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The Kruser Conquers in Red Hot Friday Chili Bowl Prelim

 

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 13, 2006) – Two-time Chili Bowl king Cory Kruseman outlasted P.J. Jones and a host of other challengers in Friday night’s hotly-contested 25-lap Warren CAT Qualifying night feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway’s 20th Annual O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

 

In a torrid feature event that included six official lead changes and numerous others from one corner to another, Kruseman took command for keeps on the 21st round and fought back the advances of Jones, Kasey Kahne, Sammy Swindell and Mike Goodman before a crowd of 13,622.

 

The top-finishing quartet of Kruseman, Jones, Kahne and Swindell locked themselves into Saturday night’s prestigious finale along with Wednesday and Thursday’s top four finishers, which include Danny Lasoski, Jay Drake, Steve Kinser, Jon Stanbrough, Jerry Coons, Jr., Garrett Hansen, Tim McCreadie and Steve Buckwalter.  The balance of the 24-car main event will be determined through Saturday’s Chili Bowl championship feature events, which get under way at 1:00 p.m.

 

While Friday night’s feature was loaded with talent, it didn’t include NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart.  Stewart, who scratched from Wednesday’s card after a flip in hot laps, flipped wildly down the backstretch in his Friday night qualifying race after a heat race win.  Shaken, the 2002 Chili Bowl winner was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released.

 

For the second night in a row, an Andy Bondio-owned entry raced its way to the pole position of the feature event, with Kruseman earning the spot by virtue of an eighth to first charge in his heat race and a sixth-to-second run in his qualifier.

 

Racing wheel-to-wheel through the first two corners at the drop of the green, Kruseman wrestled the early lead away from fellow front row starter Jones.  But, setting what would become a trend for the balance of the race, Jones raced underneath Kruseman down the backstretch on the second lap to take command.

 

“He (Jones) was definitely strong, there were times that he was the better car and it just kind of made a difference on who hit the right spot in the corner,” Kruseman later commented.

 

With Jones fending off Kruseman for the point, fifth-starter Mike Goodman disposed of second row starters Paul McMahan and Dave Darland for third by the fifth round.  The first of several cautions flew moments later for Brad Loyet’s turn four spin, with Darland surrendering fourth position under the caution period due to a flat left rear tire.  Darland rejoined the chase after a quick tire change.  McMahan reported to the work area as well, also rejoining the field at the tail.

 

After wading through a pair of cautions, the battle for the lead intensified with Kruseman racing past Jones on the 11th circuit.  Jones slid back underneath Kruseman in turns one and two on the 12th lap, only to have the move negated by a Travis Berryhill spin.

 

Not to be denied, Jones once again raced underneath Kruseman to snare the point on the restart.  That lead was short-lived however, as Kruseman returned the favor the next time around, with Jimmy Sills’ wild turn two flip bringing out the caution with 13 laps in the books.

 

On the ensuing restart, third-running Goodman charged by both Kruseman and Jones in turns one and two and led the way down the backstretch before slipping over the cushion in three and four.  Goodman’s slip allowed Jones to race into the lead on the 14th lap with Kruseman in second.

 

According to Kruseman, “The best thing for us was that the top was getting better and the bottom was getting worse, at least in my eyes, and it kinda was slowing P.J. up a little bit.  But every time a yellow would come he’d track back by me, so obviously it wasn’t so true.” 

 

With Jones, Kruseman and Goodman engaged in a spirited battle for the lead, 14th-starter Kahne and 15th-starter Sammy Swindell had quietly climbed into the top five by the time a caution flew after 17 laps for a tangle involving Casey Shuman and Wally Pankratz.

 

The lead quintet of Jones, Kruseman, Kahne, Swindell and Goodman raced in tight formation over the next handful of laps, swapping spots continuously much to the approval of the capacity crowd.

 

Kruseman finally charged into the lead for good upon the completion of the 21st lap, and after a final caution that set up a two-lap dash to the checkered flag, beat Jones to the stripe by two car-lengths.  In search of a third Golden Driller trophy, it marked Kruseman’s fifth Chili Bowl preliminary night triumph aboard Andy Bondio’s Barnes-powered No. 47 Barnes Oil Pumps/Kenny’s Components entry.

 

Jones settled for runner-up honors aboard Mike Minarik’s Chevy-powered No. 17J K&C Drywall TCR.  Jones commented, “I’m rusty in the dirt racing, I’ve run one dirt race a year the last ten years and that’s been here.  I’m probably not as sharp and on my game as somebody like Cory or Sammy, but it comes back to you fast.”

 

On Jones’ rear bumper, NASCAR star Kahne edged four-time Chili Bowl champion Swindell for the show position.

