This past August, Bryan Clauson announced what he is calling the “Circular Insanity Tour.” He has come up with a schedule consisting of 200 races that he will attempt throughout the 2016 year. One of the biggest races on that schedule is the Chili Bowl Nationals. Clauson, a former winner of the event, took home the checkered flag on his preliminary night on Friday, and finished second in the main event on Saturday night.
“Terrible. Just terrible. I felt like I had a winning car and I let one slip away,” joked Clauson in the Chili Bowl press room.
He then got serious and quickly assessed the start of his unprecedented campaign.
“It’s obviously a great start,” Clauson said. “I’m sure I’m going to give a few of them away and lost a couple more and probably win a couple I shouldn’t. It’s a great start.”
The 26-year-old California native has run just five races to start off the season and has one win and two top-
five finishes. He had mixed results racing Midgets across the Pacific Ocean in Australia before coming back to the United States and finishing third in a 410 Sprint Car race in Arizona. He then headed to Oklahoma for the Chili Bowl where he finished fourth on Tuesday night in the VIROC VIII Race of Champions, won his preliminary night on Friday, and finished second in the main event.
Now that the Chili Bowl has come and gone, Clauson was able to reflect on the fact that he still has 195 more races to go. In fact, Clauson has already forgotten how many races he’s already run.
“The greatest thing about the schedule that I’m running this year is that if you have a bad night, like I tweeted a couple nights ago, there’s still 196 of them left,” Clauson said on Saturday night. “Actually, I can’t remember the count now, but I’m still in the 190’s.”
While the centerpiece to Clauson’s Circular Insanity Tour is the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and Clauson’s third attempt at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Chili Bowl Nationals is the biggest race in short track racing, and one of Clauson’s absolute favorites.
Because of that, finishing second at the Chili Bowl can be a tough pill to swallow, especially when running so strong throughout the week the way Clauson had.
“You hate to let it get away when it’s 10 laps away from your hands,” said Clauson. “But at the same time we just got beat. That’s part of racing. It’s another night. We’ll be go back and tinker on our car and come back in another year and see if we can beat him.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo