Thorson Stands Tall in Chili Bowl Friday Thriller

Friday night’s A-Main at the 34th Annual Chili Bowl Nationals proved to be a thriller with several drivers trading slide jobs throughout the 30-lap main event. The lead changed hands a staggering seven times during the race, with former USAC National Midget champion Tanner Thorson holding off Ryan Bernal and Chris Windom over the final ten 10 to pick up the win.

 

The Nevada driver started fifth and would take the lead for the first time at the halfway point after Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. drove over the cushion in turn four. However, Thorson was be challenged by the likes of Bernal, Windom, Tucker Klaasmeyer, and Justin Allgaier, losing and then regaining the lead on multiple occasions during the foray. Thorson ultimately made the race-winning pass with five laps reamaining and beat Bernal by a car length at the checkered flag.

 

“Ryan, mad respect for that kid. I’ve raced a lot with him out on the west coast and kind of grew up with the same people and we became pretty close, so it’s pretty awesome to be able to dice it out with him and (Chris) Windom,” Thorson said on the Racinboys.com broadcast. “You don’t get too many guys that will race you pretty clean like that, you know. We’re locked in, we’ll see what we can do here in the main.”

 

While most of the week has seen the top side become the dominant line around the River Spirit Expo Center, Friday night saw both lanes work their magic and give fans a preview of what to expect on Saturday night.

 

“I was just kind of poking around at the bottom, just trying not to get drove by and I got drove by Tucker (Klaasmeyer). I stayed in my rhythm there and the long run came in,” Thorson said. “I knew the top was going to come in. I’m pretty speechless right now, we have a really fast hot rod.”

 

Bernal pulled off a daring pass on the inside with 10 laps to go, moving from fifth to first in one corner just before a yellow came out. While he was forced to settle for second in the end, the move proved to play a major role in the California driver locking his spot into Saturday night’s main event.

 

After putting on a show with his friends, Bernal was nearly in tears after the race.

 

“I know it’s just a prelim but it means a lot. Getting to race with a couple of your best friends is big,” Bernal said. “There’s three guys in this crew that are in my wedding next month. It’s just a couple buddies putting a team together, Matt Wood (car owner) makes it possible for us. We were close, really close, but just came up a little bit short but we locked into the big show, which feels really good.”

 

Former USAC Silver Crown and National Sprint champion Chris Windom finished the race third after starting on the pole, while former POWRi National champion Tucker Klaasmeyer and NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Justin Allgaier completed the top five.

 

Stay tuned to the Speed51 Network for a full video recap of Friday night's preliminary action.

 

-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Kyler Hope

 

Chili Bowl Friday Results:

Car Count: 70

Event Count: 343

OERB Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 28-Ace McCarthy[2]; 2. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[3]; 3. 81-Colten Cottle[4]; 4. 5O-Timmy Thrash[5]; 5. 84Z-Johnny Murdock[1]; 6. 19X-Don Droud Jr[6]; 7. (DNS) 17X-Kurt Stellhorn; 8. (DNS) 35-Ben Schmidt

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[3]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[4]; 3. 8K-Josh Hawkins[1]; 4. 72J-Sam Johnson[6]; 5. 37X-Karter Sarff[7]; 6. 10W-Marcus Thomas[8]; 7. 42C-Chris Cochran[5]; 8. 15L-Merril Lamb[2]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 7A-Justin Allgaier[3]; 2. 95-Chris Andrews[1]; 3. 19-Tanner Thorson[8]; 4. 7-Shannon McQueen[4]; 5. 29A-Tim Buckwalter[5]; 6. 1NP-Terry Nichols[6]; 7. 93Z-Zachary Patterson[2]; 8. 21S-Russell Shoulders[7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 14H-AJ Hopkins[2]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[6]; 3. 92-Josh Most[7]; 4. 68W-Josh Lakatos[1]; 5. 93-Dustin Morgan[5]; 6. 88E-Tim Estenson[3]; 7. 72C-Chris Tarrant[8]; 8. 20-Tadd Holliman[4]

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 89-Chris Windom[4]; 2. 15J-David Prickett[1]; 3. 37M-Matt Mitchell[3]; 4. 88-Terry Babb[2]; 5. 17R-Alex Schutte[5]; 6. 11D-Colton Fisher[8]; 7. 3F-Tim Barber[7]; 8. 20G-Noah Gass[6]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[7]; 2. 87W-Ryan Bernal[8]; 3. 10J-Jeffrey Newell[1]; 4. 22B-Troy Betts[4]; 5. 57-Maria Cofer[6]; 6. 19U-Pierce Urbanosky[2]; 7. 95T-Buddy Tubbs[5]; 8. 911-Waylon Weaver[3]

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 4A-Justin Grant[2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz[1]; 3. 57A-Bill Balog[8]; 4. 9K-Kevin Olson[3]; 5. 78-Raven Culp[6]; 6. 13A-Austin Yarbrough[5]; 7. 20C-Conor Daly[7]; 8. 27F-Jesse Frazier[4]

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[4]; 2. 5K-Justin Peck[5]; 3. 2R-Steven Drevicki[6]; 4. 88W-Dustin Weland[2]; 5. 08J-Jace McIntosh[1]; 6. 52F-Logan Faucon[3]; 7. 44D-Evan Turner[7]

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 25P-Chad Boespflug[2]; 2. 82-Andrew Layser[7]; 3. 7M-Brody Roa[4]; 4. 4C-Kyle Bellm[1]; 5. 4R-Jared McIntyre[5]; 6. C27-Clint Wilson[6]; 7. 56X-Mark Chisholm[3]

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C-Main 1 (12 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan[2]; 2. 88E-Tim Estenson[7]; 3. 35-Ben Schmidt[15]; 4. 20C-Conor Daly[9]; 5. 20-Tadd Holliman[13]; 6. 13A-Austin Yarbrough[6]; 7. 19U-Pierce Urbanosky[8]; 8. 1NP-Terry Nichols[5]; 9. 56X-Mark Chisholm[11]; 10. 21S-Russell Shoulders[12]; 11. 08J-Jace McIntosh[4]; 12. 42C-Chris Cochran[10]; 13. 4R-Jared McIntyre[3]; 14. 911-Waylon Weaver[14]; 15. 4C-Kyle Bellm[1]

C-Main 2 (12 Laps): 1. 17R-Alex Schutte[2]; 2. 29A-Tim Buckwalter[1]; 3. 19X-Don Droud Jr[3]; 4. 52F-Logan Faucon[6]; 5. 95T-Buddy Tubbs[9]; 6. 72C-Chris Tarrant[5]; 7. 27F-Jesse Frazier[11]; 8. 93Z-Zachary Patterson[10]; 9. 3F-Tim Barber[7]; 10. 44D-Evan Turner[8]; 11. C27-Clint Wilson[4]; 12. 17X-Kurt Stellhorn[13]; 13. 15L-Merril Lamb[12]; 14. (DNS) 84Z-Johnny Murdock; 15. (DNS) 20G-Noah Gass

Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]; 2. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[5]; 3. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[6]; 4. 28-Ace McCarthy[3]; 5. 72J-Sam Johnson[7]; 6. 15J-David Prickett[1]; 7. 9K-Kevin Olson[9]; 8. 88W-Dustin Weland[8]; 9. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[4]; 10. (DNS) 10J-Jeffrey Newell

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 15-Donny Schatz[1]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 3. 14H-AJ Hopkins[3]; 4. 87W-Ryan Bernal[6]; 5. 7A-Justin Allgaier[4]; 6. 2R-Steven Drevicki[2]; 7. 37X-Karter Sarff[8]; 8. 57-Maria Cofer[9]; 9. 37M-Matt Mitchell[7]; 10. 10W-Marcus Thomas[10]

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 4A-Justin Grant[3]; 2. 19-Tanner Thorson[5]; 3. 5K-Justin Peck[4]; 4. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[2]; 5. 82-Andrew Layser[6]; 6. 7-Shannon McQueen[8]; 7. 78-Raven Culp[9]; 8. 11D-Colton Fisher[10]; 9. 5O-Timmy Thrash[7]; 10. 81-Colten Cottle[1]

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 89-Chris Windom[6]; 2. 7M-Brody Roa[1]; 3. 57A-Bill Balog[5]; 4. 95-Chris Andrews[2]; 5. 92-Josh Most[4]; 6. 25P-Chad Boespflug[3]; 7. 8K-Josh Hawkins[7]; 8. 88-Terry Babb[9]; 9. 68W-Josh Lakatos[10]; 10. 22B-Troy Betts[8]

Dave.com B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B-Main 1 (15 Laps): 1. 72J-Sam Johnson[2]; 2. 92-Josh Most[1]; 3. 57-Maria Cofer[8]; 4. 25P-Chad Boespflug[3]; 5. 93-Dustin Morgan[13]; 6. 37X-Karter Sarff[6]; 7. 8K-Josh Hawkins[7]; 8. 7-Shannon McQueen[4]; 9. 88E-Tim Estenson[14]; 10. 22B-Troy Betts[12]; 11. 5O-Timmy Thrash[10]; 12. 20C-Conor Daly[16]; 13. (DNF) 88W-Dustin Weland[9]; 14. (DNF) 35-Ben Schmidt[15]; 15. (DNS) 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 16. (DNS) 10J-Jeffrey Newell

B-Main 2 (15 Laps): 1. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[1]; 2. 95-Chris Andrews[2]; 3. 2R-Steven Drevicki[3]; 4. 68W-Josh Lakatos[10]; 5. 37M-Matt Mitchell[9]; 6. 88-Terry Babb[8]; 7. 17R-Alex Schutte[13]; 8. 78-Raven Culp[6]; 9. 15J-David Prickett[4]; 10. 9K-Kevin Olson[5]; 11. 52F-Logan Faucon[16]; 12. 81-Colten Cottle[11]; 13. 19X-Don Droud Jr[15]; 14. 10W-Marcus Thomas[12]; 15. 11D-Colton Fisher[7]; 16. 29A-Tim Buckwalter[14]

A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday's A-Feature.
A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 19-Tanner Thorson[5]; 2. 87W-Ryan Bernal[7]; 3. 89-Chris Windom[1]; 4. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[2]; 5. 7A-Justin Allgaier[16]; 6. 4A-Justin Grant[6]; 7. 21-Daryn Pittman[4]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz[12]; 9. 25P-Chad Boespflug[23]; 10. 5K-Justin Peck[10]; 11. 72J-Sam Johnson[17]; 12. 95-Chris Andrews[20]; 13. 28-Ace McCarthy[14]; 14. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[8]; 15. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[18]; 16. 14H-AJ Hopkins[13]; 17. 68W-Josh Lakatos[24]; 18. 82-Andrew Layser[11]; 19. 57-Maria Cofer[21]; 20. 2R-Steven Drevicki[22]; 21. 7M-Brody Roa[15]; 22. 92-Josh Most[19]; 23. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[3]; 24. 57A-Bill Balog[9]

Lap Leader(s): Chris Windom 1-3, 18; Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 4-14; Ryan Bernal 20-24; Tanner Thorson 15-17, 19, 25-30
Hard Charger: Chad Boespflug +14

Thorson Stands Tall in Chili Bowl Friday Thriller