 

Kahne commented that, “This is just a fun, exciting race to come to every year and I’ve got to come until I win the thing.”

 

According to Chili Bowl veteran Swindell, “I’ve been fortunate to finish a lot of races here and run up front a lot of times.  I think there was a point here tonight where I was second, for maybe a second or two, then I kinda got a bad bounce there a time or two.  That’s part of it, we were just trying to get what we could get and we came a long ways from where ever I started.”

 

Chili Bowl rookie contender Goodman rounded out the top five, with 19th-starter Bryan Clauson overcoming several miscues earlier in the night by charging to sixth.  Teddy Beach snared seventh in front of 18th-starter Shane Cottle and Rich Camfield, with two-time Chili Bowl champion Dan Boorse charging from 21st to tenth.

 

Jones, Pankratz, Alan Ballard, Kruseman, Swindell, Daniel Adler, Tony Stewart, Goodman, Joe Boyles and Berryhill captured heat race victories for Friday night’s 89-car field.

 

Davey Camfield, Matt Sherrell, Shuman and Damion Gardner posted Last Chance Race wins, with Darland, Josh Wise, Goodman and Beach topping the Qualifying races.

 

Loyet and Cottle split victory honors in the twin B Mains.

 

Sherrell’s late move to win his Last Chance race aboard perhaps the oldest vehicle among this year’s record 260 competitors earned a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.  Sherrell’s Jack Hitt-owned mount is the same car in which Danny Frye, Jr., captured a preliminary feature win in Second Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals of 1988.

 

Friday's Warren CAT Qualifying Night Results from the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals:

 

Heats (Top 40 in passing points to Four A Qualifiers; Balance to Four Last Chance Races)

 

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 17J P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 2. 5A Shon Deskins, Waddell, AZ; 3. 12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 4. 98 Curtis Bailey, Bartlesville, OK; 5. 24E Bill Eslick, Burleson, TX; 6. 9B Ryan Beechler, Anna, TX; 7. 37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 8. 14AZ Danny Sheridan, Santa Maria, CA; 9. 10V Ron Kuhn, Lee’s Summit, MO

 

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 8 Wally Pankratz, Orange, CA; 2. 20W Josh Wise, Riverside, CA; 3. 73 Josh Ford, Oxnard, CA; 4. 15 Scott Hatton, Roscoe, IL; 5. 73F Foster Landon, Collinsville, OK; 6. 14 Tony Rossi, Westminster, CO; 7. 86X Daron Clayton, Sikeston, MO; 8. 17X Audra Sasselli, Fresno, CA; 9. 11X Steve Newman, Lakewood, CO

 

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 36 Alan Ballard, Bakersfield, CA; 2. 11W Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 3. 93 Dustin Morgan, Collinsville, OK; 4. 125 Teddy Beach, Donnelsville, OH; 5. 11R Ryan Cole, Porter, OK; 6. 35 Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 7. 74 Ernie Bartley III; 8. F1 French Grimes, Madison, VA; 9. 69M Mike Marfia, Rio Rancho, NM

 

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA; 2. 87C Rich Camfield, Decatur, IL; 3. 67 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN; 4. 5H Doug Hunting, Sacramento, CA; 5. 21S Bob Shreffler, Plainfield, IL; 6. 55 Tony Everhart, El Cajon, CA; 7. 86C Davey Camfield, Decatur, IL; 8. 17C Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 9. 57 Brian Gard, Kelseyville, CA

 

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. 12 Trey Robb, Newcastle, OK; 3. 2L Luke Icke, Littleton, CO; 4. 25 Nick Knepper, Belleville, IL; 5. 10B Brandon Knupp, Sidney, OH: 6. 33M Marc Arnold, Peru, IN; 7. 15P Alex Pruett, Carefree, AZ; 8. 16 Tom Bigelow, Winchester, IN; 9. 4AZ Chris Edwards, Buckeye, AZ

 

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 50 Daniel Adler, East Carondolet, IL; 2. 67K Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN; 3. 05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 4. 21M Andy Martin, Gordonville, PA; 5. 55X Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 6. 6 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 7. 12H Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA; 8. 32K Kirk Kubik, Long Beach, CA; 9. 31X Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO

 

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 20 Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN; 2. 85 Shane Hollingsworth, Indianapolis, IN; 3. 71H Keith Rauch, Thornton, CO; 4. 51H Joe Roe, Pleasant Prairie, WI; 5. 44C Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 6. 17W Mike Woodruff, Satanta, KS; 7. 34J Jon LeJeune, Decorah, IA; 8. 48 Mike Welker; Peoria, AZ; 9. 19B Cameron Beard, Atwater, CA

 

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 11M Mike Goodman, Tulsa, OK; 2. 35X Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL; 3. 9 Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 4. D33 Jeff Davis, Pittsburg, IL; 5. 88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 6. 5D Gary Taylor, Wheat Ridge, CO; 7. 73I Aaron Pierce, Muncie, IN; 8. 5L Leighton Crouch, Lubbock, TX; 9. 4L Doug Lippincott, Minden, NV

 

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 7B Joe Boyles, Greenwood, MO; 2. 27 Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV; 3. 54 Ralph Cortez, Sacramento, CA; 4. 19 Chris Wagner, Colorado Springs, CO; 5. 93S Evan Sewell, Jenks, OK; 6. 13 Chris Shoulders, Dallas, TX; 7. 27X Bobby Boone, Bakersfield, CA; 8. 27B Todd Kimmel, Avon, IN; 9. 6J Jesse Hockett, Warsaw, MO

 

Heat 10 (8 Laps): 1. 11Z Travis Berryhill, American Canyon, CA; 2. 8S Jimmy Sills, Elverta, CA; 3. 3 Tracy Miller, Reading, PA; 4. 17M Doug McCune, Fort Worth, TX; 5. 7X Brian Mater, Pueblo, CO; 6. 87 Harley Slotten, Menasha, WI; 7. 52R Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, MS; 8. 17Z Ryan Ratliff, Tulsa, OK

 

Last Chance Races (Top 2 in each to back of respective A Qualifier)

 

Last Chance 1 (Top 2 to back of Qualifier No. 1 – 10 Laps): 1. 86C Davey Camfield, Decatur, IL; 2. 14 Tony Rossi, Westminster, CO; 3. 73I Aaron Pierce, Muncie, IN; 4. 93S Evan Sewell, Jenks, OK; 5. 10V Ron Kuhn, Lee’s Summit, MO; 6. 19 Chris Wagner, Colorado Springs, CO; 7. 74 Ernie Bartley III, El Cajon, CA; 8. 10B Brandon Knupp, Sidney, OH; 9. 32K Kirk Kubik, Long Beach, CA; 10. 17W Mike Woodruff, Satanta, KS; 11. 5L Leighton Crouch, Lubbock, TX; 12. 4AZ Chris Edwards, Buckeye, AZ; DNS – Jesse Hockett, Warsaw, MO

 

Last Chance 2 (Top 2 to back of Qualifier No. 2 – 10 Laps): 1. 55X Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 2. 5D Gary Taylor, Wheatridge, CO; 3. 15P Alex Pruett, Carefree, AZ; 4. 27X Bobby Boone, Bakersfield, CA; 5. 55 Tony Everhart, El Cajon, CA; 6. 17M Doug McCune, Fort Worth, TX; 7. 24E Bill Eslick, Burleson, TX; 8. 14AZ Danny Sheridan, Santa Maria, CA; 9. 48 Mike Welker, Peoria, AZ; 10. 52R Rickey Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, MS; 11. 31X Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO; 12. 11X Steve Newman, Lakewood, CO

 

Last Chance 3 (Top 2 to back of Qualifier No. 3 – 10 Laps): 1. 37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 2. 35 Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 3. 17X Audra Sasselli, Fresno, CA; 4. 27B Todd Kimmel, Avon, IN; 5. 19B Cameron Beard, Atwater, CA; 6. 13 Chris Shoulders, Dallas, TX; 7. 73F Foster Landon, Collinsville, OK; 8. 7X Brian Mater, Pueblo, CO; 9. F1 French Grimes, Madison, VA; 10. 69M Mike Marfia, Rio Rancho, NM; 11. 33M Marc Arnold, Peru, IN. DNS – 12H Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA

 

Last Chance 4 (Top 2 to back of Qualifier No. 4 – 10 Laps): 1. 6 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 2. 88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 3. 11R Ryan Cole, Porter, OK; 4. 86X Daron Clayton, Sikeston, MO; 5. 16 Tom Bigelow, Winchester, IN; 6. 9B Ryan Beechler, Anna, TX; 7. 17C Chris Windom, Canton, IL: 8. 87 Harley Slotten, Menasha, WI; 9. 4L Doug Lippincott, Minden, NV; 10. 34J Jon LeJeune, Decorah, IA; 11, 57 Brian Gard, Kelseyville, CA; 12. 17Z Ryan Ratliff, Tulsa, OK

 

A Qualifiers (Top 16 in combined passing points with the heats to A Main; Balance to Twin B Mains)

 

A Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 11W Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 2. 47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA; 3. 11Z Travis Berryhill, American Canyon, CA; 4. 71H Keith Rauch, Thornton, CO; 5. 7B Joe Boyles, Greenwood, MO; 6. 51H Joe Roe, Pleasant Prairie, WI; 7. 25 Nick Knepper, Belleville, IL; 8. 98 Curtis Bailey, Bartlesville, OK; 9. 14 Tony Rossi, Westminster, CO; 10. 3 Tracy Miller, Reading, PA; 11. 5A Shon Deskins, Waddell, AZ; 12. 86C Davey Camfield, Decatur, IL. Note: 3 Tracy Miller was penalized a position for hitting the restart cone.

