Even though Jerry Coons Jr. won, Kevin Swindell and Christopher Bell were the show on the third night of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.  Swindell and Bell both won their respective B-Mains after having issues in their qualifying race, started in the rear of the A-main and worked their way through the field passing cars whenever they could.


But their march to the front of the pack was not incident free.  On just the second lap of the race both drivers were swept up in a big pileup in turn two along with three other drivers.  Swindell, the only person to win four straight Chili Bowls, took his No. 39 to the turn three work area to get a new tire.  Bell was able to drive away from the incident damage-free after getting untangled from another car by the track crew.


Bell and Swindell found themselves running in a B-Main after having troubles in their qualifying race.  Bell had a flat right-rear tire on the first lap that his crew attempted to change in the work area before the caution lights went out.  They failed. Bell didn’t finish the first qualifier.


Meanwhile, Swindell led the first half of the qualifying race before debris came off his car and he was sent to the rear of the field by race officials.  He rebounded to fifth but didn’t get enough passing points to go straight to the A-main.


After the red-flag for the incident in turn two on the second lap of the A-Main was lifted, Swindell and Bell found themselves restarting 21st and 22nd, just a few spots back from where they began the race.  But they didn’t stay back there for long.


Swindell and Bell passed cars like they were standing still.  It seemed like they were pulling slidejobs almost every single corner.  Sometimes they’d fail to pass the car cleanly, but that’s just part of racing on a quarter-mile dirt track.


Everything Swindell and Bell did on Thursday night at the River Spirit Expo Center, they did together; except for one thing.  Swindell managed to make his way into a transfer position by the end of the A-Main.  Bell did not.


Swindell dove into turn one and slid up in front of Ryan Bernal to take over the third and final transfer position on the penultimate lap of Thursday’s feature.  Bell finished almost a straightaway behind Bernal in fifth.


“I was able to get around the bottom pretty well,” said Swindell.  “Most of them couldn’t, or at least didn’t seem to try.  The seas parted a couple of times.  I really had to work to get Bernal at the end.


“This eliminated one issue in getting to Saturday night.  We get to be good and fresh and ready to go.  I would have liked to have caught Andrew (Deal), but at the same time I’m in, and I’m good, and I can focus on Saturday.”


Meanwhile, Jerry Coons basically drove away from the rest of the field to score the win, beating Deal by a wide margin.


Although Coons has yet to win the big race at the Chili Bowl, he has won a few of these qualifying night features.  He explained in victory lane that even though it’s just a preliminary race, it’s basically a feature, and that makes them incredibly difficult, and also meaningful, to win.


“It’s very special,” said Coons.  “Obviously come Saturday night we are going to forget about who won Thursday night, but there’s 60 or 70 cars here tonight and some of the top drivers.  On any night it’s hard to run in the top three and it’s certainly hard to win.  There’s a reason why we celebrate pretty hard on the early nights, because it’s still a big win.”


After three nights of racing at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Coons, Swindell, and Deal add their names to the list of drivers locked into Saturday’s main event along with Kyle Larson, Rico Abreu, Chris Windom, J.J. Yeley, Brad Loyet and Spencer Bayston.



Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, Okla.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night

Car Count: 80

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

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 15D-Andrew Deal[2]; 2. 71-Christopher Bell[5]; 3. 75-Thomas Meseraull[3]; 4. 3F-Geoff Ensign[4]; 5. 78J-Tommy Kunsman[1]; 6. 37T-J.T. Imperial[7]; 7. 77K-Katlynn Leer[8]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 33-Davey Ray[1]; 2. 37-Seth Bergman[2]; 3. 51S-Steven Shebester[4]; 4. 5X-Justin Peck[5]; 5. 11-Justin Melton[7]; 6. 12A-Austin Archdale[3]; 7. 5BL-Barry Lamb[6]; 8. 7RS-Scott Crystal[8]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[2]; 2. 39-Kevin Swindell[3]; 3. 19W-Matt Streeter[1]; 4. 14H-Harley Hollan[4]; 5. 87C-Kip Hughes[5]; 6. GO-Coby Hughes[6]; 7. 7D-Michelle Decker[8]; 8. (DNF) 2H-Robert Harr[7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 6A-David Gough[1]; 2. 20W-Chad Wilson[3]; 3. 26-Shane Golobic[7]; 4. 69-A.J. Fike[8]; 5. 2M-Seth Motsinger[4]; 6. 05W-Kenny Wallace[2]; 7. 31-James Burke[5]; 8. (DNF) 86S-Danny Smith[6]

