[1]; 7. 59E-Dex Eaton[6]; 8. 6R-Lucas Schott[7]

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 99P-Dillon Welch[4]; 2. 37F-Hunter Schuerenberg[7]; 3. 41P-Austin Prock[2]; 4. 85H-Shane Hollingsworth[8]; 5. 89-Nick Bailey[5]; 6. 56L-Jack Hawley[6]; 8. 77B-Renaldo Snipes[1]; 7. (DNF) 24F-Hunter Fischer[3]

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 71L-Damion Gardner[4]; 2. 3T-Tim Barber[2]; 3. 51F-Mike Spencer[7]; 4. 95-Jim Radney[3]; 5. 3M-Mike Fulper[8]; 6. (DNF) 7W-Kory Schudy[1]; 7. (DNF) 0-Johnny Murdock[6]; 8. (DNF) 17N-Duke Nalon III[5]

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 57D-Daniel Robinson[1]; 2. 3-Shane Cottle[4]; 3. 11K-Gavin Harlien[2]; 4. 67K-Kevin Thomas Jr[7]; 5. 62D-Rusty Dukes[5]; 6. 10J-John Hunt[6]; 7. 17KT-Ryan Ellis[3]

Heat 10 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson[1]; 2. 20-Tadd Holliman[2]; 3. 9D-Sean Dodenhoff[4]; 4. 24T-George White[3]; 5. 31B-David Budres[7]; 6. 2$-Stuart (Stu) Snyder[6]; 7. 5F-Rik Forbes[5]

D-Features: Top 2 advance to corresponding C-Feature.

D Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 25-Marvin Mitchell[6]; 2. 6R-Lucas Schott[4]; 3. 59E-Dex Eaton[1]; 4. 1OU-A.J. Burns[3]; 5. 5F-Rik Forbes[2]; 6. 53-Aaron Schuck[7]; 7. (DNF) 24F-Hunter Fischer[5]

D Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 00-Cole Custer[3]; 2. 17KT-Ryan Ellis[2]; 3. 32D-Danny Jennings[6]; 4. 11F-Floyd Alvis[4]; 5. 77B-Renaldo Snipes[7]; 6. 17N-Duke Nalon III[5]; DNS 0-Johnny Murdock

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

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 20S-Shon Deskins[2]; 2. 74-Jamie Speers[3]; 3. 10J-John Hunt[7]; 4. 5H-Tyson Hall[8]; 5. 69X-Jeromy Hefler[11]; 6. 31R-David Wheeler[10]; 7. 83-Shane Weeks[4]; 8. 7W-Kory Schudy[12]; 9. 6C-Cory Butler[9]; 10. 6R-Lucas Schott[14]; 11. 10X-Ronnie Burns[5]; 12. 22AZ-Rick Shuman[6]; 13. 25-Marvin Mitchell[13]; 14. (DNF) 24T-George White[1]

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 27H-Curt Michael[1]; 2. 57M-Matt Mitchell[12]; 3. 27T-Tucker Klaasmeyer[8]; 4. 62D-Rusty Dukes[2]; 5. 35D-Dahne Lynn McKay[10]; 6. 2$-Stuart (Stu) Snyder[7]; 7. 89-Nick Bailey[4]; 8. 56L-Jack Hawley[6]; 9. 313-Mitchell Frewaldt[3]; 10. 00-Cole Custer[13]; 11. 17KT-Ryan Ellis[14]; 12. 12J-Jay Mounce[9]; 13. 05H-Justin Hendricks[11]; 14. (DNF) 3M-Mike Fulper[5]

Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson[6]; 2. 21K-Cory Kruseman[3]; 3. 17J-Chase Johnson[1]; 4. 57D-Daniel Robinson[2]; 5. 17K-Alex Schutte[4]; 6. 99P-Dillon Welch[5]; 7. 22-John Heydenreich[10]; 8. 41P-Austin Prock[9]; 9. (DNF) 67K-Kevin Thomas Jr[7]; 10. (DNF) 20-Tadd Holliman[8]

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 4J-Tim Crawley[1]; 2. 3-Shane Cottle[3]; 3. 71L-Damion Gardner[5]; 4. 37F-Hunter Schuerenberg[4]; 5. 68-Ronnie Gardner[6]; 6. 35X-Frank Flud[8]; 7. 67-Tanner Thorson[2]; 8. 19B-Jake Bubak[7]; 9. 31B-David Budres[10]; 10. 11K-Gavin Harlien[9]

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 17RW-Dave Darland[5]; 2. 1JR-Stevie Sussex III[2]; 3. 9D-Sean Dodenhoff[8]; 4. 24X-Landon Simon[1]; 5. 41-Jason Johnson[9]; 6. 8L-Austin Liggett[10]; 7. 47X-Tim McCreadie[6]; 8. 3C-Raven Culp[3]; 9. (DNF) 82H-Mike Hess[4]; 10. (DNF) 98-Jarid Blondel[7]

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 2. 15X-Chad Boat[3]; 3. 85H-Shane Hollingsworth[1]; 4. 51F-Mike Spencer[4]; 5. 7A-Darren Hagen[6]; 6. 95-Jim Radney[10]; 7. 3T-Tim Barber[7]; 8. 15B-Danny Burke[2]; 9. 6M-Pat McVicker[9]; 10. 2D-Steve Davis[8]

B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 47X-Tim McCreadie[3]; 2. 35X-Frank Flud[4]; 3. 82H-Mike Hess[8]; 4. 57D-Daniel Robinson[2]; 5. 99P-Dillon Welch[1]; 6. 20S-Shon Deskins[13]; 7. 31B-David Budres[10]; 8. 3C-Raven Culp[7]; 9. 5H-Tyson Hall[16]; 10. 20-Tadd Holliman[11]; 11. 3T-Tim Barber[6]; 12. 74-Jamie Speers[14]; 13. 10J-John Hunt[15]; 14. (DNF) 15B-Danny Burke[9]; 15. (DNF) 95-Jim Radney[5]; 16. (DNF) 2D-Steve Davis[12]

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson[6]; 2. 41-Jason Johnson[2]; 3. 85H-Shane Hollingsworth[1]; 4. 24X-Landon Simon[3]; 5. 67K-Kevin Thomas Jr[9]; 6. 27H-Curt Michael[13]; 7. 62D-Rusty Dukes[16]; 8. 27T-Tucker Klaasmeyer[15]; 9. 11K-Gavin Harlien[12]; 10. 19B-Jake Bubak[7]; 11. 8L-Austin Liggett[4]; 12. (DNF) 41P-Austin Prock[8]; 13. (DNF) 57M-Matt Mitchell[14]; 14. (DNF) 22-John Heydenreich[5]; 15. (DNF) 6M-Pat McVicker[10]; 16. (DNF) 98-Jarid Blondel[11]

A-Feature: Top 3 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature.

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 63-Bryan Clauson[1]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[3]; 3. 15X-Chad Boat[8]; 4. 67-Tanner Thorson[18]; 5. 7A-Darren Hagen[12]; 6. 47X-Tim McCreadie[17]; 7. 3-Shane Cottle[7]; 8. 68-Ronnie Gardner[9]; 9. 21K-Cory Kruseman[5]; 10. 71L-Damion Gardner[4]; 11. 1JR-Stevie Sussex III[11]; 12. 17RW-Dave Darland[2]; 13. 4J-Tim Crawley[10]; 14. 17K-Alex Schutte[16]; 15. 37F-Hunter Schuerenberg[13]; 16. 57D-Daniel Robinson[23]; 17. 9D-Sean Dodenhoff[6]; 18. 51F-Mike Spencer[14]; 19. 85H-Shane Hollingsworth[22]; 20. 41-Jason Johnson[20]; 21. 82H-Mike Hess[21]; 22. 17J-Chase Johnson[15]; 23. 24X-Landon Simon[24]; 24. 35X-Frank Flud[19]

Lap Leader: Bryan Clauson 1-25;

 

Clauson Crushes Chili Bowl Competition on Night 4