 

A Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 20W Josh Wise, Riverside, CA; 2. 8S Jimmy Sills, Elverta, CA; 3. 17J P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 4. 05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 5. 44C Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 6. 2L Luke Icke, Littleton, CO; 7. 5D Gary Taylor, Wheatridge, CO; 8. 73 Josh Ford, Oxnard, CA; 9. 36 Adam Ballard, Bakersfield, CA; 10. D33 Jeff Davis, Pittsburg, IL; 11. 21M Andy Martin, Gordonville, PA; 12. 55X Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK

 

A Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 11M Mike Goodman, Tulsa, OK; 2. 87C Rich Camfield, Decatur, IL; 3. 85 Shane Hollingsworth, Indianapolis, IN; 4. 9 Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 5. 37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 6. 12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 7. 50 Daniel Adler, East Carondolet, IL; 8. 35 Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 9. 12 Trey Robb, Newcastle, OK: 10. 5H Doug Hunting, Sacramento, CA; 11. 93 Dustin Morgan, Collinsville, OK; 12. 15 Scott Hatton, Roscoe, IL

 

A Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 125 Teddy Beach, Donnelsville, OH; 2. 67K Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN; 3. 27 Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV; 4. 1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 5. 8 Wally Pankratz, Orange, CA; 6. 6 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 7. 88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 8. 35X Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL; 9. 54 Ralph Cortez, Sacramento, CA; 10. 21S Bob Shreffler, Plainfield, IL; 11. 67 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN; 12. 20 Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN

 

B Mains (Top 4 Advance to Preliminary A Main)

B Main 1 (15 Laps): 1. 05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 2. 67 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN; 3. 88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 4. 35 Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 5. 12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 6. 51H Joe Roe, Pleasant Prairie, WI; 7. 2L Luke Icke, Littleton, CO; 8. 5H Doug Hunting, Sacramento, CA; 9. 54 Ralph Cortez, Sacramento, CA; 10. 3 Tracy Miller, Reading, PA; 11. 73 Josh Ford, Oxnard, CA; 12. 14 Tony Rossi, Westminster, CO; 13. 25 Nick Knepper, Belleville, IL; 14. 6 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA. DNS – 55X Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 35X Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL

 

B Main 2 (15 Laps): 1. 44C Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 2. 37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 3. 36 Alan Ballard, Bakersfield, CA; 4. 8 Wally Pankratz, Orange, CA; 5. 12 Trey Robb, Newcastle, OK; 6. 50 Daniel Adler, East Carondolet, IL; 7. 15 Scott Hatton, Roscoe, IL; 8. 5D Gary Taylor, Wheatridge, CO; 9. D33 Jeff Davis, Pittsburg, IL; 10. 86C Davey Camfield, Decatur, IL; 11. 98 Curtis Bailey, Bartlesville, OK; 12. 21S Bob Shreffler, Plainfield, IL; 13. 21M Andy Martin, Gordonville, PA; 14. 93 Dustin Morgan, Collinsville, OK. DNS – 20 Tony Stewart, Columbus, IN; 5A Shon Deskins, Waddell, AZ

 

 

A Main (Top 4 to Saturday’s 50-Lap Championship A Main)

A Main (30 Laps): 1. 47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA; 2. 17J P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 3. 9 Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 4. 1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 5. 11M Mike Goodman, Tulsa, OK; 6. 67 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN; 7. 125 Teddy Beach, Donnelsville, OH; 8. 44C Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 9. 87C Rich Camfield, Decatur, IL: 10. 88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 11. 27 Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV; 12. 11W Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 13. 05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 14. 37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 15. 36 Alan Ballard, Bakersfield, CA; 16. 71 Keith Rauch, Thornton, CO; 17. 8 Wally Pankratz, Orange, CA; 18. 20W Josh Wise, Riverside, CA; 19. 67K Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN; 20. 7B Joe Boyles, Greenwood, MO; 21. 8S Jimmy Sills, Elverta, CA; 22. 85 Shane Hollingsworth, Indianapolis, IN; 23. 11Z Travis Berryhill, American Canyon, CA; 24. 35 Mat Neely Robinson, IL

 
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

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