Chili Bowl: Grant wins Friday's A-Main, Kahne just misses out
Justin Grant went back-to-back in the Friday preliminary race for the Chili Bowl Nationals.
After Keith Kunz’ cars dominated the first three A Features of the week, Grant stopped the sweep by putting his Clauson-Marshall Racing midget in Victory Lane at Tulsa Expo Speedway.
Grant’s second-career preliminary night win locked him into the A-Main for Saturday.
“(Last year) we won rolling the bottom, and that’s not really my deal,” Grant said. “Then I got to come back and bang the fence and had a blast doing it. These guys gave me a great Nos Energy Drink midget, and it was an absolute thrill to drive.
“I’m not normally a donut guy, but last year I was so tired, and my wife had babies, and no sleep when I came down here, so (I said) if I ever come back up on this stage, I’m going to do donuts, so I had to get ’em out of the way.”
Spencer Bayston and Andrew Felker finished second and third, respectively, to also transfer into Saturday’s A-Main.
Grant started on the front alongside polesitter Chad Boat, who led the first four laps before Damion Gardner challenged for the lead. He passed Boat in Turn 4 as Grant dropped to third in the No. 39bc midget.
Kasey Kahne moved up to fifth by Lap 10. The yellow flag flew two laps later for Nick Knepper, who stopped in Turn 4. The race returned to green on Lap 13 with Gardner in the lead followed by Boat, Grant and Kahne.
As Grant nipped at Boat for second and Kahne moved to third, David Budres and Daryn Pittmann tangled to trigger the second caution in Turn 1 on Lap 14. Pittman flips in the process Klaussmeyer and Messeraul also got together in Turns 3 and 4. Gardner held the lead followed by Grant, Kahne, Klassmeyer and Felker on Lap 16.
Grant took the lead from Gardner in Turn 2 on Lap 17. Bastion moved from fourth to third on Lap 18.
With five laps remaining, Grant leads followed by Bayston, Gardner, Kahne and Felker. Felker moves by Kahne then Gardner for third.
Gardner finished fourth followed by Kahne, Boat, Tim McCreadie, Bricen James, Sheldon Haudenschild and Dave Darland.
Grant finished a career-high third in last year’s Chili Bowl finale. He hopes to improve his result come Saturday.
“I’ve been very, very fortunate throughout my whole career for anybody that’s give me a shot ion a race car,” Grant said. “I drove for a lot of really great owners, and these Clauson-Marshall guys, they prepare their stuff amazing, they’ve got great equipment and they give me the race car that I can go out and do what I need to do with.”
Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night Results
A Feature (25 laps): 1. Justin Grant; 2. Spencer Bayston; 3. Andrew Felker;
B Feature 1 (15 laps, top four transfer): 1. Tim McCreadie; 2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; 3. Matt Mitchell; 4. Alex Schutte;
B Feature 2: 1. Brent Beauchamp; 2. D.J. Netto; 3. Clinton Boyles; 4. David Burdes;
Qualifiers (Four races, 10 laps): 1. Thomas Meseraull; 2. Chad Boat; 3. Andrew Felker; 4.
C Feature 1 (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. Sean Dodenhoff; 2. Landon Cling; 3. Billy Wease; 4. George White
C Feature 2: 1.Kyle Bellm; 2. Zane Lawrence; 3. Mike Goodman; 4. Brett Wilson
D Feature 1 (10 laps, top two transfer): 1. Brandon Tubbs II; 2. Dustin Gilbert
D Feature 2: 1. Kody Swanson; 2. Carson Garrett
Heat Race Winners (8 laps): 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 2. Chad Boat; 3. David Budres; 4. Dave Darland; 5. Alex Schutte; 6. D.J. Netto; 7. Thomas Meseraull; 8. Damion Gardner; 9. Tucker Klaasmeyer; 10. Justin Grant; 11. Nick Knepper
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