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 17W-Cole Wood[1]; 2. 57C-Chad Boespflug[2]; 3. 2B-Ryan Bernal[4]; 4. 14E-Eric Fenton[3]; 5. 11B-Josh Baughman[7]; 6. 25J-Matt Juhl[5]; 7. 6-Tom Harris[8]; 8. 67RW-Sarah Fisher[6]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 5-Jerry Coons Jr[3]; 2. 10V-Richard VanderWeerd[2]; 3. 68M-Tyler Edwards[4]; 4. 45-C.J. Johnson[6]; 5. 56X-Mark Chisholm[8]; 6. 2J-Ryan Leavitt[5]; 7. 5B-Andee Beierle[7]; 8. (DNF) 48J-Wally Pankratz[1]

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 73D-David Gravel[6]; 2. 73-Jason McDougal[2]; 3. 8H-Harli White[4]; 4. 19S-Patrick Stasa[8]; 5. 8R-Randi Pankratz[5]; 6. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[7]; 7. (DNF) 29S-Christian Kinnison[1]; 8. (DNF) 88-Tyler Nelson[3]

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 2A-C.J. Leary[5]; 2. 50-Daniel Adler[3]; 3. 17M-Michael Koontz[4]; 4. 3A-Chris Andrews[6]; 5. 57K-Kevin Studley[7]; 6. 14N-Paul Nienhiser[2]; 7. 53H-Matt Harms[8]; DNS 35L-Cody Ledger

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 81H-Heath Duinkerken[2]; 2. 24-Tracy Hines[4]; 3. 51-Jake Hagopian[1]; 4. 5$-Danny Smith[5]; 5. 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[7]; 6. 21N-Nick Speidel[3]; 7. 5G-P.J. Gargiulo[8]; 8. 71T-Ricky Shelton[6]

Heat 10 (8 Laps): 1. 47-Danny Stratton[8]; 2. 91K-Kevin Bayer[4]; 3. 22E-Mike Goodman[5]; 4. 96-Cody Brewer[6]; 5. 21D-Justin Dickerson[3]; 6. 7R-Anton Julian[7]; 7. (DNF) 6K-Ryan Foster[2]; 8. (DNF) 101-Chuck McGillivray[1]

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

D Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 67RW-Sarah Fisher[6]; 2. 88-Tyler Nelson[7]; 3. 5B-Andee Beierle[1]; 4. 71.5-Robert Bell[5]; 5. 101-Chuck McGillivray[8]; 6. (DNF) 2H-Robert Harr[4]; 7. (DNF) 7RS-Scott Crystal[3]; 8. (DNF) 5BL-Barry Lamb[2

D Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 35L-Cody Ledger[8]; 2. 6K-Ryan Foster[3]; 3. 86S-Danny Smith[5]; 4. 53H-Matt Harms[1]; 5. 71T-Ricky Shelton[6]; 6. 31-James Burke[2]; 7. 29S-Christian Kinnison[4]; 8. 48J-Wally Pankratz[7]

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

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[1]; 2. 14H-Harley Hollan[2]; 3. 57K-Kevin Studley[4]; 4. 37T-J.T. Imperial[5]; 5. 25J-Matt Juhl[8]; 6. 67RW-Sarah Fisher[13]; 7. 7R-Anton Julian[6]; 8. 88-Tyler Nelson[14]; 9. 87C-Kip Hughes[3]; 10. 6-Tom Harris[10]; 11. 05W-Kenny Wallace[12]; 12. 12A-Austin Archdale[11]; 13. 78J-Tommy Kunsman[7]; 14. 77K-Katlynn Leer[9]

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 3F-Geoff Ensign[1]; 2. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[5]; 3. 7D-Michelle Decker[9]; 4. 8R-Randi Pankratz[3]; 5. 14E-Eric Fenton[2]; 6. 2M-Seth Motsinger[4]; 7. 6K-Ryan Foster[14]; 8. 5G-P.J. Gargiulo[10]; 9. 21N-Nick Speidel[11]; 10. 35L-Cody Ledger[13]; 11. 14N-Paul Nienhiser[12]; 12. 21D-Justin Dickerson[6]; 13. 2J-Ryan Leavitt[8]; 14. GO-Coby Hughes[7]

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

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 57C-Chad Boespflug[1]; 2. 47-Danny Stratton[6]; 3. 19W-Matt Streeter[10]; 4. 17M-Michael Koontz[8]; 5. 39-Kevin Swindell[2]; 6. 81H-Heath Duinkerken[4]; 7. 51S-Steven Shebester[7]; 8. 6A-David Gough[3]; 9. 56X-Mark Chisholm[9]; 10. (DNF) 71-Christopher Bell[5]

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 24-Tracy Hines[4]; 2. 2B-Ryan Bernal[7]; 3. 26-Shane Golobic[5]; 4. 10V-Richard VanderWeerd[1]; 5. 75-Thomas Meseraull[9]; 6. 20W-Chad Wilson[2]; 7. 73D-David Gravel[6]; 8. 17W-Cole Wood[3]; 9. (DNF) 45-C.J. Johnson[8]; 10. (DNF) 51-Jake Hagopian[10]

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 15D-Andrew Deal[5]; 2. 5-Jerry Coons Jr[6]; 3. 22E-Mike Goodman[2]; 4. 91K-Kevin Bayer[4]; 5. 5X-Justin Peck[9]; 6. 69-A.J. Fike[3]; 7. 68M-Tyler Edwards[7]; 8. 11-Justin Melton[10]; 9. 3A-Chris Andrews[8]; 10. (DNF) 73-Jason McDougal[1]

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 37-Seth Bergman[2]; 2. 50-Daniel Adler[1]; 3. 19S-Patrick Stasa[3]; 4. 33-Davey Ray[4]; 5. 2A-C.J. Leary[6]; 6. 5$-Danny Smith[9]; 7. 8H-Harli White[7]; 8. 96-Cody Brewer[8]; 9. 11B-Josh Baughman[10]; 10. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[5]

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

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 71-Christopher Bell[9]; 2. 5X-Justin Peck[2]; 3. 33-Davey Ray[1]; 4. 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[13]; 5. 5$-Danny Smith[4]; 6. 6A-David Gough[7]; 7. 81H-Heath Duinkerken[3]; 8. 11-Justin Melton[8]; 9. 68M-Tyler Edwards[6]; 10. 56X-Mark Chisholm[11]; 11. 14H-Harley Hollan[14]; 12. 57K-Kevin Studley[15]; 13. 51-Jake Hagopian[12]; 14. 20W-Chad Wilson[5]; 15. 45-C.J. Johnson[10]; 16. 37T-J.T. Imperial[16]

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell[3]; 2. 10V-Richard VanderWeerd[2]; 3. 17W-Cole Wood[7]; 4. 8H-Harli White[6]; 5. 3F-Geoff Ensign[13]; 6. 96-Cody Brewer[8]; 7. 51S-Steven Shebester[5]; 8. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[14]; 9. 7D-Michelle Decker[15]; 10. 3A-Chris Andrews[10]; 11. 11B-Josh Baughman[11]; 12. 75-Thomas Meseraull[1]; 13. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[9]; 14. (DNF) 69-A.J. Fike[4]; 15. (DNF) 8R-Randi Pankratz[16]; 16. (DNF) 73-Jason McDougal[12]

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

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 5-Jerry Coons Jr[3]; 2. 15D-Andrew Deal[2]; 3. 39-Kevin Swindell[18]; 4. 2B-Ryan Bernal[5]; 5. 71-Christopher Bell[17]; 6. 47-Danny Stratton[1]; 7. 5X-Justin Peck[19]; 8. 26-Shane Golobic[7]; 9. 37-Seth Bergman[8]; 10. 91K-Kevin Bayer[14]; 11. 19W-Matt Streeter[6]; 12. 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[23]; 13. 10V-Richard VanderWeerd[20]; 14. 8H-Harli White[24]; 15. 22E-Mike Goodman[16]; 16. 57C-Chad Boespflug[9]; 17. 24-Tracy Hines[4]; 18. 19S-Patrick Stasa[12]; 19. 2A-C.J. Leary[11]; 20. 17M-Michael Koontz[10]; 21. 17W-Cole Wood[22]; 22. (DNF) 73D-David Gravel[15]; 23. (DNF) 50-Daniel Adler[13]; 24. (DNF) 33-Davey Ray[21]

Lap Leader(s): Danny Stratton 1-3; Andrew Deal 4-6; Jerry Coons, Jr. 7-25;


-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor- Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit: Jon Lee/RacinBoys



Coons Wins at Chili Bowl; Swindell and Bell Steal Show